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Item #: OP631B-113
WOLFGANG GULLICH: A LIFE IN THE VERTICAL 1994 1st English ed Hardcover No DJ As New SIGNED by Tilmann Hepp
By Hepp, Tilmann
Price: $175.00


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Germany, 1994, 1st English edition. 144 pp, color and b/w photos. Large format pictorial hardcover - no dust jacket issued. As New.

SIGNED/INSCRIBED by Tilmann Hepp.


This is an oversize book. Extra postage will be requested for Priority Mail and International Mail.

Wolfgang Gullich was one of the best rock climbers of our new age of competition and sport climbing. This biography belongs on the shelf of all who admired him. This book is now out of print.

"In climbing, the ideal of perfect harmony between body and mind seems to have been realized."

Wolfgang Güllich stands as a legend among rock climbers, even to those to whom the danger of the sport are accepted as a part of their existence. His ability to go beyond the barriers, both literal and figurative, that block others, lends to his short life a luminosity that sets it apart. In scaling the sheer vertical slopes of Europe, Australia, the Americas, and Asia, Güllich also ascended the ranks of the climbing community, to become one of the greatest ever exponents of the sport.

Güllich's greatest legacy lies in the hundreds of routes he opened. Others could follow in his footsteps, and see what he had seen, but Güllich was first. He was not driven by the desire to be first however, but the challenge of unconquered rock:

If you want to explain the fascination of sport climbing, it is not sufficient to refer to the conservative view of sport that describes it purely in terms of athletic performance as an isolated phenomenon. Rather, the particular value in climbing is the adventure aspect and the life style. The first principle is non-alienated performance: the climber himself decides the hows, whens and wheres of his activity. The only accepted limitation is the rule that determines the ways and means of athletic performance, decided by the participant. To want to do something under your own steam means that you strictly reject the use of aid to move forward.

As Güllich gained in skill it was the free solo that became a greater and greater part of the climbing experience. With the strength of muscle and sinew and mind all that supported his life above hundred foot drops, Güllich eschewed the use of rope and harness, and carried bolts only to mark the route for others. Güllich described the free solo as entering 'another reality in free climbing.'

"An incredible feeling of joy melts all the tension and I suddenly have the impression that it was not a game of gambling with my life; it was not subjectively dangerous. I sit in the sun on the flat summit plateau - the 'other reality' is now part of the past. It is the thought of death that teaches us to value life." - after his first free solo on Separate Reality in Yosemite Valley, 1986.

 
Wikipedia:
Wolfgang Güllich (24 October 1960 - 31 August 1992), was born in Ludwigshafen, Germany. He is widely regarded as one of the most skillful, daring and popular rock-climbers of all time.

He first started climbing on the Sandstone-rocks of the 'Südpfalz'. Soon he became one of the best climbers in this region and made the first free ascent of 'Jubiläumsriss VII-' at the age of 16. He traveled to the Elbsandsteingebirge, and to the Shawangunks and Yosemite Valley, US, where he could climb most of the top routes of each area, including a 2nd ascend of Grand Illusion, 5.13b/c (FA by Toni Yaniro). Later he moved to the Frankenjura and created a great number of hard climbing routes such as:

Kanal im Rücken X- (1984)
Punks in the Gym X / 8b+ / 32 (1985)
Amadeus Schwarzenegger X- (1986)
Wallstreet XI- (1987)
Action Directe XI (1991) (still considered one of the hardest routes worldwide)

Thus Güllich added several grades to the grading system. In fact, with the exception of Ben Moon's Hubble (the world's first 8c+), Wolfgang was responsible for 4 consecutive step-ups with the world's first 8b (Kanal Im Rücken , 1984), 8b+ (Punks In The Gym, Apr 1985), 8c (Wall street, 1987), and 9a (Action Directe, Aug 1991). Güllich also invented the modern training technique of campus boarding in order to climb Action Directe.

He was also responsible for first ascents of routes like 'Eternal Flame (IX- A2)' in the Karakoram and 'Riders on the Storm (IX A3)' in Patagonia. The boldness of these routes showed that he excelled at difficult mountain routes as well as one-pitch sports climbs.

He broke his back falling off the Master's Edge at Millstone Quarry in Derbyshire England, but when he recovered climbed Separate Reality in Yosemite National Park, USA (1986). Climbing without a rope, he negotiated a twenty foot horizontal crack in an overhanging roof.

He was also a climbing double for Sylvester Stallone in the movie Cliffhanger.

In 1990 he became acquainted with Anette, whom he married one year later. On August 29, 1992 Wolfgang's car veered off the Autobahn between Munich and Nurembergafter he fell asleep while driving. Two days later he died in a hospital in Ingolstadt, never having regained consciousness. His media commitments due to his burgeoning popularity following his work on Cliffhanger have been cited as reasons for his extreme fatigue at the time.

Well over a decade later, he remains one of the greatest idols for climbers all over the world, not only for the impressiveness of his new (and hard) sport routes, but also for his generosity and humility as a man. His death at age 31 is widely regarded as one of the great tragedies of modern rock climbing.

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