The Swiss professional climber Roger Schäli manages the first free ascent of the difficult multi-pitch route Merci la Vie on the Eiger north face.

Opened almost a year ago Roger Schäli zusammen mit Nina Caprez and the Belgian Sean Villanueva a new difficult route on the Geneva pillar of the Eiger north face: Merci la Vie. The route is a 10-year project by Roger Schäli, which is to the left of the route Deep Blue Sea through the left central part of the Geneva Pillar.

Teamed up for the first ascent of Merci la Vie: Roger Schäli, Nina Caprez and Sean Villanueva. (Image Severin Karrer / Mountainfeeling.ch)
Teamed up for the first ascent of Merci la Vie: Roger Schäli, Nina Caprez and Sean Villanueva. (Image Severin Karrer / Mountainfeeling.ch)

In the summer of 2019, Nina Caprez and Sean Villanueva joined the Bernese to finish setting up the project. The three had to postpone a red point ascent to the 2020 season.

Roger Schäli is the first to free climb Merci la Vie

Originally, Roger Schäli wanted to do the red point ascent together Nina and Sean tackle. Nina was with us at the beginning of the season Cédric Lachat im Rätikon and Sean otherwise absorbed as well. So Roger began with other rope partners, including Anne-Gita Scheibler, Mario Heller and
Fred Thyler, first attempts on the route. To his surprise, he made rapid progress and was able to redpoint the route a few weeks ago.

I am overwhelmed that I can manage the first free ascent of the Merci la Vie route on the Eiger north face.

Roger Schäli

Nina Caprez at the start next week

Next week, Roger Schäli will start the route again - but then with the mission, Nina Caprez to support. It too becomes the route Merci la Vie tackle and hope for a red point ascent.

Roger Schäli in the Route Merci la Vie on the Geneva pillar of the Eiger north face. (Picture Sam Silba)

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Video: Climbing the route Merci La Vie on the Eiger north face

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Credits: Cover picture Severin Karrer / Mountainfeeling.ch

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