LOWA ACTIVE Team Josef Pfnür

Shoeless in Kyrgyzstan

Josef “Steno” Pfnür definitely wouldn’t describe himself simply as a sports climber. The interests of the Bercht­esgaden native are simply too broad. If he’s not scaling cliffs, he prefers to be out among the snow and ice, enjoying ice climbs or ski tours. He’s also fascinated by travel to far-off countries, where he can experience the different cultures found there. Being outdoors is something special to him. “Out there, you forget your everyday life and can get your mind off work, ” he says.

He certainly needs some time to decompress, to say the least. Josef is a master metal-structure craft­sperson at WTD 52, the Technical Centre for Protective and Special Tech­no­logies of the German military, in the southern German village of Ober­jettenberg. On the side, he’s working to become a German mountain and ski guide. What’s unusual about it all? Well, nobody in his family is partic­ularly interested in the mountains. Josef’s passion is that much greater as a result.

Its size is reflected in things like his trip to Mada­gascar, where he and his team pulled off two first ascents, and his final expedition as a member of the German Alpine Club team in Kyrgyzstan – a trip that turned into an adventure for more than one reason: The team was chal­lenged not just by the first ascents of two five-thou­sanders. The loss of two expedition bags created some special problems for Josef. The expedition physician pitched in to help and lent his boots to Josef. “We tried to buy replacement gear, but nobody in Kyrgyzstan has the shoe size 46,” Josef explains.

His next destination is still up in the air. Such decisions have to be carefully weighed. This is because even though his exped­itions are so much fun, they’ll always remain a hobby to him.

Facts & figures

Home base:
Favourite climbing site:
Local mountain:
1,79 m
72 kg

Josef Pfnür,
What has been your climbing highlight up to now?

“There have been several of them. It is always the brief moments that make the lasting impressions. As far as Alpine climbing goes, one of my high­lights was certainly the Moonlight Butters in Zion National Park (5.12d 300m). A perfect rock face, a brilliant line and a gorgeous setting. We could climb all pitches on site, and we did so at the end of our holiday.”

What are your athletic goals?

“To maintain my joy and passion for the sport as long as possible. I’m also interested in trav­elling to different countries and exper­i­encing new adventures there.”

Do you have a motto?

“Keep stress out of your life.”

My shoes for…