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Andy Kirkpatrick, Ross Kain and Neil Chelton attempting the Russian route up the North Face of the Eiger.
Photo by Andy Kirkpatrick
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Eiger North Face: English winter attempt of Russian route

01.04.2013 by Planetmountain

The video of the march 2013 attempt by Andy Kirkpatrick, Ross Kain and Neil Chelton to repeat the Russian route up the North Face of the Eiger.

Talk about baptism of fire: in March 2013 Andy Kirkpatrick and Ross Kain teamed up with big wall expert Neil Chelton to attempt the Russian route up the North Face of the Eiger. 52 pitches with difficulties up to A5 established in winter 2006 by the Russian alpinists Dmitrienko, Arkhipov, Malygin and Tsyganov who chose a direct line between the Harlin and Metanoia climbs.

The British trio set off with enough food and gear ready to spend a fortnight on one of the most inhospitable faces in the Alps, but after 20 pitches - climbed in 4 days - their attempt ground to a halt due to crux A5 pitch and the rise in temperatures which resulted in increased stonefall. The trio wisely chose to abseil off and the route remains unrepeated, unsurprisingly so: the A5 crux was deemed "super serious" and according to Kirkpatrick the route "has minimal bolts for such a blank line" resulting in some belays being established with 10 pieces of gear!

Kirkpatrick and Kain are well-accustomed to the cold conditions (in December 2008 Kirkpatrick attempted to solo the Harlin route on the Eiger while in February this year he attempted a winter ascent of Trollveggen in Norway), but Chelton is more at home to the difficult granite aid routes on El Capitan… in fact, this was his first winter route!

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