Kurt Albert was a legendary German climber who shaped the development of rock climbing and pioneered hard routes across Germany and beyond.
Albert fell 18 metres from a Via Ferrata in the Hirschbach Valley in the Frankenjura on Sunday. The 56 year old sustained severe head injuries and was transported to a hospital in Erlangen (near Nürnberg). He was in a critical condition in hospital for several days. He was pronounced dead at the the hospital in Erlangen yesterday at 8.45 pm local time. The exact cause of his fall is yet to be determined.
Kurt, inventor of the Rotpunkt (redpoint), was often regarded as the catalyst behind modern sport climbing. Kurt painted red circles at the base of routes when they were projects, and filled the circle with a 'red point' when he had managed to climb them, and this is where the now universal climbing term 'redpoint' came from.
Alongside Wolfgang Gullich, Kurt Albert made the first ascent of perhaps the world's ultimate rock climb - Eternal Flame on Trango Tower in 1989.
Albert had been climbing since the age of 14 and had made countless first ascents throughout Germany including the classic Fight Gravity (UIAA 8+). Kurt had made many climbing friends across the globe and will be sorely missed by the climbing community.