24 Dec New route on the East face of Poincenot
Roger Schäli and Simon Gietl of the SALEWA alpineXtrem Team have just achieved a first ascent of a route on the Poincenot east face in Patagonia. The two extreme mountaineers called the route “Fühle dich stärker aber nicht unsterblich“ (“feel stronger, but not immortal“). The parameters are 600 metres in four days; alpine style through the enormous bigwall, graded at A3+, 6C, M5.
The extremely demanding route goes along the Whillans ramp at the start and then runs vertically up the great Poincenot rock wall. Three combined rope pitches later and arrived at the exposed recess where the two climbers had barely enough space to pitch their tent.
From that point onwards, the challenge was to climb the precarious 20-metre-high slab of sheer, flawless rock. That alone took Roger and Simon fifteen hours of pure effort, physical strength and the aid of two cliff. When they finally arrived at a crack in the rock, they secured themselves before starting a 10-metre-high pendular traverse into an increasingly icy crevice. Leaving the airy headwall, they continued on into mixed terrain.
After four days of climbing vertically, uncertain of success, the two mountaineers got the whiff of the summit. They quickly got over the final two rope pitches and were overwhelmed to reach the top of the Poincenot.
Before of “Fühle dich stärker aber nicht unsterblich“, the duo climbed the Californian’s route at Fitz Roy.
Last August Roger Schäli together with Robert Jasper has done the first free ascent of the Japanese Direct Route on Eiger North Wall ; in the same month, Simon Gietl repeated La Perla Preziosa at Sass Dla Crusc, a 375 metri, 7c+ trad route FA in 2008 by Tondini, Zandegiacomo and Sartori.
Colin Haley Whillans route – solo
Photo: Salewa Eigernord.ch