Professional alpinists Thomas Huber, Stephan Siegrist and Roger Schaeli are securing the so far second visit to the legendary route "Metanoia" by Jeff Lowe on the Eiger north face.
The report by Roger Schaeli
In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) set out to climb one of the most legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, fascinated by the unique history of the line, immediately inspired Siegrist of the plan to climb "Metanoia". Even Schaeli was quickly convinced of the idea.
First attempt failed
The three professional climbers started their first attempt in the week before Christmas. Due to the weather conditions, however, they had to break this off about 70 meters to the left of the central belt after their bivouac. A second attempt on the 28.12.16 had to be interrupted shortly after the onset of a storm. On 29.12.16 Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli continued their second attempt to repeat the "Metanoia". They bivouacked again about 70 meters to the left of the central band and continued the route the next day. On the evening of the 30.12.16, the three professional athletes will reach the "Metanoia" exit. They were able to secure the first itinerary of the route.
Legendary route from Jeff Lowe
â € œMetanoiaâ € 1991 was single-handedly committed by American exception climber Jeff Lowe in the winter in nine days. Lowe is known to have climbed 1979 on a solo tour of the south wall of the Ama Dablam. In addition, he was able to reach 1978 the highest point of the Latok I to date. To do this, 1000 first ascents worldwide are in his account. Lowe has been instrumental in the development of the first ice screw and cams, inventing the global difficulty scale for ice and mixed routes. He brought the sport climbing championships to the US and opened the famous Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.
When the 1991 personally stricken Lowe wants to solo climb a direct line through the Eiger's north face, he wants to pay a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism, who tackled the largest alpine walls with primitive equipment and engineering, without drilling hooks. Lowe says, â € œThatâ € ™ s why I climbed without bolts. In the hope that "metanoia" will be an example of what you can do without them. "
After nine days, Lowe arrives at the exit under the most adverse conditions. He defied storms and proved his skill and stamina. In the suffering afflicted life of Jeff Lowe, this ascent was a kind of path to enlightenment. He got out of the north face of the Eiger with a completely new attitude to life. He called his route â € œMetanoia, â € meaning in Greek, â € œInternal conversion, gaining a new world viewâ €. Lowe says, â € œMetanoiaâ € has rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life is draining away. As a result, I have become more compassionate and have a deeper connection to my family, friends, climbers, humanity, the planet, and the universe.â € In his route, Lowe found his current attitude to life to meet all challenges with courage and joy , He has not lost this until today, although Lowe suffers for about 16 years ago from a neurodegenerative disease that binds him to a wheelchair.
Jeff Lowe is happy about the repetition
Jeff Lowe was pleased with the first repetition of his route: â € œThomas Huber called me and told me that he, Roger Schaeli, and Stephan Siegrist repeated the â € œMetanoiaâ €. I am very happy and grateful that they found the route hard, bold, very beautiful and visionary. That she confirms the quality of "Metanoia" is very gratifying and makes me modest as well. The best part is that Thomas understands what I wanted to show with the route. I wanted to set an example of how mountaineers can progress in an environmentally friendly manner that also honors the spirit of extreme alpinism. "
Metanoia set new standards in alpinism
Thomas Huber says to Lowe's "Metanoia": "He was alone, could only rely on himself and never had been in the wall before. After every hard passage that lay behind me, I put myself in his position. His fight went like a movie before my eyes: It is in principle madness, what he has done at that time! Â € Huber says further: â € œJeff had proved with â € œMetanoiaâ € that mastered with the heart impossible challenges can be. He has set new standards in alpinism with his visit. This metanoia, the new view of the world and the attitude towards life, help Jeff today to face his serious illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude inspires me for my life and the three of us, Steff, Roger and I are grateful to have lived Metanoia. "
Also Stephan Siegrist is impressed by the performance of Lowe. He says: "Such a tour in such a wall alone with the equipment of Dazumal! It's just a life crisis. "The" Metanoia "was a special tour for him, too:" Before I crossed the Eiger North Face for the first time with just 20 years, Jeff Lowe had already completed this impressive tour. The Spectacular Ascent and the following media coverage accompanied me with awe. "To climb the route on her own was particularly important to Siegrist: â € œAfter 37 ascents and three first ascents in the Eiger North Face, the route â € œMetanoiaâ € was a token. For me one of the highlights of my 37 ascents in the Eiger North Face. "
Roger Schaeli adds, â € œMetanoiaâ € was my biggest adventure with the coolest team I was allowed to climb on the Eiger North Face! The route inspired me to seek more alpine challenges. My greatest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. The â € œMetanoiaâ € is really tough! Â €
Lowe went through the "Metanoia" 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli placed a 8mm stand-down hook on a stand as they were too risky for a rope crash. In another rope length in front of the Hinterstoisser crossing, they used an already set 10mm drilling hook. This was probably attached to filming the documentary film "Metanoia".
Picture and text: www.rogerschaeli.ch