Eiger North Face Meltdown established rope solo by Robert Jasper
German mountain guide Robert Jasper has made a rope solo first ascent of Meltdown up the North Face of the Eiger in Switzerland.
Robert Jasper has completed a new rock climb up the North Face of the Eiger in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland called Meltdown. The addition is noteworthy, not so much because of the difficulties (which nevertheless check in at about 7a+), but because the German mountain guide established and subsequently freed the 11-pitch outing completely on his own.
Applying rope solo techniques that he has used successfully used for over 30 years - the mixed climb Flying Circus at Breitwangfluh and the huge multi-pitch Stonecircle up Molar Spire in Greenland are only two of the most recent examples - Jasper forged his route up the right-hand side of the Geneva Pillar, I.e. up the extreme right-hand side of the Ogre’s north face.
Japer's initial foray dates back to about 10 years ago, but his focus soon shifted towards making the first free ascents of the Japanese Diretissima, the Piola - Ghilini Diretissima and the John Harlin route. Having encountered excellent rock though and needing to prepare for his upcoming expedition to Patagonia, the 51-year-old mountaineer decided to invest another 5 days of work in completing the line ground-up. The route tackles an independent line, is protected with trad gear, pegs and the occasional bolt, and was ascended rope solo and all free in a day by Jasper on 23 July 2019.
His first climb up the Eiger dates back to 1985 as a 17-year-old and, after spending over 360 days on the Eiger north face during his career, Jasper is in a unique position to notice the effects of climate change. "I’ve called my new route Meltdown because I’m alarmed at how rapidly the ice and snowfields are transforming. During the last summers the snowfields had completely vanished for the first time in mountaineering history. It really is time for all of us to do our bit and take steps towards battling climate change. Otherwise it will be too late, not only for our mountains, but also for our future!"