Extremely difficult mixed route first climbed: Yannick Glatthard climbs Hall of Fame (400m, M13, WI6+)

The Swiss professional alpinist Yannick Glatthard manages the first free ascent of the Hall of Fame (400m, M13, WI6+) in Kandersteg. The mega route with its 30 meter long horizontal roof and the gigantic freely hanging ice candle is probably one of the most challenging mixed lines in this style.

Has for eight years Yannick Glatthard from his project in Kandersteg dreamed and waited for the rare moment when the conditions allowed an attempt to climb it. In February it was finally time and together with Ron Koller, who opened the line in 2015, and the photographer Diego Schlappi he climbed in Hall of Fame (400m, M13, WI6+) on.

"There is this 35 meter long ice candle hanging 15 meters freely and a 30 meter long horizontal roof - for me it was love at first sight."

Yannick Glatthard

The first attempt fails surprisingly

At the end of January, the line that the Swiss professional alpinist and mountain guide had been toying with for so long looked climbable for the first time. "When we made the first attempt in February, it went really well and I was able to climb the M13 crux on the second attempt," enthuses Yannick Glatthard.

But then, in the heat of the moment, he drops one of his ice picks. With this mishap, the first attempt at the ascent ends abruptly, especially since Glatthard's arms are too tired for another attempt. "I was so frustrated!"

Yannick Glatthard in the 30 meter roof of Hall of Fame (400m, M13, WI6). Image: Diego Schläppi
Yannick Glatthard in the 30 meter roof of Hall of Fame (400m, M13, WI6+). Picture: Diego Schlappi

The first free ascent becomes a mental stress test

A week later, the trio return, energized and ready for a second try. The difficult mixed rope lengths of grade M7 and M13 will soon be done. With that, Glatthard believes the most difficult part of the Hall of Fame is behind him. But he should be wrong.

The mixed pitches in the Hall of Fame are extremely demanding. In the end, however, it's the ice passages that demand Yannick Glatthard's full attention. Image: Diego Schläppi
The mixed pitches in the Hall of Fame are extremely demanding. In the end, however, it's the ice passages that demand Yannick Glatthard's full attention. Picture: Diego Schlappi

"The WI5 rope length was difficult to secure because the ice was very thin."

Yannick Glatthard

In the second length of WI5, the curtain of ice didn't quite reach the floor. Only thanks to Ron's iron shoulders would they have reached the ice at all, says Yannick Glatthard. "For me, psychologically, it was the greatest challenge I've ever mastered."

Yannick Glatthard leads a steep ice length in Hall of Fame. Image: Diego Schläppi
Yannick Glatthard leads a steep ice length in Hall of Fame. Picture: Diego Schlappi

Two pitches later comes the highlight of the route, the gigantic 35 meter long ice candle, which hangs freely over almost half of its length. "After two more very technical M7 lengths, I got out of this dream line."

Is Hall of Fame (400m, M13, WI6+) perhaps the most challenging mixed route in this style? Yannick Glatthard leaves the question he himself raised unanswered. "In any case, I'm happy and grateful that we had the luck we needed that day and that everything went so well."

Topo of Hall of Fame (400m, M13, WI6+)

Hall of Fame: opened in 2015 by Ron Koller, first free ascent by Yannick Glatthard in February 2023. Photo: Diego Schläppi
Hall of Fame: opened in 2015 by Ron Koller, first free ascent by Yannick Glatthard in February 2023. Photo: Diego Schlappi

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Credits: Cover picture Diego Schlappi

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