Roger Schäli and Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll make their first redpoint ascent in one day of the heavy multi-pitch La Vida es Silbar tour (7c +, 900m, 25SL) in the north face of the Eiger.
On the 23. July, the Swiss could Roger Schäli and the Belgian Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll secure a historical entry in the climbing books. They managed the first redpoint ascent within a day of the heavy, suspended multi-pitch route La Vida es Silbar in the famous north face of the Eiger. The tour was 1999 by Daniel Anker and Stephan Siegrist set up. 2003 then followed the red dot by Stephan Siegrist and Ueli Steck, 2016 Roger Schäli and New Zealander Mayan Smith-Gobat scored the second red point in the climbing history. They needed three days to do this.
Since then it was a great dream of Schäli to make the tour red dot in one day. At first it seemed illusory, but the Swiss professional alpinist did not let go of his vision. La Vida es Silbar is a 900 meter 27 pitch route. It runs over a steep and long pier, making it one of the most demanding alpine routes on the Eiger. It starts at the Stollenloch and runs over the Rote Fluh to the Częstochowa. It requires the entire climbing repertoire from its observers, because their course leads through various climbs including small-friction plates and explosive key points. Exposure requires not only physical but also mental strength from the climbers.
In summer 2019 it was time. On the 23. In July Roger Schäli and Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll set out in the dark to climb La Vida es Silbar one day. The two professional climbers wanted to use the tour as a practice climbing for a large expedition to the Himalayas in autumn. It turned out that both are an incredibly good team. With a lot of fire in their biceps and incredibly good mood they climbed the first pitches red dot. They climb loose and free, the good mood of the two almost gives them wings. Even a short mental blockade overcome the two thanks to their tireless good mood and a fabulous team spirit!
In the last light of the day, Roger Schäli and Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll are standing on top of the Czar buttress. They were the first climbers in history to score a one-day redpoint walk on La Vida es Silbar. But that's not all. The two made themselves to the summit of the Eiger, as Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll has never been up there. After a bivouac on the south side of the Eiger and a serenade on the legendary flute of Sean, we went back to the valley.
"This was by far my best free climbing day on the Eiger! A big dream came true for me. I could not ask for a better rope partner than Sean. And his flute, of course! Many thanks to all who supported me and showed me patience and understanding. "Roger Schäli
Villanueva O'Driscoll adds, "When Roger called me, all I asked was: where and when? What a privilege to climb my first tour on the Eiger with someone who can call the wall home. He was under a great deal of pressure, he has already climbed the tour. He knew he could do it, the conditions were good and he had a climbing partner. Now all he had to do was pull himself together and pull the thing through. I could see that he felt he did not have many opportunities like this. I, on the other hand, had no great expectations, I just wanted to support Roger and do my best. I was very impressed with how he got together mentally and climbed all pitches redpoint. He always called me the Beta with a contagious motivation, it was like he was controlling me remotely. I was able to climb totally free and without mistakes thanks to his good mood and the fact that I had no great expectations. It just felt magical. It is certainly a route that should be taken seriously. It's a long tour, the difficult pitches are challenging and the "lighter ones" are tough, with lots of loose rock and long run-outs. The climb was a real adventure and it was a great day on the mountain! "
Roger Schäli and Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll during the ascent of La Vida es Silbar on the Eiger
Important note: Watch the video until the end with the flute concert by Sean.
The topo of the route La Vida es Silbar on the Eiger
Also Nina Caprez commits the route rotpunkt in one day
A few days after Roger Schäli and Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll, Swiss professional climber Nina Caprez and Aymeric Clouet joined the route. Nina scored within 20 hours the pitch 1 to 23. Once there, the two had to turn back because of the emerging darkness. The last two lengths (6b and 6a) did not climb Nina anymore.
"In the route demands a solid climbing level and a lot of experience in the alpine area. Great respect for the first riders of this route and all those who climbed the routes. "Nina Caprez
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Credits: text PD, footage Nicolas Hojac