The term of the six great north faces of the Alps has existed since the 1930s: Grosse Zinne, Piz Badile, Eiger, Matterhorn, Grandes Jorasses and Petit Dru. From east to west, Schäli and Gietl ticked off one north wall after the other in just two weeks at the beginning of September, relying solely on their own muscle strength. In an exclusive conversation with Roger, we talk about the project and his future plans.

After completing the project, Roger Schäli called it “probably the best experience” he has ever had as a mountaineer. We wanted to know more about it and talked to Roger exclusively about his experiences, delicate moments and future plans.

Details about the project

Actually, the two wanted to start in spring, but the turbulent weather with a lot of precipitation and the still tense corona situation spoke in favor of postponing the project to autumn. At the beginning of September the big pinnacle started, the north face of which they climbed via the Comici route.

Gietl and Schäli then followed the Alpine ridge to the west using their own muscle power: on racing bikes, hiking or paragliding. They climbed Piz Badile via the Cassin route, followed by the Eiger (Le chant du cygne), Matterhorn (Schmid route), Petit Dru (Allain Leininger) and Grand Jorasses (Linceul).

They only needed 14 days, whereby the whole project lasted 17 days (3 days of rest or bad weather). However, due to the weather, they could not climb the planned route everywhere (the Heckmair would have been planned on the Eiger and the Walker pillar on the Grand Jorasses).

Roger Schäli and Simon Gietl followed this route along the Alps.

The project in numbers:

  • 30.770 vertical meters in the ascent
  • 29.470 vertical meters in the descent - partly also with a paraglider 
  • 1.011 kilometers on a racing bike
  • The entire project period extended over 18 days.
  • Roger and Simon mastered the specific challenge in 14 days
  • The remaining 4 days were due to a rest day and bad weather days with rain and snow (over 2.000 meters)

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Credits: John Thornton (cover picture)