LOWA ACTIVE Team Jacqueline Fritz
With one leg, two crutches and four paws across the Alps
A total of 312 kilometres and an elevation gain of 35,000 metres. These were the distances that Jacqueline Fritz covered during her great adventure in 2016. She spent 30 days on the journey, together with her dog, Loui, and the camerawoman Leila. One other special companion went along as well: the two crutches that Jacqueline uses because she has just one leg.
While others may have written off mountaineering as impossible, Jacqueline views it as simply a source of increased motivation. No matter whether taking on snowy passages, narrow ridges or via ferrata, the young woman with the iron will conquers every challenge and doesn’t let herself get intimidated by any complication.
She takes this approach not because she wants simply to make a name for herself.
“I wasn’t trying to prove something to someone with this tour, ” she says. “I just wanted to complete my project. I would be really happy if I helped other people with disabilities to find the courage to make their own dreams come true.” In her work life, Jacqueline runs her full-service advertising agency in Bad Bergzabern, a town in southwestern Germany, while she plans her next big adventure. Climbing is a sport that has really caught her eye. A combination of mountaineering, canoeing, climbing and camping is her goal for the future.
Facts & figures
- Landau i. d. Pfalz
- Home base:
- graphic designer
- Favourite climbing site:
- Lake Garda mountains
- Local mountain:
- 1,74 m
- 57 kg
How did you come up with the project idea?
“The background: When I was 15, I lost one of my legs following unsuccessful surgery to repair a torn ligament. After spending a long time in the hospital, I was really motivated to do something and was looking for new challenges. I had a chance to do a whole lot of hiking during a week-long visit to the Allgäu region of southern Germany. This is where I came up with the idea for my first project: crossing the Alps as a one-legged individual on crutches. As far as I know, no one had tried anything like that before. I wanted to take on the challenge and decided to try a longer tour of about 350 km and an elevation change of 35,000 metres that led through and over the Alps in July 2016. The plan was to cover the entire distance on crutches. I planned to avoid cable cars entirely.”
Why is athletic activity so important to you?
“Endurance, ambition and the joy of sports are very important to me, just like nature. I have an unbelievable drive in me and unbeatable stamina. I set a goal, and I fiercely work to reach it. Athletic successes mean a lot to me. But I also think about positive growth and personal progress.”
How much more do you enjoy life than other people possibly do?
“At times, I conduct experiments on myself to see just what a handicapped individual can accomplish. Many people do not trust themselves to do extreme things or fear that something bad could happen to them. I have a different take on things. Because I have gone through so many bad times and sacrificed so much, I enjoy my life and live in the here and now.”