Troll Wall in Winter for Andy Kirkpatrickby Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Jan/2013
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We spoke to Andy a couple of days ago when he was still on the wall, just after topping out, but waiting for better weather before descending (nb. The team are now down and safe).
Andy told UKC:
"We're still on the wall as it's too cold and windy to descend. I can't believe no one has frostbite as it's been close to -20 for two weeks.
We climbed Suser Gjennom Harryland. The trip was a warm up for a trip to the Eiger in February to attempt the Russian route (A5).
I'd soloed 17 pitches of this route on the Troll Wall back in 2011, so knew the route very well. This time I climbed it with two non-climbers (their first big wall!) - Aleksander Gamme and Tormod Granheim (Aleksander was the Norwegian guy featured in "Across the Ice" film that won at Kendal, and Tor was the first person to ski the NF of Everest).
I've never climbed with either of them (Aleks only climbs indoors), but got a good feeling that they would work out (I led all the pitches). The conditions were super cold but mostly dry, and the climbing fun but always with varying degrees of danger due to loose rock (some pitches are very dangerous).
Main problems came from iced up rock higher on the route, requiring chipping away the ice to hook. Route finishes on the shoulder and you rap the route (so it's sort of a sport big wall). Other problems where decomposing bolts, sleeping bags full of ice, a stove that broke early on and having to free climb in such low temperatures in Sportiva Olympus Mons boots. We've been on the mountain for thirteen days and we're already talking about coming back to climb the Arch Wall next winter."
Well done on the ascent guys!
Photos: Suser Gjennom Harryland (A3 6 650m)