Free Solo Ice Climbing: Watch Markus Pucher’s Stone-Cold Nerves in ‘Ice Chasers’

Markus Pucher started ice climbing when he was 16. Now, his approach reflects the barest of bare necessities.

Have you ever gone ice climbing without gloves? What about without a climbing rope? If you want to know what this is like without committing to potential death falls, watch the latest episode of Grivel‘s “Ice Chasers” series.

In this dense video, Pucher dissects his experience and approach to ice and mixed climbing. The Austrian stands out for his clear-headed descriptions as he discusses his motivation, process, and commitment — and free solos Cerro Torre.

But don’t take his calm demeanor for granted. Power is clearly visible in his stout body, and the routes he swings and kicks his way up demand it all. Somehow, his hands are apparently impervious to cold.

Oh, yeah — the visuals aren’t bad either.

Runtime: 8 minutes

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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.

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