Glatthard, Wahli and Schild release the uncompromising crack test piece GWS-Direct (5 SL, 8a+)

The three Swiss mountain guides Simon Wahli, Jonas Schild and Yannick Glatthard are opening a new route at the Hannibal Tower on the Furka Pass. With GWS-Direct (5 SL, 8a+), they paradoxically found a hard and uncompromising crack line on the tower known for its well-protected Plaisir climbs - and were able to climb freely.

A testimonial from Jonas shield

Discovered during a climbing trip with his girlfriend Yannick Glatthard this incredibly perfect finger crack in the summer of 2022. Just five meters to the right of the 5th pitch of the often climbed Kassenrutsch route at the Hannibal Tower on the Furka Pass.

Simon Wahli secures Jonas Schild while cleaning and checking out the key length. Image: Yannick Glatthard's own archive.
Simon Wahli secures Jonas Schild while cleaning and checking out the key length. Image: Yannick Glatthard's own archive.

GWS-Direct: Untypical line at the Hannibal Tower

A few days later we stood together under this wall again to see whether there was a possible and sensible new line to reach this crack. Searched, found. Only with a total of two newly set bolts and 3 lengths of rope did we find such a line to the crack, which was secured with a few normal hooks and a fixed wedge, the rest works well with clamping devices. 

After the crack we reached an existing belay and instead of exiting straight away, we decided to follow a crack to the right and reached the first intermediate belay of the abseil slope.

The joy was enormous and the Hannibal Tower was enriched with an untypical line.

Jonas shield

Free ascent in stages

It was clear to us that we would come back to climb the crack without falling. So a few weeks later we traveled again to try this incredible length. We were reinforced by Simon Wahli.

We quickly discovered that this was a little more difficult than we thought. After an unpleasant initial boulder, a painful and uncompromising torn finger awaits you. The range of kicks is extremely poor.

Jonas shield

Unfortunately, that one day wasn't enough and no one managed to climb this length freely, although Simon almost decided to take on the pain again. Although we were unsuccessful, all three of us really enjoyed the day. The three of us did what we all love to do and supported each other. The motivation to come back was huge.

Simon Wahli during an almost successful attempt. Video: Yannick Glatthard

But shortly afterwards I traveled to India for an expedition. Yannick and Simon were able to return before the onset of winter and both managed a free ascent of this length that day. I was allowed to dream a little about this crack during the winter.

Last summer I was able to enjoy a free ascent of this length. Accompanied and supported by Yannick, we were able to completely close this chapter together on that day. Unfortunately Simon couldn't be there.

Yannick Glatthard and Simon Wahli after the red point inspection. Image: Yannick Glatthard archive
Yannick Glatthard and Simon Wahli after the red point inspection. Image: Yannick Glatthard archive

Uncompromising crack, interesting contrast

The rating of 8a+ is a suggestion and must be understood in the context of the fact that it depends very much on finger size. Definitely another tough and very uncompromising crack test piece.

The route also offers an interesting contrast at the Hannibal Tower, which is known for its very well secured Plaisir climbs in an alpine environment.

Jonas shield

Everyone is now free to make up their own minds, both about the sense and nonsense of stands without bolts and about the benefit and necessity of an installed bus stop at the exit from the Hannibal Tower.

Topo-GWS-Direct
Topo from GWS-Direct (5SL, 8a+).

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Credits: Cover picture Diego Schlaeppi | www.diegoschlaeppi.com

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