UKC

Winter Solo on Troll Wall by Marek Raganowicz

© Marek Raganowicz

Polish alpinist Marek Raganowicz has made the first winter solo ascent on Trollveggen (Troll Wall) in Norway, with a rope-solo ascent of the 18 pitch route Suser gjennom Harryland (A3) (6/A3).

Troll Wall winter solo selfie  © Marek Raganowicz
Troll Wall winter solo selfie
© Marek Raganowicz

Marek's climb is the third winter and first solo ascent of the route. The line was established in 1996 and tops out on the left side of Trollryggen Pillar, reaching more or less halfway up the North face of Troll Wall. Suser gjennom Harryland is much steeper and more technical than any other route on this part of the Wall, despite not reaching the top of the mountain.

photo
Suser gjennom Harryland topo
© Marek Raganowicz

Using rope-solo techniques and no fixed ropes, Marek climbed in one push and did not add any extra fixed gear. He told UKC:

"I didn't do it 'capsule' style. Each day, I hauled my bags and portaledge higher instead of setting up camps on the wall. I only used two ropes for climbing – one lead line, one haul line."

Marek alone on Trollveggen  © Marek Raganowicz
Marek alone on Trollveggen
© Marek Raganowicz

After spending 16 days alone on the wall, Marek spent a further two days abseiling and aiding down the line. Conditions on the route included snow storms with spindrift, followed by thaws and rain. Temperatures ranged from a chilly -10 to 3 degrees Celsius.

Harsh conditions on Trollveggen  © Marek Raganowicz
Harsh conditions on Trollveggen
© Marek Raganowicz

Marek is well-acquainted with Troll Wall, having established Katharsis in February 2015 (UKC Interview) alongside fellow Polish alpinist Marcin Tomaszewski.

In 2013, Andy Kirkpatrick, Tormod Granheim and Aleksander Gamme made the first winter ascent of the same route. (UKC News report). Commenting on the significance of Marek's ascent, Andy told UKC:

'I soloed the route Regan soloed to within 30m of the top (the year before the 1st calender winter ascent), so know full well what a tough guy he is (there's a TEDx talk about it). Winter would be a whole other level!'

Visit Marek's Facebook page.

Marek is sponsored by: CAN Ltd, Edelweiss, Grivel, Mountain Boot Company, Patagonia, Polish Alpine Association, Sea To Summit and Zamberlan


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3 Feb, 2017
Phil Thornhill nearly made it many years ago before breaking his leg, as far as I remember.
3 Feb, 2017
Hate to be that guy but surely this route doesn't count as an ascent of the wall, in much the same way as climbing the free blast wouldn't count as an ascent of el cap. Its a very impressive achievement however you look at it but when you're claiming 'first solo winter ascent of the troll wall', surely you have to reach the top of the troll wall.
3 Feb, 2017
And this isnt an attempt to troll a thread about the troll wall, although i suspect there may be some trolls waiting to troll this troll wall thread
3 Feb, 2017
Marek occasionally climbs at Inverness wall.
3 Feb, 2017
It's not to do with 'what defines a wall', i.e the definition of a wall – because of course you can have a 'wall' as feature within a larger 'wall': e.g Terrace Wall on the east face of Tryfan, Red Wall on Lliwedd, or the Rote Fluh on the Eigerwand. But this is to do with the reference of a name. The Eigerwand, for example, refers to the whole north face of the Eiger, just as the Troll Wall refers to that whole particular wall on the north side of Trollryggen. To say simply that you've climbed 'the Eigerwand' or 'the Troll Wall' of course means you've climbed the whole thing from the bottom to the top. If the names of mountain features are used in a misleading way, we're not talking about mountaineering but honesty. If someone tells me they've climbed the Eigerwand or El Capitan, etc etc, I assume they are being honest and do not mean they've only got part-way up it.
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