The Trad multi-pitch route TRADÜNDITION in the west face of the Dündenhorn was first climbed in 2020/2021 by Peter Von Känel and Silvan Schüpbach and on October 15, 2021 Schüpbach climbed red point for the first time. It is probably the most difficult pure trad multi-pitch route in Switzerland to date.

In spring 2020 - for known reasons - lonely places for climbing were particularly in demand. Peter and Silvan climbed the 1500 meters of altitude from Mitholz (Bernese Oberland) to the Dündenhorn several times. At first the motivation was cardio training and exploring a lonely and pristine wall. The two mountaineers immediately noticed that the west face of the Dündenhorn is something special: a wall made of the best rock and without existing climbing routes is rarely found these days.

Peter von Känel: crack climbing at its finest. (Photo Vladek Zumr)
Peter von Känel: crack climbing at its finest. (Photo Vladek Zumr)

Adventure trad climbing

After Peter and Silvan had first climbed a very nice route up to 6c, the two wanted to explore the limits a little more: In the central part of the wall, the two looked for an uncompromising line through steep, compact walls and a large overhang. It took them a whole day to complete the first pitch. On the next day of climbing, Peter and Silvan came up one pitch below the summit, with a logical crack line leading to the right in the uppermost part making it very easy to access. When rappelling down, Silvan saw the potential for more sustained difficulties with a more direct route.

“Climbing in compact limestone walls without bolts required a lot more time, logistics and skill from us. It was not uncommon for us to place several fuses at the same height and yet were not entirely sure whether this would hold. We were both 100% motivated and pushed each other. Climbing into the unknown and only laying a safety device when the rock allows it felt a bit rebellious: We were like schoolboys doing something forbidden. "

Silvan Schüpbach

In autumn Silvan came back with Simon Wahli. The “good” style took a back seat: Since the upper, heavy rope lengths are easily accessible via a system of cracks, the two of them checked out the upper key rope length from above. As a result, Silvan came back a few times, but the route was often wet. The route was not fitted with fixed ropes until September 2021 - with the help of Simon Wahli, Kaspar Grossniklaus and Lionel Steiner. Silvan used the fixed ropes to specifically check out the rope lengths for a red point ascent.

Image Vladek Zumr
Image Vladek Zumr

First ascent and first free ascent in one

On October 15.10.2021th, XNUMX the time had come: With great support from Peter, Silvan was finally able to climb the route Rotpunkt. In fact, the last pitch was only climbed on that day! The first free ascent was also the first ascent.

"Even if we left behind some fixed intermediate belays and improvised abseiling positions, this route offers repeaters a great adventure."

Silvan Schüpbach

Even if Silvan Schüpbach and Peter Von Känel left behind some fixed intermediate belays and improvised abseiling positions, this route offers repeaters a great adventure. All climbers are free to replace the fixed material or to add mobile safety equipment.

Desire for bolts free zone

The first ascent expressly want the Dündenhorn to remain a bolt-free zone. Here is the statement from the two of them:

“We would be very happy if other climbers could experience an adventure like the one we had in the future. It's great that there are so many ways where climbers can safely live out their passion. But it seems to me that in recent years a lot of rocks have been set up based on the model of a climbing hall and I wish that there are and always will be places where the mountain itself dictates whether and how the protection is.

I think that if you leave as few traces as possible and the (few) fixed material is easy to remove / replace, a route retains much of its original wildness and can be "discovered" again and again. "

Topo multi-pitch route tradition.
Topo multi-pitch route tradition.

Facts about the route tradition

First ascent: Peter Von Känel, Silvan Schüpbach 2020/21
First free ascent: Silvan Schüpbach, October 15.10.2021, XNUMX
Evaluation: 8a (7b + obl), 230m, 8SL
Material: 2x rack totem cams, set Kk, possibly hammer, NH and Peckers, possibly pieces of rope to change

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Credits: Cover picture Vladek Zumr