Swiss climber Yannick Glatthard manages the fourth redpoint ascent on the multi-pitch route Portami Via (7c + expo, 7 SL) at Wendenstöcken.

Yannick Glatthard, Switzerland's champion in ice climbing and World Cup winner in the same discipline, announces the successful redpoint ascent of a rarely-used route: Portami Via on the Wendenstöcken. The route at the Strada del Sole pillar stretches over seven pitches and challenges aspirants with difficulties to 7c +.

Anyone who thinks that this is not earth-shattering, is wrong. Because the multi-pitch routes above Gadmen are usually very adventurous hedged. Portami Via is definitely no exception. Not for nothing the US climbing pro says Tommy Caldwell about the fifth pitch, it was the scariest pitch he ever climbed (2005). Yannick, who scored the route in early August, also says the route was a serious “test piece” for him.

"This is the scariest pitch I've ever climbed"

US climber Tommy Caldwell after his inauguration in the year 2012
The said key length with its sparse hedge. (Picture Mario Heller)

Yannick Glatthard on the inspection of Portami Via on the Wendenstöcken

“I've thought a lot about this route and I was kind of excited about the name Portami Via. In 2016 I was close to trying the route. But when the time came, I got scared. This year was different, I often climbed in similar terrain and was relatively safe even in the corresponding degrees of difficulty. That's why Mario Heller and I decided to try again. The weather was perfect and we started relaxed. The definitive decision to join the route was only made at the top of the route.

Mario climbed the first two lengths and we had a certain feeling for securing the route. The lengths are sporty, but well secured. Then I was with the first 7c + where the style suddenly changed. I was mentally not yet up to the point and have messed up too much power and thus messed up an onsight visit. In the second attempt I was able to score the length and came in a super flow. Then it went into the 6c-length, which has cost us a lot of time for hedging with wedges and friends. Arriving on the next band, we had a lunch break and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere at the Wendenstöcken.

After the break, it was then in the second key length. For me it was clear that I did not want to make a second attempt in this area with this hedge. I climbed from island to island and climbed as safely as possible. Arriving at the next booth I was super happy that I could do the second key length (7c / 7c +) onsight - and I could spare myself a second try. Because I was not only happy, but nervously a bit strained. After the last two, more comfortable lengths, it went to Felix from the camping Gadmen, where we rounded off the day with a fine pizza and a cold beer. "

Picture gallery: Yannick Glatthard and Mario Heller in Portami Via

First ascent in the year 2005 by Fabio Palma, Domenico Soldarini and Matteo Della Bordella

Matthew Della Bordella and Fabio Palma rallied with the route Take me away her first experiences in developing routes from below at their technical climbing limit with as few bolts as possible. Together with Domenico Soldarini, the two invested five days in the - adventurous - setting up the route. On the Ragni della Grignetta website, a moment is described that is indicative of the history of Portami Via's development:

“After Matteo was able to decipher the most difficult part of the fifth length, he climbed 12 meters - without intermediate protection - in order to drill a stand there. He hung up in two small sky hooks and noticed that the drill was stuck and he couldn't pull it up to him. He was forced to lower himself from the two sky hooks with a single rope. "

Source: Climbing group Ragni della Grignetta

Even uglier than setting up, it was at the first red dot attempt by Matteo and Fabio with Davide Mazzucchelli and Erik Svab. Matteo fell wide, which is why the group decided to retreat. This completes the chapter of the redpoint walk for Matteo for the time being. Only in September 2016, after the redpoint ascent by other rope teams (see below), the Italian returned to face the route and thus the emotional challenge. With success. He climbed Portami Via Rotpunkt.

Tommy Caldwell climbs the route onsight

In October 2005 got the route Portami Via visit from the Swiss Ueli Steck and Simon Anthamatten. After a day of planning, the two got the first red point ascent. Ueli Steck said after the ascent: “Portami Via is a fantastic route that is set up in the best style - with few bolts!” The route remained quiet for a long time, until the US professional climber Tommy Caldwell started the route with Luca Schiera. Tommy climbed the route onsight, not being on the original line on the fifth pitch. He overlooked a bolt and climbed a 7b variation with self-made safety devices. He described the fifth length as "the most terrifying pitch he has ever climbed".

About the multi-pitch route Portami Via on the Wendenstöcken

first ascent: Matteo Della Bordella, Fabio Palma, Domenico Soldarini 2005
First redpoint ascent: Ueli Steck and Simon Anthamatten
Length: 230 meters
difficulty: 7c + (7b obl.)
The rope lengths
SL1: 38m, 3 Bolts, 6b +
SL2: 25m, 6 Bolts, 7a
SL3: 24m, 4 Bolts, 7c +
SL4: 45m, 2 Bolts, xpo 6c
SL5: 40m, 5 Bolts, expo 7c +
SL6: 35m, 2 Bolts, 6a
SL7: 30m, 3 Bolts, 6b +

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Credits: Bildmateria zVg, Information about the first ascent