Roger Schaeli, Stephan Siegrist establish Silberrücken up Jungfrau in Switzerland
Swiss alpinists Stephan Siegrist and Roger Schaeli have made the first ascent of Silberrücken up Rotbrätt on the West Face of Jungfrau. With difficulties up to 8a+, all pitches have been freed individually and a one-day redpoint is still outstanding.
In winter 2017 Swiss alpinists Stephan Siegrist and Roger Schaeli decided to finally act on an idea of their late friend Giovanni Quirici and establish a new route up Rotbrätt. This compact formation characterises the West Face of Jungfrau, the mountain which along with Eiger and Mönch forms the famous "Dreigestirn" , the three stars of Switzerland’s Bernese Alps.
Siegrist und Schaeli embarked on their climb in 2018, tackling the steepest section since this provided the only dry, snow free rock after a very wet winter. Due to adverse weather conditions the duo needed two attempts to forge their nine-pitch outing.
A year later, in the summer of 2019, Siegrist and Schaeli returned with photographer and friend Frank Kretschmann to free the pitches. In stable weather both climbers managed to free the first pitches, and after hard fight Schaeli managed to redpoint the extremely steep pitch 5. The real difficulties begin at this point, with pitch 6 providing a bouldery overhanging crux past 8a+ difficulties and poor protection.
The duo decided to rappel and after a day of rest they returned for the upper section. Cheered on by his two friends Schaeli redpointed the sixth and hardest pitch, and after two easier pitches they reached the summit of Rotbrätt.
The new route has been called Silberrücken, silver back, is graded 8a+ and is now only the second route up the peak after Fätze und Bitze established on the lefthand side of the wall in 1990 by Res Leibungut and Christoph Mauerhofer. A one-day free ascent is still outstanding. It’s worth remembering that towards the end of 2018 Schäli made the first ascent of the difficult Airplane Modeup the nearby North Face of the Eiger.
Links: rogerschaeli.ch, stephansiegrist.ch, La Sportiva, Petzl, Mammut