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Huber Brothers and Siegrist - Antarctic Adventure

The Huber Brothers Alexander and Thomas, and Stephen Siegrist have made three major first ascents in Antarctica.

Climbing in the Queen Maud Land area, the team accompanied by cameraman Max Reichel, first climbed a very difficult new route on the 750m high west face of Holtanna, creating Ice Age (24 pitches, E2, A4). Initial thoughts of free climbing the route were dashed due to extremely low temperatures.

The team encountered an average temperature of -30°c, however this dropped to -50°c at some points. The Huber's also commented on their website:

"But sometimes [the temperature went] up to -5°c - T-shirt weather!"

The Hubers then followed this up with an easier new route on Holtanna's North Buttress that went entirely free; Skywalk had difficulties up to around E2. This marked the first free ascent of Holtanna.

To top off their trip, the team managed another first ascent. Writing on the Huberbaum website, they commented:

"In early December is the time the weather became bad. We had to be patient. Waiting ... waiting for good weather. We had yet another big target in sight .... And by the end of our Antarctica expedition, we had luck with the weather once again."

"We climbed an insane route on the north west pillar of Ulvetanna, taking two days. The first ascent of Sound of Silence (E4/A2) was the icing on the cake of the best so far in our mountaineering expedition career."

"...So we have tried everything, have everything done - are simply mega happy!"

Sources: Huberbaum website


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28 Jan, 2009
Interesting that you propose a regrade in terms of E-Grades for this amazing achievement. I think this is confusing, as well, as renaming the ascent (translation from German to English) is not OK. Should all Spanish routes then be translated or "Bain de Sang" be renamed to "Blood Bath"? The route is originally named "Eiszeit" and was graded UIAA 7+ (translating into French 6b+), A4. In times of endless grading debates (particularly with respect to the British E-System) do you think it is really necessary, to introduce an E grade where none was proposed by the ascentonists?
28 Jan, 2009
I agree, give the route name in the original language and, if you really think it necessary, add a translation. So Eiszeit (Ice Age). Likewise for grades.
28 Jan, 2009
I was going to say - I bet they didn't do these ascents without their tops on! :-)
28 Jan, 2009
Totally agree. The huber's did not give these routes E grades so why should you? It really struck me as odd while reading the article and made more sense when I checked it out myself. I suspect most people can understand UIAA grades. Separately, I see this as the same level as 8a.nu speculating on the french grade of UK trad routes. Andy
28 Jan, 2009
And Well Done! - the Huber Brothers, and to Jack for reporting stuff outside our little English world.
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