On the north face of the Gross Wellhorn, Silvan Schüpbach and Yannick Glatthard set up a new difficult multi-pitch route with Ying Yang (450m, ~ 8b). Actiontalk TV accompanied Silvan and Yannick on the route - and involuntarily witnessed a bad fall.

The north face of the Gross Wellhorn catches the eye: a comparison with the neighboring Scheideggwetterhorn or even with the nearby Geneva pillar of the Eiger is drawn quickly.

It is all the more astonishing that there are hardly any routes on this wall. “The first ascent took place via a techno route in the Siebziegern”, says Silvan Schüpbach. Otherwise, not much happened until the Thun climbing instructor climbed to the foot of the wall a few years ago and immediately recognized the potential for new rock climbing routes.

The imposing north face of the Gross Wellhorn.

Schüpbach is known for a mercilessly honest style of first ascent: Friends and wedges are used wherever possible - also in the lime or marble of the Wellhorn. And by the way, it is often layered downwards, as Schüpbach explains with a gesticulation: “That results in a dancing and often sideways climbing style. I like that."

The lower part of the wall on the new line named Ying Yang, (approx. 450 meters, ~ 8b) he had already set up for a long time, you rarely meet a bolt here, the difficulties range up to 7a +. Then you reach a generous band and from here on the wall changes from vertical to slightly overhanging in the orange rock.

There are only a few hooks in the key length

The crux pitch is a 40 meter long endurance hammer in area 8b, den Yannick Glatthard had drilled to the end. There are barely 10 hooks in it, that is to say: the average hook spacing is 4 -5 meters, sometimes more.

It was clear that there would be a few runouts.

Yannick Glatthard

Because especially in difficult terrain, Yannick prefers to climb until he finds a grip again from which to drill. After the key length, there is still the exit through the headwall, where the route is again mainly secured by trad, including an off-width chimney. The route was completed in the summer of 2020.

In August Silvan Schüpbach succeeded together with Matteo Della Bordella the first red point ascent. They first climbed the fixed ropes to the key length to check them out. After they both had the red point ascent surprisingly quickly in the bag, they first got out through the headwall, but had no friends with them.

Silvan Schüpbach after the red point ascent of the key length of Ying Yang on the Gross Wellhorn.

Nonetheless, they climbed cleanly to the top (!), Rappelled down and also did the part from the wall foot to the central band. The next day Yannick joined them, he too wanted to do the red point ascent. His plan was to crack the hardest length first. He almost got her on the second try. In the third attempt, his foot slipped away and he was caught in the fixed rope.

Yannick's foot slipped away. You'd better watch what happened next in the video.

In any case, the complete red point ascent was no longer possible for Yannick. To do this, he climbed cleanly through the upper part of the key length again. “To regain some trust. I don't know whether I would have had the motivation to come back to this wall when I know exactly how badly it dumped me on this pitch, ”he summed up afterwards.

Video: Silvan Schüpbach and Yannick Glatthard on the Gross Wellhorn

More videos from Actiontalk TV

In the second issue of BETA there are: Interviews with Adam Ondra and Jakob Schubert on the topic of 9c climbing routes // Assessments by climbing physio Klaus Isele // Criticism of the Belgian climbers Nico Favresse and Sébastien Berthe // News from the Eiger // Recordings of a new adventurous Route on the Wellhorn north face.
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