Hard Mixed Without Bolts for Robert Jasper

© | Hans Hornberger
Robert Jasper has made the first ascent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a 165m M12, WI5 on the Breitwangflue Wall in Kandersteg, Switzerland.

The route has no bolts and relies on trad and peg protection.

Robert Jasper on ‘Holy Grail’ at Breitwangflue, Kandersteg, Switzerland.  © | Hans Hornberger
Robert Jasper on ‘Holy Grail’ at Breitwangflue, Kandersteg, Switzerland.
© | Hans Hornberger

Robert described the ascent:

"The Breitwangflue close to Kandersteg (Switzerland) is well known for its spectacular and bold ice and mixed climbs - embedded in an amazing alpine scenery. Back in 1998 my wife Daniela and I first did the first ascend of "Flying Circus" a route which - in retrospect - became a mile stone in the sport of mixed climbing. The name has been Inspired by the English comedy-group Monty Python which we are both fans of.

The direct line next to Flying Circus right through the grand grotto and picked with huge icicles had been in my focus for years. 10 years ago I opened the first pitch (M9) - characterized by fragile ice structures and loose rock. My personal goal - to climb in trad style - was shattered because it was just too demanding for me back then.

This winter I felt quite fit after a good training period - especially in Eptingen (CH) where I also climbed several of its demanding routes in one day. And I finally decided to have another try at the project. But it took a lot of bravery - and my first attempts this winter ended the same way it had before - my mind was not yet capable of sending it.

The brittle rock scared me once again from and together with Wolfram I took a different line, following Flying Circus to the top. But now the new route had really excited me I was totally hooked. Just studying the amazing line while rappelling down from Flying Circus made me get back on track.

Together with Markus I came back the following days we kicked trough by me opening the following M12 pitch and Markus the next M9, the last pitch WI5 was a nice round up then. But in the crux route I was still too much impressed by the combination of down ward pointing pitons and the loose rock- it blocked me from moving free. So it needed yet another try.

On February 13th, Rainer and I went there again to finally freeclimb it. This time the first pitch felt like a warm up. In the crux pitch the adrenaline pushed me into an flow-minded state - it went just perfect: the moves found each other by themselves. After the crux pitch a M9 followed which was fun and when we reached the top following the final W5 pitch it was already getting dark. With a "knightly" handshake we crowned the success.

It has been a search deep into the "sense or nonsense of climbing" - and providing this ironic link, we named the new route "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" ("Ritter der Kokosnuß") - a tribute to yet another great Monty Python Film."

Robert Jasper on ‘Holy Grail’ at Breitwangflue, Kandersteg, Switzerland.
© | Hans Hornberger

Robert Jasper is sponsored by Gore Tex, Marmot, Data Direct, Petzl, Natur Energie, Weick Executive Search, Red Chili, DirectDyk, Leki, Krah, Beal


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