Huber Brothers and Mario Walder
successful on Mount Asgard
Thomas and Alexander Huber and Mario Walder have just returned from a redpoint team free ascent of Mount Asgard on Baffin Island. Their focus was on conquering "Bavarian Direct" (7/A3), which was first climbed in 1996 technical-style by six Bavarians who are friends of the Huber Brothers. On 9 August - after 28 pitches up to grade 10 and more than ten days on the rock face - the three climbers stood atop the South Tower of Mount Asgard.
The trio on the top of Mount Asgard
For their free ascent they climbed as closely as possible to the original route, making variations wherever necessary along the "Bavarian Direct". Three years ago a Belgian expedition climbed this route. Nico and Olivier Favresse, Sean Villanueva, Stéphane Hanssens and Silvia Vidal managed to free-climb all but one pitch of the route. They named their line along the "Bavarian Direct" "Belgarian". Reason enough for the Bavarians to plan this expedition to Baffin to solve the last question mark hanging over this extraordinary route.
Thomas Huber climbing "Bavarian Direct", Mount Asgard
Due to the variable weather conditions, including snow, they had to abandon their original plan of climbing the route in a single push, returning to base camp again and again. Following several days and numerous attempts at the 700-metre-high wall, they finally succeeded with a team free ascent. They assessed their line on the "Bavarian Direct", the "Belgarian" and two “Huber pitches” as grade 5.13b, 8a+, 10- and rated it "an awesome wall, very compact, best quality rock face and technically very challenging!"
The base camp at the foot of Mount Asgard
Alexander sums up the expedition: "The Asgard did us no favours, only the last few metres were really easy… but that's always the way: the tougher the challenge the more vivid the lasting the memories" Thomas is also delighted with the expedition to Baffin. His verdict: "An amazing time on an amazing rock face. This route belongs among the top routes on El Capitan!"
Location: South Tower, Mt. Asgard, Auyuittuq National Park, Baffin Island, Canada
Route: Bavarian Direct - Belgarian (Bavarian-Belgian Friendship)
Style: Redpoint Team Free Ascent
Grade: 10 -/ 8a+ / 5.13b
Length: Approach wall 250 metres; Main rock face 450 metres (difficult section), Summit climb 250 metres (5.10c, 7,6b)
Initial ascent: 1996; technical (7, A3); Christian Schlesener, Mane Reichelt, Luca Guscelli, Bernd Adler, Markus Bruckbauer and Tom Grad.
Variant route: 2009, "Belgarian" (5.13b/A1) Olivier Favresse, Nicolas Favresse, Stéphane Hanssens, Sean Villanueva and Silvia Vidal