The Swiss climber and mountaineer Silvan Schüpbach, known for his preference for trad tours and expeditions by fair means, has struck home. Together with Janluca Kostner, respectively with Michel Kipf and Tizian Tobler, he made the first ascents of two new mixed routes in the Bernese Oberland.

"The persistently low temperatures made me look for mountaineering destinations at low altitudes this winter," says Silvan Schüpbach. In February and March he was able to climb two large north faces that were probably still unclimbed.

Ämighorn north face, 1000 meters, M6+

"The Ämighorn north face towers impressively over the Kiental,” says Schüpbach. And for years he has been amazed that no one has probably climbed it yet. This is what he and Seilpartner wanted Janluca Kostner . change

On March 5th they set off. They make good progress in the footsteps of snow on the lower part of the wall. "A few short mixed sections took some time, but by 17 p.m. we were at the planned bivouac site." Because it's cold and still light, they climb another rope length and fix it with the rope. Schüpbach describes the sleeping place as very comfortable. The night was very uncomfortable with -20°C.

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  • Silvan-Schüpbach-Aermighorn-new-mixed route
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  • Silvan-Schüpbach-Armighorn North Face Topo

They are therefore happy to finally be able to start climbing again the next morning. The upper part of the wall turns out to be very demanding. "The obvious gully we followed wasn't a chimney as we expected, but a platy gully."

"The obvious gully we followed wasn't a chimney as we expected, but a platy gully."

Silvan Schüpbach

100 meters before the summit there are some very nice intersections that lead directly to the summit. However, Schüpbach and Kostner opt for the faster variant over snow bands to the right to the summit ridge. They then rappel down the wall, having left their bivouac gear behind. A descent via the west flank also seemed to be possible.

Silvan Schüpbach recommends repeaters to bring their own material for abseiling stations. "Ours are very minimalist, we also climbed some of them." He also emphasizes that the Ärmighorn is in the no-hunting area. "This means that snow sports are prohibited outside of defined routes, as is camping." In addition, no snow sports equipment may be used for the approach.

Nüschleten north face, 1100 meters, M4

It's five kilometers behind Silvan Schüpbach's house nut slides. For a long time he ignored the mountain. It is only on a ski tour after work that he notices the logical line through the north face: a steep gully with vertical rises and a deep couloir in the middle of the face. The regular avalanches ensure perfect snow, but also corresponding dangers.

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  • Silvan-Schüpbach-Nüschleten north face topo

On February 26, the avalanche danger is very low. Since Silvan Schüpbach at that time Young climbers from the Bernese Oberland trains, he takes the opportunity to use the wall Michel Kipp and Titian Tobler to climb. "The two boys did all the lead climbing and I concentrated on coaching." The trio really enjoys climbing. They make good progress in grippy snow, frozen grass and a few mixed pitches.

"The two boys were all lead climbers and I concentrated on coaching."

Silvan Schüpbach

"The view from the gloomy wall of the blue Lake Thun and the green pastures create a special ambience," enthuses Schüpbach. The last 300 meters of the tour are much easier and so the three stow their ropes in their backpacks.

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Credits: Cover picture Silvan Schüpbach

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