Robert Jasper has redpointed the first ascent of a dry tooling route at his local climbing area of Eptingen in Switzerland. The route, now called Iron Man, is a 40 metre endurance climb, a link-up of existing routes at this very steep mixed climbing venue.
Robert Jasper climbing his new dry-tool route Iron Man (M/D14+)
UKC News, Feb 2012
© Frank Kretschmann
Jasper has been at the forefront of mixed climbing for well over a decade, back in 1997 he established Trait de lune (M8 +) which became the first route of the grade in Europe. Robert continued to add new mixed-lines in Eptingen. In 2003 he climbed Batman (M12) and in 2009 he added Superman (M13 +), which exits the super-steep rock section via a free hanging icicle..
However, Jasper was thwarted in his search for icy conditions on his new route Iron Man, and instead opted to climb it as a pure dry-tool route, choosing to give it a M/D grade, meaning Mixed/Dry.
"Part of dealing with climate change and more and more unpredictable weather conditions is about being more creative. A grade like 'M / D' for 'Mixed Dry' makes probably more sense than constantly flying around the world in search of ice. I look at dry-tooling as the ideal winter-training and it also makes a lot of fun."