Steck Frees Eiger's Hardest

Posted on: September 3, 2008


The Eiger Nordwand, showing Paciencia (8a [5.13b], 23 pitches, 900m), the route team-freed by Stephan Siegrist and Ueli Steck on August 30, 2008. The pair had climbed the route in 2003 but had not completely freed it; Paciencia is now the most difficult free route on the north face of the Eiger. [Photo] Ueli Steck collection

Paciencia (23 pitches, 900m), a route on the Eiger Nordwand climbed by Stephan Siegrist and Ueli Steck five summers ago, has now been freed by the same pair at 8a (5.13b), establishing it as the most difficult route on the face. On August 30 the two men finished freeing the climb, having swung leads—Steck taking the most difficult sections—through mostly 5.11 and 5.12 climbing (there were two pitches of 7c+ [5.13a] and one crux pitch of 8a). Steck freeclimbed the entire route.

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Siegrist and Raul Bayard began equipping the route in 2001, and after Siegrist and Steck climbed La Vida es Silbar (V 7c [5.12d], 900m) on the same face in 2003, Steck joined forces with Siegrist to finish the climb, with hopes of freeing it in the future.

From initial reports, the line ascends near the Japanese Direttissima (5.9 A3, 1800m) then climbs left of La Vida es Silbar, first redpointed in a single day by Siegrist and Steck also, in 2003 (read the Alpinist 5 Climbing Note for more information). Details on Paciencia will be posted in NewsWire as they become available.

Sources: Stephan Siegrist, Ueli Steck, Lindsay Griffin

Steck (left) and Siegrist on August 30, having successfully freed Paciencia. [Photo] Ueli Steck collection

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