Markus Pucher, extreme mountaineer, mountain guide, and ski instructor, is one of the most talented climbers of his generation. Born in the Austrian region of Carinthia on June 15, 1976, he has completed first ascents and difficult repetitions of extreme routes in the Alps, Patagonia, and the Himalayas.
In 1990, when he was just 14, he began climbing in the mountains near his home. Ten years later, he went to Patagonia; it was his first time, and he succeeded in climbing Fitz Roy via the Franco-Argentina route. On this trip, an encounter with the queen of the slender Patagonian towers, Cerro Torre, would change his mountaineering destiny. From that day on, Markus pursued his dream of climbing Argentine rock solo and in winter. A style of climbing that adds a further challenge to the already difficult conditions of the walls and the lack of protection, but that is absolutely respectful of the mountains’ harshness and above all of the climber’s own life — as demonstrated by painful abandonments in 2015 and 2016, when, at just 300 meters and 40 meters from the summit, respectively, Markus was forced to call a halt to his most ambitious project due to the thick layer of fresh snow that hindered his grip on the rock. The Austrian mountaineer’s name is also linked to the “impossible mountain” for a series of historic achievements: the first free solo of Via dei Ragni al Torre in 2013, with a record time of 3 hours and 15 minutes, and the free solo on the Ferrari route, carried out the following year in total whiteout conditions. These are just two of the feats that have allowed him to leave his mark on the history of mountaineering in Patagonia.
But Markus is never satisfied. He is always imagining new ascents to complete, chasing a dream called Cerro Torre.