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NORTH PILLAR OF MURALLON, THE LOST WORLD
Posted on: June 1, 2004
Robert Jasper and Stefan Glowacz approaching the formidable north side of Cerro Murallón in November, 2003. Routes are as indicated. (1) Ferrari Route (VI 5.10 A2/3 80°, 1500m, Aldè-Ferrari-Vitali, 1984). (2)The Lost World (V 5.10+ M8, 1100m, Glowacz-Jasper-Fengler, 2003). The Italians Carlo Aldè, Casimiro Ferrari and Paolo Vitali fixed the first three pitches of the Ferrari Route, then finished the route in four days alpine style; Fengler, Glowacz and Jasper climbed their route in a one-day push. [Photo] Klaus Fengler
On November 4, Robert Jasper and I departed Germany with photographer Klaus Fengler and cameraman Sebastian Tischler for an expedition to the north face of Murallon on the Continental Icecap. From November 7 to 29, we transported our gear from the Refugio Upsala to a base camp beneath our goal, the 1100-meter north face of Murallon. The north face of Murallon is approximately four kilometers wide; most of the wall is guarded by big seracs. Due to bad weather, we were trapped at the refugio, or on the other side of the glacier, for days at a time. On November 29, we reached base camp and dug a little snow cave, where we waited in poor weather for the next good window.
Because of the persistent bad weather, we decided to try the right-hand side of the north pillar in alpine style. Except for the Ferrari Route (VI 5.10 A2/3 80 degrees, 1500m, Alde-Ferrari-Vitali, 1984), it was the only safe part of the wall.
On the evening of December 1, the weather was improving but the pressure was still very low. Time was running out so Robert, Klaus and I decided to attempt the north pillar, which is approximately 1100 meters high with two very steep rock sections, the next day. We left base camp at 3 a.m. The weather was still good: cold, clear and no wind. We started climbing a moderate ice gully at 4 a.m., then climbed the first mixed rock section, belaying just two pitches, before starting up the second rock section on the very steep northeast side. The conditions were bad, with a lot of ice and snow in the cracks and difficulties up to M8 and 5.10+. We reached the summit at 6:30 p.m. The plan was to descend the west side, but heavy winds came up and we were covered in a snowstorm. After one hour we decided to rappel our route. We started rappelling at 9 p.m. The rope stuck many times. We arrived at the base of the wall at 4 a.m. and were back at base camp at 5 after an exhausting night, having climbed The Lost World (V 5.10+ M8, 1100m).
— Stefan Glowacz, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany