The German alpinist Robert Jasper has opened an exciting new four-pitch M12 WI5 trad mixed-climb on the Breitwangflue wall above Kandersteg, Switzerland.
Jasper’s new route—Ritter der Kokosnuß (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)—is the direct line next to Jasper’s Flying Circus (the world's first M10), which he established in 1998 with his wife Daniela.
Jasper had attempted this direct line in a ground-up style for years, but was thwarted by the psychologically demanding effort required to send the crux second pitch.
“The direct line next to Flying Circus had been in my focus for years,” writes Jasper. “Ten years ago I opened the first pitch (M9) - characterized by fragile ice structures and loose rock. My personal goal—to climb in trad style—was shattered because it was just too demanding for me back then.”
However, Jasper returned to the line this year as fit as ever and decided to have another go at his project. But his first attempts ended in disappointment.
“My mind was not capable of sending it,” writes Jasper. “The brittle rock scared me once again.” But Jasper’s determination was not deterred. “Just studying the amazing line while rappelling down from Flying Circus made me get back on track.”
On February 13, Jasper arrived at Breitwangflue with partner Rainer Treppte, and set to work on his mental testpiece, which takes the center line through the grand grotto. Jasper recalls that the demanding first pitch felt like a warm-up, which was a good sign.
“In the crux pitch the adrenaline pushed me into a flow-minded state,” writes Jasper, “it just went perfect: the moves found each other by themselves.”
After the crux pitch of naturally protected M12 climbing (using pegs, nuts, and friends), an M9 pitch followed and then Jasper and Treppte finished the top WI5 pitch at nightfall.
“It has been a search deep into the ‘sense or nonsense of climbing,’” writes Jasper. “We named the new route Monty Python and the Holy Grail (“Ritter der Kokosnuß”) - a tribute to yet another great Monty Python Film.