Pete Whittaker has made the first free ascent of Eigerdosis 8c, at Profile Wall in Jøssingfjord, Norway.
Eigerdosis is the joint second hardest route on the wall, after Recovery Drink 8c+. Prior to Pete's first free ascent of the line, the Norweigan website brattelinjer.no (translated as 'steep lines') stated that 'Eigerdosis in its entirety free is a project estimated to be in the same grade range as the hardest free route on the wall'.
Not unlike Recovery Drink, Eigerdosis is a pitch of climbing that starts part way up the wall, rather than a route in its own right.
We spoke to Pete earlier today to find out more about Eigerdosis, how it compares to the other hard routes at Profile Wall, and how it all ties in to a much bigger project.
Congrats on the first free ascent of Eigerdosis 8c! Talk us through the pitch?
Thanks. The climb is actually a second pitch in the middle of the wall. I started from the first belay of a three pitch route I climbed a few years back, Norwegian Crown.
The climbing is a mixture of face and crack climbing, it's certainly nothing like desert splitter climbing, but at the same time if you're not used to steep or technical jamming then it's probably going to be really tricky (I used all jamming techniques from fingers to Wide Pony). This hybrid style is quite common for the Profile Wall.
How long have you been trying this individual pitch, and how did you go about working it?
I first checked out the pitch after doing Recovery Drink. I abseiled down in my trainers, ran out of directional runners, got caught in a storm, and generally had a mare. It wasn't until this spring that I re-visited the pitch.
In all honesty, to work the pitch is a bit of a pain as it's marooned in the middle of a very steep wall with no good ledges for belayers to stand on etc. A lot of rope and a patient belayer really helps for this one.
The same goes for leading, if you fall high up, retrieving all your gear is a load of time and effort. Of course the quality of the climbing makes up for this.
How does this pitch compare to the other hard Jøssingfjord crack pitches you've climbed, like Recovery Drink?
I've climbed all the free routes on The Profile Wall, and this one is as world class as Recovery Drink (and the rest of them). I'm still yet to climb a bad route on that wall.
Over the last five years I have established all of the harder free climbing on the wall without much/any feedback from others, and to be honest, I'm lost in a world of not knowing how hard or easy anything is anymore.
I always think it's good to suggest a grade as a first ascensionst, as a rough guide to others, but I suspect my climbs may have a '+' variation either up or down over time.
You referred to Eigerdosis as a 'stepping stone', with attempts on the the full route ('the ultimate pump fest') starting in September - can you tell us more about the big Profile Wall project, and what the other pitch/pitches on it are like?
The obvious thing with this route is to start from the ground and not the belay, so that's what I'll be trying in September.
Although the belay stance I started at (which is also the same for the neighbouring route Norwegian Crown) is in a sensible place, it isn't really a proper stance (no ledge). So, coming from the ground you can eliminate all this and not take the rest.
It'll be tough, as the section from the ground up to that point is not really that simple to be honest.
Are there any parts still missing, or was Eigerdosis the final piece of the puzzle?
Yes I have climbed all the sections, as the start I climbed back in 2019. Linking it altogether is likely to be quite exhausting (for a cragging project), for climbing, working it and stripping gear. But, I like the graft.