Robert Jasper climbing his new dry-tool route Iron Man (M/D14+)
UKC News, Feb 2012
© Frank Kretschmann Last week we reported on German climber Robert Jasper's ascent of a new drytooling line Iron Man. The route, at Eptingen in Switzerland is a 40 metre endurance route and Robert first climbed it when it was devoid of Ice due to the dry European winter.
Now the route has formed with considerable amounts of ice and Robert has reclimbed it, however does it really make any difference? Does the route need ice to be justified? The world of hard mixed/drytooling is for many climbers a strange discipline, as it is like sport climbing with ice axes, but for Robert it is great fun and an excellent way to train.
Here we have a video of Robert on the route, as well as a bit more information from Robert in a mini interview.
Robert on the crag:
"The Eptingen waterfall area is an ice, mixed and drytooling area with no summer sport climbing routes because of the wetness of the rock and its bad quality. For over 20 years it has been used only for ice/mixed climbing just like the famous Ueschenen in Kandersteg (CH) or Vail in Colorado, Ouray (USA) etc."
Robert on the route:
"I first climbed the route in "D" (dry) conditions because of the warm winter. Now it was surprisingly very cold and I repeated the route again on the 14th of Feb in "M" (mixed) conditions with about 35% ice moves and over the ice exit. Itīs a really great mixed line at the moment. But also in dry conditions itīs great, itīs a lot of fun and good training for alpine projects, I don't know if people understand what I mean!"
Robert on the development and different styles of climbing:
"Every discipline in Alpinism is more or less artificial and needs technical support. Today we are lucky with the modern equipment we have. Should we go back to using leather boots and "Lodenhut" [a felt hat] as the great pioneers such as Anderl Heckmair and the first ascent of the Eiger North Face in 1938?
From an 8000 meter peak to A5 artificial climbing or F8c+ or a boulder problem climbed with modern climbing shoes, it's only a question for climbers of how much 'technical support' we need from our gear to manage our aims. Without this support from technical equipment it would not be possible for a human to climb these hard routes.
Since the beginning of alpinism people have discussed about the 'sense' of climbing and its best style. I think everybody should be tolerant and listen more to each others ideas, and we should respect other people as well as the natural environment. Each of us should search for the best possible style in each discipline of alpinism, in rock, ice, mixed/dry tooling and also on 8000 metre peaks.
But of course, real natural climbing is only if you go for a deep water solo naked without your climbing shoes and chalk, leaving behind only footprints. And if you can go sport climbing to Thailand without using a plane, then you are Superman! :-)"