Heini Holzer
the father of steep wall skiing

Heini Holzer, the friendly chimney sweep from the village of Scena, below the towering Ifinger, was one of the greatest climbers of his time.

A random accident catapulted him into an alpine edge discipline, a field in which very few mountaineers felt at home in the 1970s.

Holzer can easily be described as the father of steep wall skiing. As a real mountaineer, he explored all the sheer faces he skied via a direct ascent, and planned down to the last detail the individual routes.

Over 100 times, the „sweeper“ successfully completed a first descent (a nickname referring to his work as a chimney sweep and also to his sweeping descents over ice walls); one of the most difficult being the Ifinger SW flank.

For almost three years Holzer waited for the appropriate time to ski the 55 degree steep, and rock bolt enforced wall. In 1977, Holzer succumbed to an accident on Piz Roseg (3937 m) in the Bernina range, Graubünden – Switzerland.