Cradle of Alpinism

From Ankogel to the Mountains of the World

A Film by Gernot Stadler

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Documentary drama, 2012
GS-Film, ORF/3sat
Written and directed by
Gernot Stadler
ORF Enterprise

For many, it is the true origin of mountaineering: the first ascent of the Ankogel peak in the border area between Carinthia and Salzburg in 1762. For the first time, a glacier-covered Alpine summit with an altitude of over 3,000 meters was conquered, four years ahead of Mont Blanc and other famous mountains of the Alps.

The pioneering work of a daring farmer with the peculiar name Patschg soon found many imitators, in the next 100 years countless peaks followed, such as the Großglockner or the Matterhorn by the English mountaineer Edward Whymper, who later also succeeded in the first ascent of the Chimborazo. “Mountaineering” soon became a term for extreme mountain climbing and hiking, not only in the Alps, but all over the world. A new era had begun with the first ascent of Ankogel in the eastern Hohe Tauern and little by little the mighty peaks of the Eastern and Central Alps came into the sights of the pioneers of mountaineering. The documentary “The Cradle of Mountaineering – From Ankogel to the Mountains of the World” by director Gernot Stadler traces the development of the phenomenon of mountaineering and questions the motives of the early pioneers, who set themselves a monument with their achievements in mountaineering.

At first, it was not about sporting achievements and records, but about surveying the mountains and obtaining scientific knowledge, as historian Marianne Klemun says. The arc stretches from the first ascent of Ankogel via the Großglockner or the Matterhorn to one of the greatest alpine challenges, Mount Everest.