That’s Andrej’s short report.
At the beginning of sport mix climbing Marko and I both looked at it with lot of respect and also quite sceptically but after trying this kind of climbing 4 years ago, we find it very interesting and very useful for our body fitness. In last years Marko and I climbed many “hardest” sport mix climbs in Europe; Marko: Tsunami M12, Vertical limit M12, No limit M12+, Big bang M12, and me: La via e’bella M11, Tension M12+, Game over M13-. We found that hardest sport mix climbs are much overrated in terms of difficulty and on other hand that there is only very slow transfer of sport mix climb experiences into longer alpine routes. So we decided to try this on our own. We chose Gabbarou-Silvy route on NW face of A. Sans Nome mostly by coincidence, but also because of high M grade (M9) in french reports abut this climb.
Our first try in February was not successful, mostly because of health problems combined with no acclimatisation and only 7 hours of light for first vertical 300m (stomach problems + 9 hours drive after full week of stressful job + short night in Cham and late noon star of climb + altitude = bad, bad, bad - rappel!). Next time, in middle of March, we started from G. Montes in early morning, climbed route free, without problems in one and half days, but were caught by cold front with strong winds, snow and zero night visibility on descent for which we need adventures 15 hours. We found the rout superb, with hard dry tooling in perfect rock on first 300m, continued with 300m of ice field and another 300m of good mix climbing in upper third. We totally suggest the route to other climbers. It has perfect pitches, good rock, good possibilities for protection and relatively modest physical difficulties in terms of sport mix climbing and we think it will become real classic in few years (or probably decades), when wider climbing public will find out what and how is possible to climb with axes in the mountains.
Probably we made second free ascent of the route (after J. Mercier). We didn’t find any good topo for the route, so we draw our own and suggest M grades by our (modest) opinion.
See more photos and topo on http://grmoclimb.net/?str=502&aid=19
You can also find this article on ALPINIST web page, under "NewsWire": http://www.alpinist.com/doc/ALP19/newswire-gab-silvy-lukic-grmovsek