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NEWS: Tom Ballard Completes 6 North Faces Mission

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 UKC News 20 Mar 2015
Tom at the summit of the Macintyre-Colton route, 3 kbWith his recent ascent of the Eiger, British alpinist Tom Ballard, son of the late Alison Hargreaves, has completed his mission to solo all of the 6 classic north faces of the alps in one winter season.

Tom, who is a talented alpine and mixed climber and has repeated many of the hardest drytooling routes in Europe, has soloed all these faces, occasionally self-belaying on some sections of some routes, over the last three months.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=69597

In reply to UKC News:

Nice one Tom! Really glad to see you've come a long way since we climbed together in 2011. This is seriously impressive stuff and can't wait to see what else you get up to. This is another proof what drytooling can do for you on the bigger faces in the Alps ;-)
In reply to Ramon Marin:

Hi Ramon, I've sent you a PM.

Cheers,

Jack
 Mr. K 20 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

Amazing stuff! Looking forward to hearing more about this.
 beardy mike 20 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

EPIC. Got to rank as one of the hardest series of climbs achieved solo...
 Skyfall 20 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

This is a great achievement, so well done to Tom. I wonder how Tom felt when he topped out on the 6th face - I suspect a real mix of emotions.

I have to say that it does make me feel a bit sad all over again for the loss of Alison Hargreaves. She died on K2 not long after I'd taken up climbing (I was a late starter, albeit 20 years or so ago now) and it had quite an impact on me at the time.
 HeMa 20 Mar 2015
In reply to beardy mike:

> EPIC. Got to rank as one of the hardest series of climbs achieved solo...

Well, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that Profits solo of the 3 hardest (Eiger, Matterhorn and Jorasses) in 24h is more stellar... and that happened in '87. Granted he 'cheated' by getting helicoptered off from the top and to the base of the next one or something like that.
In reply to UKC News:

Oh, and I'd just like to say Congratulations to Tom!

What a hero.

Jack

 beardy mike 20 Mar 2015
In reply to HeMa:

You reckon? The Badile by the cassin in winter weighs in at M6/7. Just that on it's own is pretty outrageous to be soloing... I know Profit was doing something radically different at the time and new, but he had transport set up, a lifetimes experience and had climbed the routes before. To me those ascents were in a similar vein to El Cap speed ascents where you have the routes pretty dialed. I can't imagine there have been many true onsight solo ascents of the Colton Mac - Toms just walked up to the face and done it... no practice. That's a fairly major thing to me...
 HeMa 20 Mar 2015
In reply to beardy mike:

> You reckon?

Yep, I do. Trying to upkeep such speeds makes you much more prone to err, and even on familiar ground and error in soloing is rather serious. Even with a chopper, the transport times do add up, a few hours per transport I reckon. So sub 20h for all the 3 routes in total.

And add the fact that it Profit did this over 25 years ago.

But I'm not pissing in Toms cereals, and do congratulate him on a stellar accomplishment.
In reply to UKC News:

Well done Tom. Really impressive. A season to remember, that's for sure.
 manumartin 20 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

Fantastic - Chapeau - Nothing but admiration for this incredible achievement
 Josh Willett 20 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

Really impressive, congratulations!
 goose299 20 Mar 2015
In reply to UKC News:

what an achievement
In reply to UKC News:

Awesome!

Well done Tom.

Alison was an inspiration and something of a hero to me.

As someone else said, I was a little emotional reading this news.

In reply to beardy mike:

Out of interest, I think this may be the first British winter ascent of the north face of the Piz Badile. Am I right?

I hope so.

 beardy mike 08 Apr 2015
In reply to Charlie Burbridge:

Dunno, it's certainly the second ascent overall of the Cassin solo in winter. Not sure about the face in general...

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