Silvia Vidal: One Month Solo Epic New Route

by Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Apr/2012
This news story has been read 14,044 times
Catalan big wall and aid climber Silvia Vidal has added a new route to the Serrania Avalancha wall in Chilean Patagonia. The 1500m route, called Espiadimonis, was climbed solo, with sections of up to A4/6b. The final 200m were easy angled terrain with some snow slopes.

Silvia Vidal on her new route 'Espiadimonis', Patagonia., 98 kbSilvia Vidal on her new route 'Espiadimonis', Patagonia.
© Silvia Vidal

Silvia explained on her website:

"After fixing the first 350 meters to the first wall camp, I stayed 32 days on the wall alone, without descending (from 8th February to 10th March). Of the 32 days, 16 were spent in the portaledge without being able to climb or even move.

The wall of Serrania Avalancha emerges from a lake. To access it I had to use an inflatable boat. There was already the route Araucania on the wall, but the line did not reach the summit, which was virgin...

I spent nearly two months alone, often in the rain that lasted for days, transforming the wall, a natural funnel, into a waterfall that made it impossible to climb or even rappel due to the force of the water. During these periods I had frequent doubts about whether I could get to the top of the wall, or if it would be possible to descend. As always I went without any means of communication, no telephone, no radio, no weather reports and was completely cut off from the outside world."

Silvia Vidal on her new route 'Espiadimonis', Patagonia.
© Silvia Vidal

Silvia Vidal on the summit of her new route 'Espiadimonis', Patagonia., 49 kbSilvia Vidal on the summit of her new route 'Espiadimonis', Patagonia.
© Silvia Vidal
The approach to the route involved a long jungle-hike, where Vidal had to cut a trail with a machete and make two 'wild river crossings'. To assist her in getting her gear to the wall she hired two other climbers to help with carrying the load.

Her multi-day descent from the wall didn't go smoothly:

"During the three days of abseiling I had lots of problems with stuck ropes, and had to cut my rope and abandon it several times. I tried my best to recover the ropes but nothing worked. I say this because for me that is rubbish that remains there. I also want to add that on the lake I found a hut in which there was some trash. Given the remote and pristine nature of the area, this was shocking—I think these kind of things are what really matters."


After such a long and grueling route and difficulty abseiling, Vidal was obviously tired, but had to deal with another unexpected set back. Not only did she have to make five separate carries, as she no longer had any assistance with carrying her equipment, she also encountered swollen rivers:

"After climbing and once I started carrying the haulbags down (it took a week), I realised that I could not cross the swollen rivers. I had to wait four days and just got lucky to have three consecutive days with no rain that dropped the river level enough to let me across."

The inflatable boat approach to 'Espiadimonis', Patagonia.
© Silvia Vidal

Topo: Espiadimonis, Serrania Avalancha, 1500m, A4/6b, 119 kbTopo: Espiadimonis, Serrania Avalancha, 1500m, A4/6b
© Silvia Vidal
Silvia attempted this line as it had a large roof, under which she knew she could shelter her ledge, 130 kbSilvia attempted this line as it had a large roof, under which she knew she could shelter her ledge
© Silvia Vidal


Silvia Vidal is sponsored by Boreal, Black Diamond, Sterling Rope, Millet

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