X-Files and The Empire strikes back see new repeats
Kim Csizmazia, Will Gadd and Ueli Steck repeat Haston classics in the cave high in Valsavarenche, Val di Cogne, Italy
|“I thought X Files was a world-class mixed line, definitely one of the best I've ever climbed. I especially liked the ice at the top." These are Kim Csizmazia’s words after her ascent in late February of X-Files, Stevie Haston’s mixed line in Val di Cogne, Italy.
Two days of effort were needed to complete the first female ascent of this M10. The turf traverse was backed up by two horizontal ice screws placed in an ice roof, a remnant of an enormous stalactite which had fallen down some weeks earlier. Linking the moves and climbing the lip involved some of the wildest pure ice climbing she had ever done.
This ascent confirms her reputation as one of the best female ice climbers in the world. Currently leading the IWC 2000 rankings, she is tipped as hot favourite for the final competition in Are, Sweden next weekend.
Her performance in Saas Fee is an interesting case in point. After winning the Women’s event she tried her hand at the Men’s finals, and would have placed fifth. As she rightly points out, her attempt was flash and not onsight, but nevertheless it still shows the form she is currently in.
Kim was in good company when redpointing X-Files: her partner Will Gadd, in training for the Ice World Cup, climbed X-Files without leashes ,while Ueli Steck, another highly respected ice climber also on top form, repeated the route, too.
Will Gadd had set his sights higher still, namely on another Haston classic The Empire strikes back, M11. On the first day and in worryingly warm weather he freed the first pitch, before quickly abseiling to safety. He returned in colder conditions a few days later to free the second, crux. This involved long blind reaches and high lock-offs and is described by Will as being harder than anything else he’s done in Europe. By redpointing both pitches on the same day he bagged the coveted third ascent.
Noteworthy is also Ueli Steck’s onsight of 009, M9, another Haston route in the nearby Val Savaranche and Kim Csizmazia’s subsequent successful flash.
For more information visit Will Gadd’s website
|Kim Csizmazia competing at the Cortina d'Ampezzo Ice Boulder, second stage in the IWC 2000.