Eternal Flame is one of the most difficult high-altitude big wall routes. Only a few dare to think of a free ascent. Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher made their dream come true and became the third rope team to free climb the line in just six days.

After the infamous Big Wall route Eternal Flame after the first ascent in 1989 had to wait twenty years to be completely free climbed, a good decade later it experiences two free ascents within a very short time. To Edu Marin's hardcore 28 day single summit push could too on July 23, 2022 Barbara Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher successfully from the south face of Trango Tower get out.

«Eternal Flame – A dream come true! An incredible line through the breathtaking 6240m high Trango Tower.»

Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher
Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher manage the third free ascent of Eternal Flame at the Trango Tower. Picture: Paolo Sartori

Eternal Flame: Fall-free and Flash-style

Probably the most famous climbing couple in the world managed the third free ascent of Eternal Flame (650m, 7c +) from July 18th to 23rd. In these six days they were able to freely climb all 24 pitches of the route. The two made their ascent without a single fall – an achievement that no other rope team had ever managed on this route before them.

650 meters, 24 rope lengths, difficulties up to 7c+ and all of that at an altitude of 6000 meters: That is Eternal Flame at the Nameless Tower. Picture: Paolo Sartori

«A succession of 5-star sequences rarely seen before, with the crux being above 6000m. What a journey!"

Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher

Apart from the first two pitches, which they had already free-climbed and flash-style on their last expedition in summer 2021, all pitches can be considered onsight flashes.

Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher took turns leading the way, so they each led a pitch. The four heavy key pitches (7c to 7c+) both climbed ahead. They placed all mobile belays in the lead.

"We're both exhausted and burned from the sun, but we're overjoyed to have climbed this iconic line without falling."

Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher
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Patience pays off at the Trango Tower

So they worked their way up the south face of the Trango Tower (6240m) in six days and freed each rope length in succession. On the second, third and fourth days of their attempt, they made limited progress as the warm sun melted the snow and ice, leaving the route wet.

Babsi Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher decided to wait and their patience was rewarded with good conditions on day five. On the sixth and final day, only three easy pitches separated them from the summit.

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Credits: Cover picture Paolo Sartori