INTERVIEW: Katharsis - New Route on Troll Wall

Two Polish climbers - Marcin Tomaszewski and Marek Raganowicz - recently topped out on a 19-day project on Troll Wall (Trollveggen) in Norway, where they climbed a new route named Katharsis. We managed to get in touch with Marek who was keen to answer some questions about the climb.

Relaxing at the base of Troll Wall, 114 kb
Relaxing at the base of Troll Wall
© Marcin Tomaszewski

What inspired you to try this line?
Direct inspiration came from our childhood heros. In 1974 a Polish team of four climbed Troll Wall for the first time in winter (French Route). That was something special even by today's standards. At the other end of the scale, Krasnoyarsk Route was climbed by team of six with heavy use of fixed ropes. We wanted to check if it was possible to climb a route on this wall in a better style.

Exposed climbing on Katharsis, 128 kb
Exposed climbing on Katharsis
© Marek Raganowicz

Tell us about the route!
The route is graded M7 / A4, with a length of 1100m and reaching one of the highest points on the wall. There are four main sections. The bottom and top sections are the easiest. The second is very steep and the third is very overhanging. The middle parts are the hardest. The first two pitches are shared with the French Route.

A clearer topo of Katharsis, 140 kb
A clearer topo of Katharsis
© Marek Raganowicz

What were the most challenging aspects of the climb for you? 
The hardest thing was getting up every day and climbing with no excuses. We needed to accept very hard winter conditions (including hurricane Ole) and falling rocks and deal with them every day. That was harder than climbing A4 pitches!

Winter exposure on Troll Wall, 107 kb
Winter exposure on Troll Wall
© Marcin Tomaszewski

Do you think there is potential for more winter routes on the wall?
Yes, I think that somebody can easily put one or two new lines.
What's next for you and Marcin?
We just started to raise funds for an expedition to Queen Maud Land on Antarctica. I hope we will go there in November.

A very cold belay on Katharsis..., 106 kb
A very cold belay on Katharsis...
© Marcin Tomaszewski


The climbers spent 18 days on the wall and one day of abseiling on the descent. 17 bolts were drilled on the route and 9 rivets.

Marek and Marcin's previous big wall experience includes an ascent of Bushido up the North East Face of Great Trango Tower in Pakistan's Karakorum in 2013 and Superbalance up Polar Sun Spire on Baffin Island in 2012.

Marek is currently living in Inverness.

View some more images below:

Catharsis: New Route on Troll Wall, 150 kb

Katharsis, 134 kb

Katharsis, Troll Wall, 84 kb

Katharsis, Troll Wall, 245 kb

Katharsis, Troll Wall, 161 kb


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