Voie Petit and Jet Stream –
Hard Free Routes in the Alps and Tatra Mountains
On the last weekend of August Dušan „Stoupa“ Janák and Vašek Šatava successfully freeclimbed the route Voie Petit on Grand Capucin (3838 m). Grand Capucin is not one of the really high summits of the Mont Blanc range. Nevertheless its east face rising steeply out of Geant Glacier has been attractive target for the climbers since its first ascent by Walter Bonatti in 1951. In 1997 Arnaud Petit and Stefanie Bodet opened a new route on the face and made all moves. Alexander Huber was the first to redpoint the whole route after several attempts in July 2005 and graded the hardest pitch 8b (10 UIAA).
Stoupa´s and Vašek´s ascent is probably the first free ascent of the route after Huber´s success. During the last attempt they changed in leading the pitches: first climbed free - some tries were necessary on several pitches - and afterwards they went up again with other necessary gear (friends and wires, water, headlamps, clothes etc.) using jumars.
On September 24 Dušan „Stoupa“ Janák added another hard free route, when he climbed the route Jet Stream on the south-east face of Jastrabia veža in the Slovakian High Tatras. The line was opened in 2000 by Martin Heuger and Ivan Štefanský as hard aid route VI+/A3+ (American scale). They used their experience with hard aid climbs from Yosemite (on El Capitan they climbed routes up to A4) so the Jet Stream offered climbing with skyhooks, bird beaks, rurps and it was the first time when copperheads were used in the Tatras… Stoupa together with Ricardo Jurečka had done the first aid repetition of the route and since that time he was thinking about free-climbing the line. In 2005 Stoupa and Jan Kreisinger opened a new chapter when they made all moves free but climbed the route with the rest on the hardest pitches (AF style).
This year Stoupa and his girlfriend Monika made a good use of a nice weather at the end of September in the Tatras, and climbed all the hard pitches of the route in one push and pink point (PP) style. Technical grade of the route is 10-/10 UIAA (French 8a+/b). Due to the character of the ascent the „E“ grade („risk“ grade, the current top-end is E6) developed by German Robert Jasper was also used. According to Stoupa Jet Stream could be something like E4/5. Now the route offers beautiful and hard free moves on 15° overhanged slab. Apart from being psychologically demanding it is the hardest free route in the High Tatras.