The two Swiss climbers Jonas Schild and Yannick Glatthard succeed in repeating the multi-pitch route Headless Children in the Rätikon. We talked to Jonas about the red point ascent.

Announced a few days ago Jonas and Yannick your red point ascent of the route Headless Children in the Rätikon. The two climbed red point of all lengths in one day after they had first bouldered the route a few days earlier.

Lots going on in Headless Children

The two Belgians were together with the two Swiss on August 8, 2020 Nico Favresse and Sebastien Berthe in the tour. Like Jonas and Yannick, the two Belgians climbed all lengths red point, Sébastien even flash. The route has not seen as many red point ascents as on this day for a long time.

On the Headless Children route (8a +, 9SL - Top) is a 260-meter multi-pitch tour on the Schijenfluh im Rätikon. The route was set up by Marco Müller, Koni Mathis, Rüdisser Bruno in the years 1997-1999.

Fantastic rock on the Headless Children route on the Schijenfluh in the Rätikon.
Fantastic rock on the Headless Children route on the Schijenfluh in the Rätikon.

Interview with Jonas Schild

Can you briefly describe the route?
The first pitch is easy and runs along strips of grass. The second length is a nice and technical 7a +. The third length (7b +) starts with a nice flat surface and then changes in the middle to athletic climbing, the key point being a two-pull boulder at the beginning of the steep part.

The fourth length is rated 7c and consists of wide and athletic features on good lasts. The length that followed was clearly the most difficult of the route for Yannick and me. After a super nice plate passage, it gets a little steeper to a key point where you have to grab a sharp bar from under the side. After that, we practically had to be at hand so that we could sink into a pot.

The fifth pitch with a technically difficult traverse.
The fifth pitch with a technically difficult traverse.

With a height of around 175 centimeters, it should be possible to stand lower, which makes the whole thing a little easier. The 6th length (7c / +) is a wonderful traverse in the best rock. Whereby some unpleasant hand changes have to be made.

The seventh length, the key length according to the topo, begins with athletic climbing on good lasts. Then there is a short key point on uncomfortable shoulder grips followed by good grips over the overhang to the roof edge, where you have to do the “famous” mantle on good grips.

I think the mantle is pretty simple for a boulderer, but really unique with almost 300 meters of air under the bum.

The 8th length is rated 7a and only 13 meters long. For me the most difficult 7a I've ever done.

During the onsight attempt, I flew down to the stand shortly before the second hook.

They all climbed Headless Children free on the day: Nico Favresse, Sébastien Berthe, Jonas Schild and Yannick Glatthard. (Photo Damien Largeron)

It is an ultra-technical and low-friction plate at a height of around eight meters. The last length is then typically alpine climbing, although finding the way is not that easy. Wedges and friends are imperative. Otherwise, mobile security devices are not required on the tour.

The mantle in the 7th length makes the route a real gem.

By and large, Headless Children is a really unique route in very compact limestone. We discussed the difficulty of the key length (according to the topo) with Nico and Seb and we think that 8a would fit well. I don't know what the others think about it who climbed the route earlier.

Do you already have a next joint project?
Yannick and I actually planned to climb the Eiger again this summer. On our project we had to turn back pretty high up last year due to the bad weather. If the conditions allow, we would like to try again. But for us it is quite difficult to get the right moment, as we both travel a lot as aspirant mountain guides.

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Credits: Images Jonas Schild and Yannick Glatthard as well Damien Largeron