Kristoffer Szilas

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Expedition Reports

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First ascents in Kyrgysztan

Posted on August 7, 2011 at 5:20 AM

I have just returned from at trip to the Djangart-region of Kyrgyzstan with a group of six Danes and one Brit. Jim Broomhead and I did the first ascent of Pt. 4950, which we named Peak Lea after my girfriend and Pt. 5290, which we named Peak Alexandra after his wife.

We will write a proper report soon and post it here and meanwhile there are some photos here:

Video of "Twin Towers" M10

Posted on March 24, 2011 at 2:31 PM

My good friend and climbing photographer Alexandre Buisse has just finished editing the video he took of me climbing "Twin Towers" in Kandersteg this winter. The video has a nice mix of different angles and views from a helmet camera, which really gives a feel for what it is like to climb steep sport mixed routes. The video can be seen HERE.

Swedish Ice Mines

Posted on March 9, 2011 at 2:08 AM

Last weekend I went to Sala, Sweden, with Anders Strange and Fredrik Rapp to check out a mixed area that was developed by Stefan Lindblom in some old silver mines. This season has been fairly dry, but there was a few really good mixed lines and lots of drytooling to do. There are some access issues in this area, so visitors need too get in touch with Stefan before going. We had a local climber called Tobbe to guide us around the mine area and show us the best pits.

There are over 30 routes from M5-M10, so it's worth going especially early in the season to get fit as there are a lot of routes that can go without ice.

Here are a few photos from the mines:

Perfect layback crack on "Silverstål" ( M7 ).

Myself getting focused on an onsight of  "Lykantropi" ( M8 )

Climbing the local test-piece "Tzunami" ( M10 ).

Getting ready to climb the ice dagger on "Tzunami" ( M10 ).

First ascent of "Zendium" (M7)

Posted on February 28, 2011 at 3:45 PM

This weekend I was in Rjukan with Morten during the Ice Festival. We had hoped to do some routes in Sector Arne, but nothing had formed properly. Luckily we spotted a potential line while we walked back to Krokan where the festival was held. I linked the moves on top rope and we returned the next day with a drill and placed two bolts to protect the start, which did not take gear. The climb is very short, but quite bouldery and it was definitely worth the effort to bolt this line. The route was repeated by Morten and Mikkel within a day and hopefully more ascents will follow this season.

Another fun experience was giving Vince Anderson a belay when he sprinted up another M7 in Krokan that day. He was in town to give a talk about his alpine style ascent of the Rupal Face at the Ice Festival and as expected he was climbing fast and solid. Norwegian alpinist Bjørn-Eivind Årtun also gave a talk about his new route "Dracula" on Foraker. These two talks really supplemented each other and focused on the high level of commitment involved in alpine style climbing. I only wish more Danes would have been able to hear these two talks as that might have gotten the message through that climbing mountains with fixed ropes is as dead as the Soviet Union!

Malcolm Kent also gave a talk, but on a very different topic. He explained what it was like to compete in the ice world cup and showed photos of the different events and the climbers on the circuit. It was interesting to get an insight in this part of climbing that is limited to the strongest climbers in the world.

So all in all a very nice weekend!

There is a video of the actual first ascent of "Zendium" HERE.

Me preparing for the crux move.

The line of "Zendium".

Twin Towers M10

Posted on February 20, 2011 at 3:26 AM

I finally got at chance to test if the training at Malcolm Kent's climbing Monastery has worked on a trip to the mixed mecca of Uschinen near Kandersteg, Switzerland.

The result after five days of climbing: Flash M9+, Powerbat M10-, Slice of Scheiss M10 and Twin Towers M10!

Conditions were pretty thin, which is why Powerbat and Slice of Scheiss are graded hard. Both routes only had ice at the very end of the climb thus giving much more steep climbing than eg. Pink Panther on which you just swing over on ice and avoid pulling the lip of the roof.

Actually I felt that Slice of Scheiss was harder than Twin Towers, but with variable ice it is hard to give these routes an absolute grade anyway.

The French photographer Alexandre Buisse took some awesome photos on the trip:

Powerbat M10-

Powerbat M10-

Twin Towers M10

Twin Towers M10