|One of the highest waterfalls in the Alps, the 287m Staubbachwasserfall in Switzerland’s Lauterbrunnertal, has finally been first ascended by Robert Jasper and Markus Stofer.
Jasper and Stofer spent a couple of days at the start of February cleaning, preparing and working the route prior to their one-day free attempt. All ran smoothly on the redpoint bar the final M8 pitch: conditions had changed considerably during the two rest days and the finishing drip had shrunk 20m, forcing the two to retreat just short of the top. Temperatures then dropped considerably and three days later they returned to the valley and, after abseiling in from the top, sent the finishing pitches.
According to the authors, the route is extremely dangerous and should be climbed only during extreme cold spells and no wind. This explains why the route had never been climbed previously: conditions have to be more than perfect.
Berner Oberland, CH
1st ascent Robert Jasper & Markus Stofer
5 days, February 2006
Height: 287 m
Grade: 12 pitches up to M9, E5, redpoint
1. WI 4+; 2. WI 5+; 3. WI 3; 4. WI3; 5. WI4+; 6. M8; 7. M7+; 8. M8; 9. M9; 10. M8; 11. M8-/9-; 12.WI1-2.
Gear: 2 x 50m ropes, full ice gear and Friends 0,5- 3, all pegs in-situ.
Beware: The route is dangerous! Objective dangers such as icefall are difficult to judge. Only climb in extremely cold conditions with no wind. Watch out for the midday sun. Retreat from pitch 7 very difficult.