Yannick Glatthard and Michal Pitelka remove bolts from the Gran Paradiso route on the Wendenstöcken

At the beginning of the month, the first-time visitors to Jörg Andreas communicated theirs new route on the Wendenstöcken in the Bernese Oberland (Gran Paradiso, 8c), A few days later, the two locals Yannick Glatthard and Michal Pitelka removed the bolts. They sharply criticize the drilling style of the installers.

We received the message from German climber Jörg Andreas at the end of September full of enthusiasm: “Jörg Andreas rotpunkt climbed all pitches. Gran Paradiso is probably one of the most difficult multi-pitch routes in the Swiss Alps. ”A few days later we drove Yannick Glatthard and Michal Pitelka into the area to look at the route. The two locals were bothered by the drilling style used and removed all bolts of the Gran Paradiso route.

The two criticize the Erstbegeher around Joerg Andreas sharp for their drilling style. The route is "drilled up" with hook spacings of 50 centimeters and does not fit into the area of ​​the turning sticks, which is known for its wide hook spacings. In addition, the line runs too close to the classic line of the route Zahir, We contacted both sides and asked for an opinion.

Yannick Glatthard on the clearance of the route Gran Paradiso at the Wendenstöcken

LACRUX: Together with Michal Pitelka, you dismantled the route Gran Paradiso, that is, removed the hooks. What induced you to do that?
Yannick: Already in the year 2018, I was alerted to the fact that a new route is set up and that it runs very close to other routes. The route is in a bad style and should be removed. Of course I was ringing and wanted to look at the route. I lost sight of the route and other projects intervened. When we realized that Top was published, the alarm bells ringed with us. We were worried that the route would be repeated and that style of furnishing could be established in the area. We do not want route clutter and drill hole distances like in a techno route. With the removal of Gran Paradiso Let us give a clear signal. This route style does not fit in the Wendenstöcke.

The Instagram article by Yannick Glatthard

LACRUX: Did you talk to the explorers before or after?
Yannick: No. The route already existed and it was clear to us that Joerg Andreas behind his route and also behind the drilling style. From that point of view, a discussion would not have led to any goal. We met Jörg in the parking lot the morning before removing the bolts and told him we would look at the route. At the time we were not sure if we would remove the route or not. But sure, we approached the route critically. And our uneasy feeling has quickly confirmed when rappelling.

LACRUX: According to comments in your instagram post, the developers around Jörg Andreas have left 2018 waste in the area during the summer. What exactly happened? Can you tell me more?
Yannick: This comment is out there. Whether the garbage really is from the editors of Gran Paradiso I did not know.

LACRUX: Joerg Andreas told us that he was shocked by the aggression of the local climbers who are against him and his friends. What do you say?
Yannick: On instagram, there were certainly very critical comments. It is important to emphasize that this is not a personal attack on Jörg. It's about the thing, that is the route he has set up. In our opinion, with the route the rock was defaced.

Didier berthod once said that the rock should not change so much that it becomes more accessible to the climber. Much more must the climber get stronger in order to cope with the rock. In our opinion, that is not the case with Gran Paradiso.

Our action has nothing to do with "aggression". But on the contrary. I had a hard time removing the hooks, knowing that the developers were investing a lot of time in the project. But I knew that it was for a good cause and that you had to make a statement.

Joerg Andreas on the removal of the Bohrhaken from his established route Gran Paradiso

After the instagram post of Yannick Glatthard Other climbers commented critically on the first goers. The professional climber Cédric Lachat comments in the article by Yannick, his fixed rope is from Joerg Andreas been removed and Tobias Suter writes that first-time visitors would have left garbage in the area. LACRUX has asked Jörg Andreas to comment on the removal of his route and the criticisms made. Enclosed his opinion.

"As the first ascent of Gran Paradiso, we find the behavior of Yannick Glatthard and Michal Pitelka completely inadequate. The unauthorized removal of the hook without first seeking a conversation has something of the "climbing police" and the creation of facts in itself. A clarifying discussion would have been within reach. On the same weekend, I was one of the first to climb the area with locals to climb the “La Svizzera” route. We even met Yannik and Michal on Saturday morning at the parking lot on the Wendenalp. On Sunday (we were in La Svizzera) the hooks were removed from Gran Paradiso and placed theatrically on our car. A few trophy pictures for the cool Instagram appearance were of course taken.

The route Gran Paradiso comes from the summers 2018 and 2019. It is located between Zahir and Jednika. The route sets off sufficiently from Zahir and is never closer than five meters, in the upper part usually between ten and twenty meters to the left of said line. I know Zahir myself very well from my own repetition.

Probably the hardest route in the Swiss Alps: Gran Paradiso (8c) on the Wendenstöcken
Jörg Andreas at the first ascent of the route Gran Paradiso.

To clarify one thing in advance, Gran Paradiso does not contain a single drilled or struck handle. This claim is simply untrue. There are a few broken scales and flakes that came to us at the first ascent. You can not prevent something like that and these outbreaks leave demolition edges.

The route was first completed with the help of cliffs and skyhooks. Where this method did not work due to the closed rock structure, an auxiliary hole was worked from the hook to get the drill hook in place. The statement that the route contains from top to bottom all 50cm auxiliary holes is just as drawn to the hair as the thing with the artifice.

All other allegations against us are even more abstruse. Garbage, that is old material sacks, old fixed ropes and plastic bottles, we already found in July 2018 at the entrance band of Zahir. During our first ascent time typically hung a Haulbag at the entrance, which we on the departure - with the garbage of other aufpimpt - back down.

Cedric Lachat In September we met 2019 at Wendenalp together with the film crew. He told us about his severed rope and showed us photos of it. However, this must be done before we arrive. In any case, we have never seen his said rope.

Jörg Andreas in the key of the route Gran Paradiso.

Finally, a few words on the first-go ethics of difficult routes in relation to Gran Paradiso.

In many routes in the border area, as well as in the Gran Paradiso, the climbing difficulty and not the crafting operational ethics of drilling is in the foreground. This is also due to the fact that there are wall passages in the degrees of difficulty that are climbable, but which offer hardly any possibilities to fix themselves via Skyhook. But what does the firstcomer do now in such wall passages? Quite clear: In such passages, he climbs in unknown and unpainted 8b + terrain times fast five or six feet high and looks, if not at the top but a inguinal ligament comes. So the alpine fairytale story.

In fact, in such terrain, every first-time hunter "chews" in his own way. The one crosses out, climbs a bow and hangs from the top first a fixed rope to check out purely. The other one likes to "bite" himself more often and beat the redundant intermediate dowels into the borehole after a successful conquest. Just this "Erstbegehungstechnik" the eliminated intermediate hook, I know from more than 20 years of alpine route collection enough. I do not want to give any examples, but they are enough. The repeaters, who, when bouldering such lengths, look at the pure dowels far above the last hook, look forward to it.

In Gran Paradiso, despite the sheer difficulty, we took care to make it very accessible. With regard to the first ascent, we have never claimed to have implemented a particularly noble or heroic ethic. The sporting challenge of climbing was clearly in the foreground for us. We do not have to prove anything to anyone with the first ascent. Fortunately, we are out of old age.

A real loss, however, seems to us that the Grand Paradiso would have been a sporting treat for outstanding climbers. The daily ascent of the five 8'ter lengths also seemed like a damn cool thing to others, stronger climbers. This is not the case anymore. Thanks to the heroes from the Haslital."

For the Erstbegeherteam, Jörg Andreas

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Credits: Titelbild Yannick Glatthard


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