Silvan Schüpbach and Dimitri Vogt were able to free-climb the Muir Wall route from April 25th to 30th, 2017. During 6 days in the 1000m high wall of El Capitan, the two Swiss climbed all 33 pitches up to 5.13c (8a +).
The Muir Wall is considered a very challenging route. The smooth, sloping rock of El Capitan requires not only appropriate finger power, but also a sophisticated technique and a good morale. The route was 2001 climbed for the first time by Tommy Caldwell and Nick Sagar. Since then, this has only been accomplished by very few cliques, although it is a very aesthetic and obvious route.
Winter had a firm grip on the Muir Wall
When the two climbers arrived in Yosemite Valley on April 11, 2017, the chances of a successful ascent seemed very slim. The winter had the valley firmly under control, snow and meltwater made the route unclimbable. Nevertheless, the Swiss rope team struggled through the lower part of the wall. They explored the difficult pitches and created water deposits thanks to the meltwater.
Everyone contributed their share to the success
At the end of April, a 10-day period of good weather reached Yosemite. There was enough time for both of them to let the wall dry and start the decisive attempt to climb through. "It was clear to us that we would stay on the wall until both of them had cleared every pitch," says Silvan Schüpbach convinced. And the Silvan-Dimitri team worked brilliantly. "While I quickly found the solutions for the hard bouldering areas, Silvan was able to contribute his experience in crack climbing," says Dimitri about the successful ascent of the Muir Wall. Problems caused the two of them an unexpected rainy day, which forced them to inactivity in the portaledge. Unforgettable was the 60m chimney (The Shaft), which the two could only conquer with the greatest willpower and generous abrasions.
About Silvan Schüpbach (34)
Silvan is a climbing instructor and visits the Yosemite Valley for the third time. The experienced Bigwall climber from Thun works at the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC).
About Dimitri Vogt (20)
Dimitri is a member of the national squad Swiss Climbing of the SAC. The young talent has set the bar high with his first bigwall! The prospective geology student lives in Worben (BE).
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Posted by LACRUXmagazin on Wednesday, 3th May 2017
Credits: picture Silvan Schüpbach