My name is Markus Bendler, but some people call me the Ice Prince. I come from Schwendt, Tyrol, Austria. I live on the north side of the Wilder Kaiser (one of the most famous climbing mountains of the Alps), and that is probably the reason why I’m so passionate about climbing.
I started climbing with my older brother when I was 11 years old. In the first couple years I mainly focused on sport climbing competitions. At 16, I became acquainted with ice and I transferred my competitive activities exclusively to ice climbing. This enabled me to live my passion practically without the use of climbing gyms. This is very important to me, because I enjoy moving around outdoors and in nature. I see myself as someone who has clear strengths in sports climbing, but specifically ice climbing.
In 2006, I won my first Ice World Cup and 2007 brought me my first World Champion title. Since then I’ve won the World Cup twice and hold a double World Champion title. In February 2013, after 12 seasons of Ice Climbing, I ended my active and competitive career. I wanted to concentrate on my new career as a mountain sports outfitter (Rock’n’Roll Mountain Store). But don’t worry; a comeback isn’t completely out of the question.
Although I do have a lot of fun in competitions, I large part of my motivation during the winter is to accomplish ascents of difficult waterfalls. In the summertime, I concentrate on rock climbing and I try to push my level of personal performance upwards (competitions aside). When I’m not hanging from a rock or an ice wall, you can find me in my shop, on a mountain bike, or torturing myself on a ski tour.
My relationship with Maloja is far more than a sponsoring contract or a business relation. I like to describe it as a valuable collaboration and a good friendship that I really cherish. It’s really groovy being able to bring some color to the grey alpine world with the help of Maloja. It’s great to work with a partner who is concerned about sustainability, which in turn protects the environment.
Rock’n'Roll and see you around!