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Stephan Siegrist, Profi Alpinist

Photo: © visualimpact.ch | Thomas Ulrich

Click to bring the website content back.

New Film

Cerro Kishtwar
An Ice Clold Story



We did it! Many thanks to Timeline Productions and all the people who rolled up their sleeves & helped us get this film done!

CERRO KISHTWAR – AN ICE COLD STORY

I saw the line on the north west face of Cerro Kishtwar and couldn’t get it out of my mind. In 1992 Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy spent 17 grueling days in the same wall before having to retreat 100 metres below the summit…

25 years later, Thomas Huber, Julian Zanker and I returned to climb the line that I had dreamt about for so long.

Drop me a line if you’d like to screen the film.



Har Har
Mahadev

Success on
Cerro Kishtwar

On October 14th Stephan Siegrist (SUI), Julian Zanker (SUI), and Thomas Huber (GER) stood atop the granite giant in Kashmir. They are the fourth team that was able to climb this mountain via a spectacular line. Their goal was the yet unclimbed central north-west face of Cerro Kishtwar.

In 1992 the two Englishmen Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy tried to climb their way through the wall. They had to give up 100 meters below the summit after 17 days due to exhaustion.

A year later their fellow landsmen Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad climbed by way of an ice chute in the left part of the wall to a notch at about 5600 meters and moved over into the slightly flatter east part of the mountain to reach the peak as the first team to do so. The mountains in Kashmir were then barred for all foreign alpinists for several years for military and political reasons.

The ban was lifted early in 2010 and Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet, and David Lama made the first expedition into the mountain region in 2011.Their goal was to climb Cerro Kishtwar alpine style. They reached the summit as the second team ever via an ice track on the north-west side to the right of the distinctive granite wall. In 2015 Hayden Kennedy, Marco Prezelj, Manu Pellisier, and Urban Novak climbed the granite tower via the east wall alpine style and were awarded the Piolet d`Or for their ascent.

The team of three began their adventure in the Kashmiri Himalaya on September 7th. They reached base camp on September 13th. Best weather conditions left the team with no break and they were able to establish ABC on September 18th at 5050 meters.

The team began their ascent of the wall on October 1st after several material transports. They weren’t able to stick to their plan to complete their climb in five days. They discontinued their first attempt for tactical reasons and returned to base camp. They returned on October 8th with new strength and a fresh attitude, right back into the adventure!

The weather was stable. The mornings were clear, clouds came in by noon, the afternoons brought snow. The team had to fight iced up cracks, spindrift, extreme cold with temperatures below -20° C, and difficult techno-climbing up to A3+. On summit day, October 14th, they were rewarded with a sunny day. We almost felt like we weren’t alone.



 

Like we were being rewarded for everything we had to go through with this unique moment. We took the last meters together and we could hardly believe it. Cirrostratus clouds flew by in the jet stream 500 meters above us and we were standing there in the sun, in complete calm. We all knew that we were only able to make it because we felt like a courageous alliance together!

Our route through the north-west wall of the Cerro Kishtwar will be named „Har-Har Mahadev.“ This saying is from Hindu mythology and dedicated to the god Lord Shiva: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Or as we would say in Bavaria: „Get a grip!“

Interview

Listen for an interview on The Cutting Edge, a podcast from the editors of the American Alpine Journal:

Weblink: americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-podcast

Facts

The team partially used fixed ropes in the first part of the wall and established Camp 1 at „Snowledge“ on the foot of the granite wall at 5450 meters. They were able to reach pitch 7 after three days during their first attempt. They started their second attempt the next day on October 8th. They reached the summit seven days later. The team spent ten days in the wall in total. They established 4 camps: Camp 1 “Snowledge”, Camp 2 “Happyledge”, Camp 3 “Sunnyledge”, Camp 4 “Kempinski”.

First ascent of the central north-west face by Stephan Siegrist, Julian Zanker, and Thomas Huber on October 14th, 2017.

Route name: „Har Har Mahadev“ from Hindu mythology meaning no less than: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Grades: VII, A3+,6b, M6, 80°

First part: 400 meters ice and mixed

Second part: 600 meters rock and mixed, 24 pitches

Belays partially equipped with bolts

Drill holes in the pitches: 8 Bathooks and 7 rivets

Material used: 15 Bird Beaks in different sizes, 4 Baby Angels, 6 Lost Arrows, 4 knifeblades, stoppers, double set of Cams up to Nr.4

Portaledge necessary

Descent: Rappell over the route


Jeff Lowes
Metanoia

Thomas Huber, Roger
Schäli & Stephan Siegrist
gelingt die zweite
Begehung

Thomas Huber, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist score the second ascent of Jeff Lowe’s legendary climbing route “Metanoia” on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland.

In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) made their way to climb one of the most bold and legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, who was fascinated by the unique history behind the climb, was quick to get Siegrist on the team to climb “Metanoia.” Schaeli was also on board immediately.

The three pro-climbers began their first attempt in the week before Christmas. They had to abort their effort about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge after their bivvy due to increasingly bad weather conditions. A second attempt on December 28th, 2016 had to be interrupted shortly after a storm set in. They commenced their climb on “Metanoia” on December 29th, 2016. They set their bivvy about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge again and continued onward the next day. The three alpinists reached the top-out of “Metanoia” in the evening of December 30th, 2016. They are the first to successfully repeat the route.

“Metanoia” was established in 1991 by the exceptional American alpinist Jeff Lowe in the winter in a solo effort. Lowe is known, amongst others, for his solo ascent of the south face of Ama Dablam in 1979. He also still holds the record for reaching the highpoint of Latok I. Lowe has ticked more than 1000 first ascents worldwide. He was involved in the development of the first ice screw as well as first cam. He also invented the globally recognized difficulty scale for ice and mixed climbs. He brought the Sport Climbing Championships to the USA and opened the legendary and well- visited Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.

1991 was a tough year for Lowe personally. When he began his attempt to open a new, direct line though the north face of the Eiger. Lowe wanted to create a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism who approached the greatest alpine walls with primitive equipment and techniques, without using bolts. Lowe says: “ So I also climbed with no bolts, hoping that Metanoia might serve as an example of what can be accomplished without them.”
Nine days later Lowe appears at the summit of the Eiger, defying adverse conditions. He braved severe storms and proved his mastery of climbing and his power of
endurance. In the life of Jeff Lowe this climb was somewhat a path to enlightenment.

He climbed out of the north face of Eiger with a whole new view on life. He named his route “Metanoia” which is Greek and means as much as “fundamental change of view, transformative change of heart.” Lowe says: ““Metanoia” rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life operates. As a result I have become more compassionate and connected to my family, friends, the climbing tribe, humanity, the planet and the universe.” In his route Lowe found his attitude towards life that still holds true today: to approach everything with courage and love. He hasn’t lost this attitude even after being diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder 16 years ago that has tied him to a wheelchair.



 

Jeff Lowe was excited about the first repeat of his “Metanoia”: “Thomas Huber called us to share the good news that he, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist succeeded on “Metanoia”. I’m happy and gratified that they found the route to be hard, bold, beautiful and ‘visionary.’ Their confirmation of the quality of Metanoia is very gratifying and quite humbling. Best of all, Thomas understands what I was doing with the climb; which was trying to create an example of how alpinists can progress in an environmentally conscious way that honors the spirit of extreme alpinism.”

Thomas Huber Lowe’s ascent of “Metanoia”: “He was alone, he had never been in the wall before, he could only rely on himself. I tried to imagine myself in his place after every hard passage that lay behind me. His fight passed in front of my inner eye like a movie. What he accomplished is really just madness.”

Huber goes on saying: “With Metanoia Jeff was able to prove that you can accomplish impossible challenges just with your heart. He set new standards in alpinism with his ascent. This Metanoia, the new way of seeing the world and this new mind-set on life help Jeff today to approach his battle with his illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude is what inspires me in my life. We, Steff, Roger and I, are thankful to be able to live Metanoia.”
Stephan Siegrist is also impressed by Lowe’s achievement. He says: “He climbed that route in this hard wall alone with the gear they had back then! You can only survive that kind of hardship if you’re in a deep crisis.” The route itself is something special for Siegrist, too: “When I climbed the north face of the Eiger for the first time with about 20 years of age Lowe had already climbed “Metanoia.” The spectacular ascent and following stories in the media have followed me and have left me in awe ever since.” Climbing the route himself was something special for Siegrist: “After 37 ascents and three first ascents in the north face of the Eiger the “Metanoia” definitely put the crown on it all. For me personally this is one of the highlights of my 37 ascents on the Eiger.”

Roger Schaeli adds: “Climbing “Metanoia” was my biggest adventure on the Eiger with the coolest team with which I was allowed to climb on the north face! The route inspired me to find more alpine challenges. My highest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. “Metanoia” is really bad ass!”

Lowe climbed “Metanoia” in 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli installed an 8mm bolt at a belay since they wanted to avoid the risk of the entire rope team falling. In addition they used a 10mm bolt in a pitch before the Hinterstoisser Traverse. It was probably drilled to support the film team of the documentary “Metanoia.”

Facts

Route: Metanoia, 7, A4, M6
Berg: Eiger north face, Switzerland
First ascent 1991: Jeff Lowe (USA), solo
First repeat 2016: Huber, Siegrist, Schaeli with 8mm bolt and cliff (belay), 10 mm bolt (from film production “Metanoia” documentary 2013)
Website Jeff Lowe: jeffloweclimber.com
notextile.

Tupendeo

One mountain,
Two stories

Film Trailer



Film Premiere

The Tupendeo film premiere will take place on November 19th at the Kendal Mountain Festival (UK).



Film Description

Leaving a trail is not a uniquely human activity. All animals do, from thin sheep tracks to the chemical trail left by a line of ants. Whether we wish to or not, we leave our mark wherever we go.

As the world’s population increases, and travel becomes easier, we must journey further, or look more closely, to find untrodden ground or an unclimbed peak. We seek the opposite of the trail’s logical purpose: instead of getting from one place to another as simply as possible, we break trail for no other reason than to find somewhere new and to feed our hunger for adventure.

When Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen set off towards Tupendeo in 2015, they have no clue that the peak already has its own story to tell. The locals warn them that tragedy had struck many years ago. As the trio climb up the face, they come across an old rope still hanging along with a rappel device, causing many questions to arise. Who left it hanging there? What happened?

They all know far too well how close success and defeat can be on a mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they decide to bring the rappel device back with them and search for traces. They want to know whose story the Tupendeo was hiding.


KASHMIR 2015

Climbing Virgin Summits
in Kashmir

In September and October 2015 Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascents of Bhala 5900m, Tupendeo 5700m and Maha Dev Phobrang 5900m and its famous Te tower, three hitherto unclimbed mountains in the Kashmir region of India’s Himalaya.

A year after visiting the Kishtwar region in Northern India, Swiss alpinists Dres Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned to the Himalaya this September and October where we pulled off another three notable first ascents.

Our trio had seen a photo of a 5900m high summit called Bhala that strikingly resembled the world-famous Matterhorn and the call of this beautiful mountain was simply too strong to ignore. Located to the south of the Kishtwar area in the Kashmir region, Bhala had previously been off-limits due to the territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and was therefore unclimbed.

Maps of the area are famously imprecise, but thanks to excellent local connections we managed to reach the town of Kaban and then quickly establish base camp at the foot of Bhala, which means Spear and was named as such by a previous expedition to the region due to its form. Weather conditions played in our favor and after biviing on the East Col on 12 September, the next morning we climbed an obvious ramp line up the 700m high North-East Face. Despite its beauty the rock quality on Bhala was extremely poor and we negotiated loose and dangerous rock to summit at 15:00 that day. We descended to the col where we bivied for a second time, and returned to Base Camp on the 14th of September.

Despite the now unstable weather with regular spills in the afternoon we set our sights on another “perfect” peak nearby called Tupendeo. In the early afternoon of the 18th of September we reached a bivy point at the base of the mountain, fixed a couple of pitches and then snuggled up for the night. The next morning we climbed an 800m line and summited at 13:30, before returning to base camp at 21:30 that same day. In stark comparison to Bhala, on Tupendeo we dealt with some of the best rock climbing we had ever had ever encountered at altitude.



 

Poor weather set in and pinned our team down in Base Camp for a week, after which we then climbed another peak in the same valley: Maha Dev Phobrang. A characteristic 200m crystal tower called Te (Crystal) juts out above 5500m and we opted for the more difficult, but certainly more beautiful line that took them straight to the top of this feature. After bivying on the ridge on 1 October, the next day we climbed 4 pitches with difficulties up to 6a/b and topped out on this pre-summit at 14:00. With time to spare we then abseiled off and continued on to the mountain’s main summit which was reached at 15:30 before returning safely to BC at 21:00. The biggest superlatives don’t even begin to explain the conditions we had on this mountain: quite simply unique.

It is interesting to note that while the Indian military maps mark Bhala as 6100m and Te as 6163m, according to the recent GPS readings both mountains are 5900m high.

Facts

Bhala (Spear) 5900m, NE Face | Route: Copa-Kaban
Start: 12/09/2015
Summit: 13/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 14/09/2015
Difficulty: mid-grade alpine climbing, loose rock

Tupendeo 5700m, SE Pillar | Route: Deokhal
Start: 18/09/2015
Summit: 19/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 19/09/2015
Difficulty: 6a/b, 21 pitches, 800m
Notes: on some maps marked as Tupendo 1 or Druid

Te (Kristall) 5900m | Route: Chaprasi
Start: 01/10/2015
Summit: 02/10/2015, Base Camp Return: 02/10/2015
Difficulty: 5c/6a, 4 pitches, 200m, excellent rock quality
Notes: alpine climbing 60° to main summit

Read on: Preparations for our Kashmir Expedition


KASHMIR 2015

In Search of
Forgotten Summits

An Adventure Begins

When the plane touches down in Delhi the real adventure begins: The heat, familiar smells from past visits, the sounds, colours and faces that all mark the beginning of an expedition to me. Sensory overload – I love it!

I’ve passed through this bustling city so many times – ironically the gateway to one of the most peaceful and preserved landscapes still left on this planet, the Kashmiri Himalayas.

Our last visit to the region got off to an adventurous start after late monsoon rains slammed the area causing the worst flooding seen in years. This year things look dryer for Thomas, Dres and I! Our project, a beautiful spear head shaped peak that caught our eye on our last visit.

The Peak

Like many other things in this hidden region, the mountain leaves a lot to be discovered. There is very little information available about the peak; not even sure how high it is, but we are guessing between 6000 and 6200 meters above sea level.

The mountain is beautiful and appears to be quite technical, exactly what we are looking for. We’ve brought everything we think we may need and are ready to take advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer!

Tobias Hatje will join our team up to basecamp and from there Thomas, Dres and myself will make our way to to the mountain. Our plan is to be back home in late October with lots of great photos and stories to retell.

Our Expedition Team: Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf, Dres Abegglen, Tobias Hatje (to base camp)

Talk to you then…


 


Experience
Stephan Siegrist

Individual presentations for organizations
and companies.

NEW - View Film about Stephan Siegrist
Corporate Presentations

In his multimedia presentations, professional mountain climber Stephan Siegrist, born in 1972, from the Bernese Oberland takes his audience on a journey into the world of climbing adventures and presents the highlights of his career as a climber and adventurist. Siegrist, considered one of the best alpinists of our time for many years now, tours not only through his native country of Switzerland but also lectures regularly abroad.

Whether in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica, high quality images and exciting videos coloring the presentations allow the spectator to lose themselves in far away worlds and bold adventures. Siegrist never portrays himself as a hero; he speaks about his remote expeditions with a large share of humor, self-irony and modesty.

Business lectures help establish synergies in the corporate world. Siegrist’s idea is to not only to motivate the employees of a company but also to inspire the management by sharing his leadership skills and experience.

Successfully implementing vision and ideas calls for clever strategy and planning in order to reach a goal and tap into the full potential available. Commitment and activity help launch a dream. Endurance and confidence help gain strength, even from failure. Knowledge and experience cultivate trust in your instinct: there are times when you have to be able to turn back.

Through his many years of expedition and team climbing, Siegrist is able to create synergies between the mountaineering and the corporate worlds and confers his know-how in the latter; minor errors can have major consequences. Optimal risk management is indispensable, whether on a mountain or within an enterprise.

Stephan Siegrist motivates and encourages reflection through his talks. His action is driven by a passion to discover and explore unknown territory. Every goal, once targeted, is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment.

Testimonials

“We booked Stephan Siegrist as a keynote speaker for our Sales Team. He combined his grasping style of performance with impressive pictures and movies and managed to illustrate the parallels between mountaineering and sales hence motivating and captivating our sales team.”

Andreas Hungerbühler, Director of Marketing & Business Development,
Bisnode D&B Schweiz AG

“Dear Stefan, thank you so much for your valuable contribution to our congress. The presentation about your highline projects brought us a conference room brimming with enthusiastic participants. The additional organization of slacklines on the hotel complex added activity to the program and rounded off the event perfectly. The participants were able get a taste of the challenges posed by a highline on alpine peaks for themselves in a more laid-back atmosphere. We are all looking forward to the follow-up event next year.”

“Exciting and captivating, focused and attuned to our guests, professional and friendly.”

Highline presentation as part of our Medi Sportortho Congress 2013, Mallorca, Frank Thelemann, Medi 

“We have invited Stephan as a speaker to our events on several occasions: whether it be speaking about motivation, concentration and dedication to juniors at a golf club or dissertating over team spirit and risk management to private bankers and hedge fund specialist’s. All were mesmerized by Stephan’s inspiring words and breathtaking pictures. Very professional.”

PAMP

Meeting Challenges

While on expedition and throughout his exploits, Stephan Siegrist is faced by numerous challenges and tasks. These can demands can be transferred to the expectations and targets found in the management setting.

Developing and implementing vision, understanding the dynamics of team building, gauging ones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the importance of self-assessment, are some of many relevant themes.

In the area of mental training, Stephan Siegrist works together with Psychologist Thomas Theurillat.

Individual Presentations

Stephan Siegrist often draws parallels to his own background and sheds light on how he pushes the limits to make the impossible possible.

These presentations can be tailored individually to your specific needs. Various theme possibilities, presentation length and number of participants can all be catered for upon request.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime for further information and a personalized proposal: info@stephan-siegrist.ch.

KISHTWAR TRIO

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas
Senf and Dres Abegglen

In early October Andreas “Dres” Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned home after an amazing and successful trip to the Kishtwar region in northern India. A magical and remote region I first visited in 2011, we had the privilege of making first ascents on two unclimbed, and unnamed 5000m peaks before making the second ascent of the impressive Kishtwar Shivling.

We left Switzerland at the start of September and were greeted in Kashmir by late and heavy monsoon rains. With a lot of luck and determination we reached our first base camp on September 13, despite the mass flooding and terrible road conditions. Eager to make up for lost time, we climbed a line up the South face of the previously unclimbed Shiepra, bivying at 5100m. We reached the 5885m high summit on September 16 and graded the route as follows: difficulties up to WI3, IV, 75° ice.

Our descent took us over the exposed West ridge, via a series of abseils followed by a 50° ice slope. The new route is called Maaji, which in Hindi means mother. The honor of naming the peak was left to our Liaisons Officer Ran Jan, who named the mountain Shiepra after the Hindi God Shiva’s wife.

The weather at this point was ideal and conditions looked promising, so we set off to make an attempt on another unclimbed peak nearby. Below the ridge leading to the peak is a very visible rock structure which looks like the renowned ‘playboy bunny’. Coming up with a good name for the peak was pretty easy, we named it Kharagosa, which in Hindi means rabbit. Thomas, Dres and I bivied at 4800m below the North East face, we continued across the glacier to the base of the East face and then ascended 1000m over tricky, mixed terrain.

Three demanding UIAA grade V pitches led to the South East face, bringing us over much easier ground and to the 5840m high summit which we reached on September 21. The new route, Pinky, is named after the most beautiful woman in the nearby village of Sumcham.
After our ascent on Kharagosa we still had time so we packed up and moved our base camp to the base of Kishtwar Shivling which we reached on September 29.



 

The North face of the technical and impressive mountain was first climbed in 1983 by Britain’s Stephen Venables and Dick Renshaw over a stretch of seven days. Political tension between Pakistan and India has resulted in this area being more or less off-limits for almost two decades. Foreign alpinists have only recently begun to return and explore the area.

Intent on making the second ascent of this magnificent peak we climbed a line up the East pillar, the target of previous expeditions, and made a first bivy on the glacier at 4700m before following a 50° ramp to the saddle at 5400m. We set our second bivy up at this point, and then climbed 10 demanding pitches past 90° WI5 ice, through a hidden couloir, bringing back memories of the famous Super Canaleta on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy, then past tricky mixed terrain which led to the foot of the enormous summit cornices.

On October 1, the gods were smiling upon us: Dres, Tomas and I were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a hole in the cornice which was big enough to climb through, leading us to the 5895m East summit. 14 abseils later we arrived back on the saddle where our tents we waiting for us. The following morning we made our descent back down to base camp. The new route is called Challo, which means let’s go in Hindi.

A successful ascent on a complex and beautiful mountain like Kistwar Shivling was a real reward for me. Kashmir is a place I am free to climb for the pure joy of the mountain and a region I cherish with deep appreciation and respect. Having all come home safely, with our backpacks full of great memories, unforgettable climbs and a lot of laughs together, has only strengthened my bond to this unbelievable and breathtaking region.

Report by Stephan Siegrist; Photos by Thomas Senf | visualimpact.ch


Kashmir
2014

New Adventure
Lies Ahead in Kashmir!

In the isolated area bordering Pakistan and North India, a beautiful unnamed, unclimbed mountain awaits us! The aesthetic 6000er is remote and hidden away from civilization – exactly what I like!

In the upcoming days, Thomas Senf and Dres (Andreas) Abegglen and I hope to get started on our project. The journey will take us back to the same valley in the Kashmir Himalayas I visited in 2011 with another team when we summited the Cerro Kishtwar.

From Zurich we’ve flown to Delhi and have now arrived in the city of Jammu. The plan from here; a 2 day Jeep ride to the town of Atholi where we begin our 5 day trek to our base camp at 4000 meters above sea level. That was the plan…

Expeditions are known for two things, amongst others; the adventure and not going according to plan!

Over the past few days Northern India, Pakistan and Kashmir have been inundated by a late monsoon. Heavy rains have caused massive flooding, landslides and destruction in cities, towns and above all the rural areas.

 

Roads have been washed away, destroyed by landslides and access has been cut off by flooding rivers and damaged bridges. The area has not seen this intensity of rain fall during post monsoon season in over 2 decades.

In short, getting to base camp is going to be more complicated than we ever imagined!

On a positive note, the weather forecast for the coming week looks better; dry weather is meant to be on its way. For the moment we are concentrating on the urgency of the situation here.

We’ll be in touch once we know more. Over the next 5 weeks we will try to send some news home twice via satellite phone to keep you updated on our progress.

For the time being I wish everyone at home a beautiful and hopefully dry autumn!


All the best from Jammu, Stephan Siegrist.
Photos taken by Thomas Senf.


News
Update

Fall 2014

CHASING RAINBOWS

This summer was definitely a good one for rainbows, just not the one I was chasing. Persistant rain, wet conditions and even snow all contributed to a frustrating summer season here in Switzerland.

Despite the continuos onslaught of rain, I was able to devote a few days of preparation to the project, but nothing close to what I was hoping for. So for this year, I’ve cut my loses and put this project on the shelf until next year!

In the mean time, I’ve turned my focus to my upcoming expedition in September.


MAE PROJECT, KASHMIR

In 2011 Denis, Burdet, David Lama and I set out to Kashmir for what would end up being one of the most memorable expeditions I have been on. In the good company of my old friend cameraman Rob Frost and photographer Stefan Schlumpf, we had the privilege of entering this area that had been primarily inaccessible to foreigners and climbers due to political instability.

I returned home from this expedition not only having successfully opened a new route on Cerro Kishtwar and on White Saphire, an unclimbed, unnamed mountain hidden in the valley, but also with inspiration for a future project!

Surrounded by a horizon of pristine and unclimbed summits, one mountain in particular caught my eye. And so, three years later, motivated and full of anticipation, I am returning to Kashmir with Dres Abegglen and photographer Thomas Senf in hopes of opening a route on this rare gem!

More info to come in September.

Weblinks:

facebook.com/stephansiegristalpinist
givengain.com
facebook.com/projectmae

New Film

Cerro Kishtwar
An Ice Clold Story



We did it! Many thanks to Timeline Productions and all the people who rolled up their sleeves & helped us get this film done!

CERRO KISHTWAR – AN ICE COLD STORY

I saw the line on the north west face of Cerro Kishtwar and couldn’t get it out of my mind. In 1992 Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy spent 17 grueling days in the same wall before having to retreat 100 metres below the summit…

25 years later, Thomas Huber, Julian Zanker and I returned to climb the line that I had dreamt about for so long.

Drop me a line if you’d like to screen the film.



Har Har
Mahadev

Success on
Cerro Kishtwar

On October 14th Stephan Siegrist (SUI), Julian Zanker (SUI), and Thomas Huber (GER) stood atop the granite giant in Kashmir. They are the fourth team that was able to climb this mountain via a spectacular line. Their goal was the yet unclimbed central north-west face of Cerro Kishtwar.

In 1992 the two Englishmen Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy tried to climb their way through the wall. They had to give up 100 meters below the summit after 17 days due to exhaustion.

A year later their fellow landsmen Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad climbed by way of an ice chute in the left part of the wall to a notch at about 5600 meters and moved over into the slightly flatter east part of the mountain to reach the peak as the first team to do so. The mountains in Kashmir were then barred for all foreign alpinists for several years for military and political reasons.

The ban was lifted early in 2010 and Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet, and David Lama made the first expedition into the mountain region in 2011.Their goal was to climb Cerro Kishtwar alpine style. They reached the summit as the second team ever via an ice track on the north-west side to the right of the distinctive granite wall. In 2015 Hayden Kennedy, Marco Prezelj, Manu Pellisier, and Urban Novak climbed the granite tower via the east wall alpine style and were awarded the Piolet d`Or for their ascent.

The team of three began their adventure in the Kashmiri Himalaya on September 7th. They reached base camp on September 13th. Best weather conditions left the team with no break and they were able to establish ABC on September 18th at 5050 meters.

The team began their ascent of the wall on October 1st after several material transports. They weren’t able to stick to their plan to complete their climb in five days. They discontinued their first attempt for tactical reasons and returned to base camp. They returned on October 8th with new strength and a fresh attitude, right back into the adventure!

The weather was stable. The mornings were clear, clouds came in by noon, the afternoons brought snow. The team had to fight iced up cracks, spindrift, extreme cold with temperatures below -20° C, and difficult techno-climbing up to A3+. On summit day, October 14th, they were rewarded with a sunny day. We almost felt like we weren’t alone.



 

Like we were being rewarded for everything we had to go through with this unique moment. We took the last meters together and we could hardly believe it. Cirrostratus clouds flew by in the jet stream 500 meters above us and we were standing there in the sun, in complete calm. We all knew that we were only able to make it because we felt like a courageous alliance together!

Our route through the north-west wall of the Cerro Kishtwar will be named „Har-Har Mahadev.“ This saying is from Hindu mythology and dedicated to the god Lord Shiva: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Or as we would say in Bavaria: „Get a grip!“

Interview

Listen for an interview on The Cutting Edge, a podcast from the editors of the American Alpine Journal:

Weblink: americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-podcast

Facts

The team partially used fixed ropes in the first part of the wall and established Camp 1 at „Snowledge“ on the foot of the granite wall at 5450 meters. They were able to reach pitch 7 after three days during their first attempt. They started their second attempt the next day on October 8th. They reached the summit seven days later. The team spent ten days in the wall in total. They established 4 camps: Camp 1 “Snowledge”, Camp 2 “Happyledge”, Camp 3 “Sunnyledge”, Camp 4 “Kempinski”.

First ascent of the central north-west face by Stephan Siegrist, Julian Zanker, and Thomas Huber on October 14th, 2017.

Route name: „Har Har Mahadev“ from Hindu mythology meaning no less than: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Grades: VII, A3+,6b, M6, 80°

First part: 400 meters ice and mixed

Second part: 600 meters rock and mixed, 24 pitches

Belays partially equipped with bolts

Drill holes in the pitches: 8 Bathooks and 7 rivets

Material used: 15 Bird Beaks in different sizes, 4 Baby Angels, 6 Lost Arrows, 4 knifeblades, stoppers, double set of Cams up to Nr.4

Portaledge necessary

Descent: Rappell over the route


Jeff Lowes
Metanoia

Thomas Huber, Roger
Schäli & Stephan Siegrist
gelingt die zweite
Begehung

Thomas Huber, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist score the second ascent of Jeff Lowe’s legendary climbing route “Metanoia” on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland.

In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) made their way to climb one of the most bold and legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, who was fascinated by the unique history behind the climb, was quick to get Siegrist on the team to climb “Metanoia.” Schaeli was also on board immediately.

The three pro-climbers began their first attempt in the week before Christmas. They had to abort their effort about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge after their bivvy due to increasingly bad weather conditions. A second attempt on December 28th, 2016 had to be interrupted shortly after a storm set in. They commenced their climb on “Metanoia” on December 29th, 2016. They set their bivvy about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge again and continued onward the next day. The three alpinists reached the top-out of “Metanoia” in the evening of December 30th, 2016. They are the first to successfully repeat the route.

“Metanoia” was established in 1991 by the exceptional American alpinist Jeff Lowe in the winter in a solo effort. Lowe is known, amongst others, for his solo ascent of the south face of Ama Dablam in 1979. He also still holds the record for reaching the highpoint of Latok I. Lowe has ticked more than 1000 first ascents worldwide. He was involved in the development of the first ice screw as well as first cam. He also invented the globally recognized difficulty scale for ice and mixed climbs. He brought the Sport Climbing Championships to the USA and opened the legendary and well- visited Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.

1991 was a tough year for Lowe personally. When he began his attempt to open a new, direct line though the north face of the Eiger. Lowe wanted to create a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism who approached the greatest alpine walls with primitive equipment and techniques, without using bolts. Lowe says: “ So I also climbed with no bolts, hoping that Metanoia might serve as an example of what can be accomplished without them.”
Nine days later Lowe appears at the summit of the Eiger, defying adverse conditions. He braved severe storms and proved his mastery of climbing and his power of
endurance. In the life of Jeff Lowe this climb was somewhat a path to enlightenment.

He climbed out of the north face of Eiger with a whole new view on life. He named his route “Metanoia” which is Greek and means as much as “fundamental change of view, transformative change of heart.” Lowe says: ““Metanoia” rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life operates. As a result I have become more compassionate and connected to my family, friends, the climbing tribe, humanity, the planet and the universe.” In his route Lowe found his attitude towards life that still holds true today: to approach everything with courage and love. He hasn’t lost this attitude even after being diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder 16 years ago that has tied him to a wheelchair.



 

Jeff Lowe was excited about the first repeat of his “Metanoia”: “Thomas Huber called us to share the good news that he, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist succeeded on “Metanoia”. I’m happy and gratified that they found the route to be hard, bold, beautiful and ‘visionary.’ Their confirmation of the quality of Metanoia is very gratifying and quite humbling. Best of all, Thomas understands what I was doing with the climb; which was trying to create an example of how alpinists can progress in an environmentally conscious way that honors the spirit of extreme alpinism.”

Thomas Huber Lowe’s ascent of “Metanoia”: “He was alone, he had never been in the wall before, he could only rely on himself. I tried to imagine myself in his place after every hard passage that lay behind me. His fight passed in front of my inner eye like a movie. What he accomplished is really just madness.”

Huber goes on saying: “With Metanoia Jeff was able to prove that you can accomplish impossible challenges just with your heart. He set new standards in alpinism with his ascent. This Metanoia, the new way of seeing the world and this new mind-set on life help Jeff today to approach his battle with his illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude is what inspires me in my life. We, Steff, Roger and I, are thankful to be able to live Metanoia.”
Stephan Siegrist is also impressed by Lowe’s achievement. He says: “He climbed that route in this hard wall alone with the gear they had back then! You can only survive that kind of hardship if you’re in a deep crisis.” The route itself is something special for Siegrist, too: “When I climbed the north face of the Eiger for the first time with about 20 years of age Lowe had already climbed “Metanoia.” The spectacular ascent and following stories in the media have followed me and have left me in awe ever since.” Climbing the route himself was something special for Siegrist: “After 37 ascents and three first ascents in the north face of the Eiger the “Metanoia” definitely put the crown on it all. For me personally this is one of the highlights of my 37 ascents on the Eiger.”

Roger Schaeli adds: “Climbing “Metanoia” was my biggest adventure on the Eiger with the coolest team with which I was allowed to climb on the north face! The route inspired me to find more alpine challenges. My highest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. “Metanoia” is really bad ass!”

Lowe climbed “Metanoia” in 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli installed an 8mm bolt at a belay since they wanted to avoid the risk of the entire rope team falling. In addition they used a 10mm bolt in a pitch before the Hinterstoisser Traverse. It was probably drilled to support the film team of the documentary “Metanoia.”

Facts

Route: Metanoia, 7, A4, M6
Berg: Eiger north face, Switzerland
First ascent 1991: Jeff Lowe (USA), solo
First repeat 2016: Huber, Siegrist, Schaeli with 8mm bolt and cliff (belay), 10 mm bolt (from film production “Metanoia” documentary 2013)
Website Jeff Lowe: jeffloweclimber.com
notextile.

Tupendeo

One mountain,
Two stories

Film Trailer



Film Premiere

The Tupendeo film premiere will take place on November 19th at the Kendal Mountain Festival (UK).



Film Description

Leaving a trail is not a uniquely human activity. All animals do, from thin sheep tracks to the chemical trail left by a line of ants. Whether we wish to or not, we leave our mark wherever we go.

As the world’s population increases, and travel becomes easier, we must journey further, or look more closely, to find untrodden ground or an unclimbed peak. We seek the opposite of the trail’s logical purpose: instead of getting from one place to another as simply as possible, we break trail for no other reason than to find somewhere new and to feed our hunger for adventure.

When Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen set off towards Tupendeo in 2015, they have no clue that the peak already has its own story to tell. The locals warn them that tragedy had struck many years ago. As the trio climb up the face, they come across an old rope still hanging along with a rappel device, causing many questions to arise. Who left it hanging there? What happened?

They all know far too well how close success and defeat can be on a mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they decide to bring the rappel device back with them and search for traces. They want to know whose story the Tupendeo was hiding.


KASHMIR 2015

Climbing Virgin Summits
in Kashmir

In September and October 2015 Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascents of Bhala 5900m, Tupendeo 5700m and Maha Dev Phobrang 5900m and its famous Te tower, three hitherto unclimbed mountains in the Kashmir region of India’s Himalaya.

A year after visiting the Kishtwar region in Northern India, Swiss alpinists Dres Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned to the Himalaya this September and October where we pulled off another three notable first ascents.

Our trio had seen a photo of a 5900m high summit called Bhala that strikingly resembled the world-famous Matterhorn and the call of this beautiful mountain was simply too strong to ignore. Located to the south of the Kishtwar area in the Kashmir region, Bhala had previously been off-limits due to the territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and was therefore unclimbed.

Maps of the area are famously imprecise, but thanks to excellent local connections we managed to reach the town of Kaban and then quickly establish base camp at the foot of Bhala, which means Spear and was named as such by a previous expedition to the region due to its form. Weather conditions played in our favor and after biviing on the East Col on 12 September, the next morning we climbed an obvious ramp line up the 700m high North-East Face. Despite its beauty the rock quality on Bhala was extremely poor and we negotiated loose and dangerous rock to summit at 15:00 that day. We descended to the col where we bivied for a second time, and returned to Base Camp on the 14th of September.

Despite the now unstable weather with regular spills in the afternoon we set our sights on another “perfect” peak nearby called Tupendeo. In the early afternoon of the 18th of September we reached a bivy point at the base of the mountain, fixed a couple of pitches and then snuggled up for the night. The next morning we climbed an 800m line and summited at 13:30, before returning to base camp at 21:30 that same day. In stark comparison to Bhala, on Tupendeo we dealt with some of the best rock climbing we had ever had ever encountered at altitude.



 

Poor weather set in and pinned our team down in Base Camp for a week, after which we then climbed another peak in the same valley: Maha Dev Phobrang. A characteristic 200m crystal tower called Te (Crystal) juts out above 5500m and we opted for the more difficult, but certainly more beautiful line that took them straight to the top of this feature. After bivying on the ridge on 1 October, the next day we climbed 4 pitches with difficulties up to 6a/b and topped out on this pre-summit at 14:00. With time to spare we then abseiled off and continued on to the mountain’s main summit which was reached at 15:30 before returning safely to BC at 21:00. The biggest superlatives don’t even begin to explain the conditions we had on this mountain: quite simply unique.

It is interesting to note that while the Indian military maps mark Bhala as 6100m and Te as 6163m, according to the recent GPS readings both mountains are 5900m high.

Facts

Bhala (Spear) 5900m, NE Face | Route: Copa-Kaban
Start: 12/09/2015
Summit: 13/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 14/09/2015
Difficulty: mid-grade alpine climbing, loose rock

Tupendeo 5700m, SE Pillar | Route: Deokhal
Start: 18/09/2015
Summit: 19/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 19/09/2015
Difficulty: 6a/b, 21 pitches, 800m
Notes: on some maps marked as Tupendo 1 or Druid

Te (Kristall) 5900m | Route: Chaprasi
Start: 01/10/2015
Summit: 02/10/2015, Base Camp Return: 02/10/2015
Difficulty: 5c/6a, 4 pitches, 200m, excellent rock quality
Notes: alpine climbing 60° to main summit

Read on: Preparations for our Kashmir Expedition


KASHMIR 2015

In Search of
Forgotten Summits

An Adventure Begins

When the plane touches down in Delhi the real adventure begins: The heat, familiar smells from past visits, the sounds, colours and faces that all mark the beginning of an expedition to me. Sensory overload – I love it!

I’ve passed through this bustling city so many times – ironically the gateway to one of the most peaceful and preserved landscapes still left on this planet, the Kashmiri Himalayas.

Our last visit to the region got off to an adventurous start after late monsoon rains slammed the area causing the worst flooding seen in years. This year things look dryer for Thomas, Dres and I! Our project, a beautiful spear head shaped peak that caught our eye on our last visit.

The Peak

Like many other things in this hidden region, the mountain leaves a lot to be discovered. There is very little information available about the peak; not even sure how high it is, but we are guessing between 6000 and 6200 meters above sea level.

The mountain is beautiful and appears to be quite technical, exactly what we are looking for. We’ve brought everything we think we may need and are ready to take advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer!

Tobias Hatje will join our team up to basecamp and from there Thomas, Dres and myself will make our way to to the mountain. Our plan is to be back home in late October with lots of great photos and stories to retell.

Our Expedition Team: Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf, Dres Abegglen, Tobias Hatje (to base camp)

Talk to you then…


 


Experience
Stephan Siegrist

Individual presentations for organizations
and companies.

NEW - View Film about Stephan Siegrist
Corporate Presentations

In his multimedia presentations, professional mountain climber Stephan Siegrist, born in 1972, from the Bernese Oberland takes his audience on a journey into the world of climbing adventures and presents the highlights of his career as a climber and adventurist. Siegrist, considered one of the best alpinists of our time for many years now, tours not only through his native country of Switzerland but also lectures regularly abroad.

Whether in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica, high quality images and exciting videos coloring the presentations allow the spectator to lose themselves in far away worlds and bold adventures. Siegrist never portrays himself as a hero; he speaks about his remote expeditions with a large share of humor, self-irony and modesty.

Business lectures help establish synergies in the corporate world. Siegrist’s idea is to not only to motivate the employees of a company but also to inspire the management by sharing his leadership skills and experience.

Successfully implementing vision and ideas calls for clever strategy and planning in order to reach a goal and tap into the full potential available. Commitment and activity help launch a dream. Endurance and confidence help gain strength, even from failure. Knowledge and experience cultivate trust in your instinct: there are times when you have to be able to turn back.

Through his many years of expedition and team climbing, Siegrist is able to create synergies between the mountaineering and the corporate worlds and confers his know-how in the latter; minor errors can have major consequences. Optimal risk management is indispensable, whether on a mountain or within an enterprise.

Stephan Siegrist motivates and encourages reflection through his talks. His action is driven by a passion to discover and explore unknown territory. Every goal, once targeted, is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment.

Testimonials

“We booked Stephan Siegrist as a keynote speaker for our Sales Team. He combined his grasping style of performance with impressive pictures and movies and managed to illustrate the parallels between mountaineering and sales hence motivating and captivating our sales team.”

Andreas Hungerbühler, Director of Marketing & Business Development,
Bisnode D&B Schweiz AG

“Dear Stefan, thank you so much for your valuable contribution to our congress. The presentation about your highline projects brought us a conference room brimming with enthusiastic participants. The additional organization of slacklines on the hotel complex added activity to the program and rounded off the event perfectly. The participants were able get a taste of the challenges posed by a highline on alpine peaks for themselves in a more laid-back atmosphere. We are all looking forward to the follow-up event next year.”

“Exciting and captivating, focused and attuned to our guests, professional and friendly.”

Highline presentation as part of our Medi Sportortho Congress 2013, Mallorca, Frank Thelemann, Medi 

“We have invited Stephan as a speaker to our events on several occasions: whether it be speaking about motivation, concentration and dedication to juniors at a golf club or dissertating over team spirit and risk management to private bankers and hedge fund specialist’s. All were mesmerized by Stephan’s inspiring words and breathtaking pictures. Very professional.”

PAMP

Meeting Challenges

While on expedition and throughout his exploits, Stephan Siegrist is faced by numerous challenges and tasks. These can demands can be transferred to the expectations and targets found in the management setting.

Developing and implementing vision, understanding the dynamics of team building, gauging ones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the importance of self-assessment, are some of many relevant themes.

In the area of mental training, Stephan Siegrist works together with Psychologist Thomas Theurillat.

Individual Presentations

Stephan Siegrist often draws parallels to his own background and sheds light on how he pushes the limits to make the impossible possible.

These presentations can be tailored individually to your specific needs. Various theme possibilities, presentation length and number of participants can all be catered for upon request.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime for further information and a personalized proposal: info@stephan-siegrist.ch.

KISHTWAR TRIO

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas
Senf and Dres Abegglen

In early October Andreas “Dres” Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned home after an amazing and successful trip to the Kishtwar region in northern India. A magical and remote region I first visited in 2011, we had the privilege of making first ascents on two unclimbed, and unnamed 5000m peaks before making the second ascent of the impressive Kishtwar Shivling.

We left Switzerland at the start of September and were greeted in Kashmir by late and heavy monsoon rains. With a lot of luck and determination we reached our first base camp on September 13, despite the mass flooding and terrible road conditions. Eager to make up for lost time, we climbed a line up the South face of the previously unclimbed Shiepra, bivying at 5100m. We reached the 5885m high summit on September 16 and graded the route as follows: difficulties up to WI3, IV, 75° ice.

Our descent took us over the exposed West ridge, via a series of abseils followed by a 50° ice slope. The new route is called Maaji, which in Hindi means mother. The honor of naming the peak was left to our Liaisons Officer Ran Jan, who named the mountain Shiepra after the Hindi God Shiva’s wife.

The weather at this point was ideal and conditions looked promising, so we set off to make an attempt on another unclimbed peak nearby. Below the ridge leading to the peak is a very visible rock structure which looks like the renowned ‘playboy bunny’. Coming up with a good name for the peak was pretty easy, we named it Kharagosa, which in Hindi means rabbit. Thomas, Dres and I bivied at 4800m below the North East face, we continued across the glacier to the base of the East face and then ascended 1000m over tricky, mixed terrain.

Three demanding UIAA grade V pitches led to the South East face, bringing us over much easier ground and to the 5840m high summit which we reached on September 21. The new route, Pinky, is named after the most beautiful woman in the nearby village of Sumcham.
After our ascent on Kharagosa we still had time so we packed up and moved our base camp to the base of Kishtwar Shivling which we reached on September 29.



 

The North face of the technical and impressive mountain was first climbed in 1983 by Britain’s Stephen Venables and Dick Renshaw over a stretch of seven days. Political tension between Pakistan and India has resulted in this area being more or less off-limits for almost two decades. Foreign alpinists have only recently begun to return and explore the area.

Intent on making the second ascent of this magnificent peak we climbed a line up the East pillar, the target of previous expeditions, and made a first bivy on the glacier at 4700m before following a 50° ramp to the saddle at 5400m. We set our second bivy up at this point, and then climbed 10 demanding pitches past 90° WI5 ice, through a hidden couloir, bringing back memories of the famous Super Canaleta on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy, then past tricky mixed terrain which led to the foot of the enormous summit cornices.

On October 1, the gods were smiling upon us: Dres, Tomas and I were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a hole in the cornice which was big enough to climb through, leading us to the 5895m East summit. 14 abseils later we arrived back on the saddle where our tents we waiting for us. The following morning we made our descent back down to base camp. The new route is called Challo, which means let’s go in Hindi.

A successful ascent on a complex and beautiful mountain like Kistwar Shivling was a real reward for me. Kashmir is a place I am free to climb for the pure joy of the mountain and a region I cherish with deep appreciation and respect. Having all come home safely, with our backpacks full of great memories, unforgettable climbs and a lot of laughs together, has only strengthened my bond to this unbelievable and breathtaking region.

Report by Stephan Siegrist; Photos by Thomas Senf | visualimpact.ch


Kashmir
2014

New Adventure
Lies Ahead in Kashmir!

In the isolated area bordering Pakistan and North India, a beautiful unnamed, unclimbed mountain awaits us! The aesthetic 6000er is remote and hidden away from civilization – exactly what I like!

In the upcoming days, Thomas Senf and Dres (Andreas) Abegglen and I hope to get started on our project. The journey will take us back to the same valley in the Kashmir Himalayas I visited in 2011 with another team when we summited the Cerro Kishtwar.

From Zurich we’ve flown to Delhi and have now arrived in the city of Jammu. The plan from here; a 2 day Jeep ride to the town of Atholi where we begin our 5 day trek to our base camp at 4000 meters above sea level. That was the plan…

Expeditions are known for two things, amongst others; the adventure and not going according to plan!

Over the past few days Northern India, Pakistan and Kashmir have been inundated by a late monsoon. Heavy rains have caused massive flooding, landslides and destruction in cities, towns and above all the rural areas.

 

Roads have been washed away, destroyed by landslides and access has been cut off by flooding rivers and damaged bridges. The area has not seen this intensity of rain fall during post monsoon season in over 2 decades.

In short, getting to base camp is going to be more complicated than we ever imagined!

On a positive note, the weather forecast for the coming week looks better; dry weather is meant to be on its way. For the moment we are concentrating on the urgency of the situation here.

We’ll be in touch once we know more. Over the next 5 weeks we will try to send some news home twice via satellite phone to keep you updated on our progress.

For the time being I wish everyone at home a beautiful and hopefully dry autumn!


All the best from Jammu, Stephan Siegrist.
Photos taken by Thomas Senf.


News
Update

Fall 2014

CHASING RAINBOWS

This summer was definitely a good one for rainbows, just not the one I was chasing. Persistant rain, wet conditions and even snow all contributed to a frustrating summer season here in Switzerland.

Despite the continuos onslaught of rain, I was able to devote a few days of preparation to the project, but nothing close to what I was hoping for. So for this year, I’ve cut my loses and put this project on the shelf until next year!

In the mean time, I’ve turned my focus to my upcoming expedition in September.


MAE PROJECT, KASHMIR

In 2011 Denis, Burdet, David Lama and I set out to Kashmir for what would end up being one of the most memorable expeditions I have been on. In the good company of my old friend cameraman Rob Frost and photographer Stefan Schlumpf, we had the privilege of entering this area that had been primarily inaccessible to foreigners and climbers due to political instability.

I returned home from this expedition not only having successfully opened a new route on Cerro Kishtwar and on White Saphire, an unclimbed, unnamed mountain hidden in the valley, but also with inspiration for a future project!

Surrounded by a horizon of pristine and unclimbed summits, one mountain in particular caught my eye. And so, three years later, motivated and full of anticipation, I am returning to Kashmir with Dres Abegglen and photographer Thomas Senf in hopes of opening a route on this rare gem!

More info to come in September.

Weblinks:

facebook.com/stephansiegristalpinist
givengain.com
facebook.com/projectmae

New Film

Cerro Kishtwar
An Ice Clold Story



We did it! Many thanks to Timeline Productions and all the people who rolled up their sleeves & helped us get this film done!

CERRO KISHTWAR – AN ICE COLD STORY

I saw the line on the north west face of Cerro Kishtwar and couldn’t get it out of my mind. In 1992 Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy spent 17 grueling days in the same wall before having to retreat 100 metres below the summit…

25 years later, Thomas Huber, Julian Zanker and I returned to climb the line that I had dreamt about for so long.

Drop me a line if you’d like to screen the film.



Har Har
Mahadev

Success on
Cerro Kishtwar

On October 14th Stephan Siegrist (SUI), Julian Zanker (SUI), and Thomas Huber (GER) stood atop the granite giant in Kashmir. They are the fourth team that was able to climb this mountain via a spectacular line. Their goal was the yet unclimbed central north-west face of Cerro Kishtwar.

In 1992 the two Englishmen Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy tried to climb their way through the wall. They had to give up 100 meters below the summit after 17 days due to exhaustion.

A year later their fellow landsmen Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad climbed by way of an ice chute in the left part of the wall to a notch at about 5600 meters and moved over into the slightly flatter east part of the mountain to reach the peak as the first team to do so. The mountains in Kashmir were then barred for all foreign alpinists for several years for military and political reasons.

The ban was lifted early in 2010 and Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet, and David Lama made the first expedition into the mountain region in 2011.Their goal was to climb Cerro Kishtwar alpine style. They reached the summit as the second team ever via an ice track on the north-west side to the right of the distinctive granite wall. In 2015 Hayden Kennedy, Marco Prezelj, Manu Pellisier, and Urban Novak climbed the granite tower via the east wall alpine style and were awarded the Piolet d`Or for their ascent.

The team of three began their adventure in the Kashmiri Himalaya on September 7th. They reached base camp on September 13th. Best weather conditions left the team with no break and they were able to establish ABC on September 18th at 5050 meters.

The team began their ascent of the wall on October 1st after several material transports. They weren’t able to stick to their plan to complete their climb in five days. They discontinued their first attempt for tactical reasons and returned to base camp. They returned on October 8th with new strength and a fresh attitude, right back into the adventure!

The weather was stable. The mornings were clear, clouds came in by noon, the afternoons brought snow. The team had to fight iced up cracks, spindrift, extreme cold with temperatures below -20° C, and difficult techno-climbing up to A3+. On summit day, October 14th, they were rewarded with a sunny day. We almost felt like we weren’t alone.



 

Like we were being rewarded for everything we had to go through with this unique moment. We took the last meters together and we could hardly believe it. Cirrostratus clouds flew by in the jet stream 500 meters above us and we were standing there in the sun, in complete calm. We all knew that we were only able to make it because we felt like a courageous alliance together!

Our route through the north-west wall of the Cerro Kishtwar will be named „Har-Har Mahadev.“ This saying is from Hindu mythology and dedicated to the god Lord Shiva: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Or as we would say in Bavaria: „Get a grip!“

Interview

Listen for an interview on The Cutting Edge, a podcast from the editors of the American Alpine Journal:

Weblink: americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-podcast

Facts

The team partially used fixed ropes in the first part of the wall and established Camp 1 at „Snowledge“ on the foot of the granite wall at 5450 meters. They were able to reach pitch 7 after three days during their first attempt. They started their second attempt the next day on October 8th. They reached the summit seven days later. The team spent ten days in the wall in total. They established 4 camps: Camp 1 “Snowledge”, Camp 2 “Happyledge”, Camp 3 “Sunnyledge”, Camp 4 “Kempinski”.

First ascent of the central north-west face by Stephan Siegrist, Julian Zanker, and Thomas Huber on October 14th, 2017.

Route name: „Har Har Mahadev“ from Hindu mythology meaning no less than: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Grades: VII, A3+,6b, M6, 80°

First part: 400 meters ice and mixed

Second part: 600 meters rock and mixed, 24 pitches

Belays partially equipped with bolts

Drill holes in the pitches: 8 Bathooks and 7 rivets

Material used: 15 Bird Beaks in different sizes, 4 Baby Angels, 6 Lost Arrows, 4 knifeblades, stoppers, double set of Cams up to Nr.4

Portaledge necessary

Descent: Rappell over the route


Jeff Lowes
Metanoia

Thomas Huber, Roger
Schäli & Stephan Siegrist
gelingt die zweite
Begehung

Thomas Huber, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist score the second ascent of Jeff Lowe’s legendary climbing route “Metanoia” on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland.

In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) made their way to climb one of the most bold and legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, who was fascinated by the unique history behind the climb, was quick to get Siegrist on the team to climb “Metanoia.” Schaeli was also on board immediately.

The three pro-climbers began their first attempt in the week before Christmas. They had to abort their effort about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge after their bivvy due to increasingly bad weather conditions. A second attempt on December 28th, 2016 had to be interrupted shortly after a storm set in. They commenced their climb on “Metanoia” on December 29th, 2016. They set their bivvy about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge again and continued onward the next day. The three alpinists reached the top-out of “Metanoia” in the evening of December 30th, 2016. They are the first to successfully repeat the route.

“Metanoia” was established in 1991 by the exceptional American alpinist Jeff Lowe in the winter in a solo effort. Lowe is known, amongst others, for his solo ascent of the south face of Ama Dablam in 1979. He also still holds the record for reaching the highpoint of Latok I. Lowe has ticked more than 1000 first ascents worldwide. He was involved in the development of the first ice screw as well as first cam. He also invented the globally recognized difficulty scale for ice and mixed climbs. He brought the Sport Climbing Championships to the USA and opened the legendary and well- visited Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.

1991 was a tough year for Lowe personally. When he began his attempt to open a new, direct line though the north face of the Eiger. Lowe wanted to create a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism who approached the greatest alpine walls with primitive equipment and techniques, without using bolts. Lowe says: “ So I also climbed with no bolts, hoping that Metanoia might serve as an example of what can be accomplished without them.”
Nine days later Lowe appears at the summit of the Eiger, defying adverse conditions. He braved severe storms and proved his mastery of climbing and his power of
endurance. In the life of Jeff Lowe this climb was somewhat a path to enlightenment.

He climbed out of the north face of Eiger with a whole new view on life. He named his route “Metanoia” which is Greek and means as much as “fundamental change of view, transformative change of heart.” Lowe says: ““Metanoia” rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life operates. As a result I have become more compassionate and connected to my family, friends, the climbing tribe, humanity, the planet and the universe.” In his route Lowe found his attitude towards life that still holds true today: to approach everything with courage and love. He hasn’t lost this attitude even after being diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder 16 years ago that has tied him to a wheelchair.



 

Jeff Lowe was excited about the first repeat of his “Metanoia”: “Thomas Huber called us to share the good news that he, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist succeeded on “Metanoia”. I’m happy and gratified that they found the route to be hard, bold, beautiful and ‘visionary.’ Their confirmation of the quality of Metanoia is very gratifying and quite humbling. Best of all, Thomas understands what I was doing with the climb; which was trying to create an example of how alpinists can progress in an environmentally conscious way that honors the spirit of extreme alpinism.”

Thomas Huber Lowe’s ascent of “Metanoia”: “He was alone, he had never been in the wall before, he could only rely on himself. I tried to imagine myself in his place after every hard passage that lay behind me. His fight passed in front of my inner eye like a movie. What he accomplished is really just madness.”

Huber goes on saying: “With Metanoia Jeff was able to prove that you can accomplish impossible challenges just with your heart. He set new standards in alpinism with his ascent. This Metanoia, the new way of seeing the world and this new mind-set on life help Jeff today to approach his battle with his illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude is what inspires me in my life. We, Steff, Roger and I, are thankful to be able to live Metanoia.”
Stephan Siegrist is also impressed by Lowe’s achievement. He says: “He climbed that route in this hard wall alone with the gear they had back then! You can only survive that kind of hardship if you’re in a deep crisis.” The route itself is something special for Siegrist, too: “When I climbed the north face of the Eiger for the first time with about 20 years of age Lowe had already climbed “Metanoia.” The spectacular ascent and following stories in the media have followed me and have left me in awe ever since.” Climbing the route himself was something special for Siegrist: “After 37 ascents and three first ascents in the north face of the Eiger the “Metanoia” definitely put the crown on it all. For me personally this is one of the highlights of my 37 ascents on the Eiger.”

Roger Schaeli adds: “Climbing “Metanoia” was my biggest adventure on the Eiger with the coolest team with which I was allowed to climb on the north face! The route inspired me to find more alpine challenges. My highest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. “Metanoia” is really bad ass!”

Lowe climbed “Metanoia” in 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli installed an 8mm bolt at a belay since they wanted to avoid the risk of the entire rope team falling. In addition they used a 10mm bolt in a pitch before the Hinterstoisser Traverse. It was probably drilled to support the film team of the documentary “Metanoia.”

Facts

Route: Metanoia, 7, A4, M6
Berg: Eiger north face, Switzerland
First ascent 1991: Jeff Lowe (USA), solo
First repeat 2016: Huber, Siegrist, Schaeli with 8mm bolt and cliff (belay), 10 mm bolt (from film production “Metanoia” documentary 2013)
Website Jeff Lowe: jeffloweclimber.com
notextile.

Tupendeo

One mountain,
Two stories

Film Trailer



Film Premiere

The Tupendeo film premiere will take place on November 19th at the Kendal Mountain Festival (UK).



Film Description

Leaving a trail is not a uniquely human activity. All animals do, from thin sheep tracks to the chemical trail left by a line of ants. Whether we wish to or not, we leave our mark wherever we go.

As the world’s population increases, and travel becomes easier, we must journey further, or look more closely, to find untrodden ground or an unclimbed peak. We seek the opposite of the trail’s logical purpose: instead of getting from one place to another as simply as possible, we break trail for no other reason than to find somewhere new and to feed our hunger for adventure.

When Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen set off towards Tupendeo in 2015, they have no clue that the peak already has its own story to tell. The locals warn them that tragedy had struck many years ago. As the trio climb up the face, they come across an old rope still hanging along with a rappel device, causing many questions to arise. Who left it hanging there? What happened?

They all know far too well how close success and defeat can be on a mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they decide to bring the rappel device back with them and search for traces. They want to know whose story the Tupendeo was hiding.


KASHMIR 2015

Climbing Virgin Summits
in Kashmir

In September and October 2015 Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascents of Bhala 5900m, Tupendeo 5700m and Maha Dev Phobrang 5900m and its famous Te tower, three hitherto unclimbed mountains in the Kashmir region of India’s Himalaya.

A year after visiting the Kishtwar region in Northern India, Swiss alpinists Dres Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned to the Himalaya this September and October where we pulled off another three notable first ascents.

Our trio had seen a photo of a 5900m high summit called Bhala that strikingly resembled the world-famous Matterhorn and the call of this beautiful mountain was simply too strong to ignore. Located to the south of the Kishtwar area in the Kashmir region, Bhala had previously been off-limits due to the territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and was therefore unclimbed.

Maps of the area are famously imprecise, but thanks to excellent local connections we managed to reach the town of Kaban and then quickly establish base camp at the foot of Bhala, which means Spear and was named as such by a previous expedition to the region due to its form. Weather conditions played in our favor and after biviing on the East Col on 12 September, the next morning we climbed an obvious ramp line up the 700m high North-East Face. Despite its beauty the rock quality on Bhala was extremely poor and we negotiated loose and dangerous rock to summit at 15:00 that day. We descended to the col where we bivied for a second time, and returned to Base Camp on the 14th of September.

Despite the now unstable weather with regular spills in the afternoon we set our sights on another “perfect” peak nearby called Tupendeo. In the early afternoon of the 18th of September we reached a bivy point at the base of the mountain, fixed a couple of pitches and then snuggled up for the night. The next morning we climbed an 800m line and summited at 13:30, before returning to base camp at 21:30 that same day. In stark comparison to Bhala, on Tupendeo we dealt with some of the best rock climbing we had ever had ever encountered at altitude.



 

Poor weather set in and pinned our team down in Base Camp for a week, after which we then climbed another peak in the same valley: Maha Dev Phobrang. A characteristic 200m crystal tower called Te (Crystal) juts out above 5500m and we opted for the more difficult, but certainly more beautiful line that took them straight to the top of this feature. After bivying on the ridge on 1 October, the next day we climbed 4 pitches with difficulties up to 6a/b and topped out on this pre-summit at 14:00. With time to spare we then abseiled off and continued on to the mountain’s main summit which was reached at 15:30 before returning safely to BC at 21:00. The biggest superlatives don’t even begin to explain the conditions we had on this mountain: quite simply unique.

It is interesting to note that while the Indian military maps mark Bhala as 6100m and Te as 6163m, according to the recent GPS readings both mountains are 5900m high.

Facts

Bhala (Spear) 5900m, NE Face | Route: Copa-Kaban
Start: 12/09/2015
Summit: 13/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 14/09/2015
Difficulty: mid-grade alpine climbing, loose rock

Tupendeo 5700m, SE Pillar | Route: Deokhal
Start: 18/09/2015
Summit: 19/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 19/09/2015
Difficulty: 6a/b, 21 pitches, 800m
Notes: on some maps marked as Tupendo 1 or Druid

Te (Kristall) 5900m | Route: Chaprasi
Start: 01/10/2015
Summit: 02/10/2015, Base Camp Return: 02/10/2015
Difficulty: 5c/6a, 4 pitches, 200m, excellent rock quality
Notes: alpine climbing 60° to main summit

Read on: Preparations for our Kashmir Expedition


KASHMIR 2015

In Search of
Forgotten Summits

An Adventure Begins

When the plane touches down in Delhi the real adventure begins: The heat, familiar smells from past visits, the sounds, colours and faces that all mark the beginning of an expedition to me. Sensory overload – I love it!

I’ve passed through this bustling city so many times – ironically the gateway to one of the most peaceful and preserved landscapes still left on this planet, the Kashmiri Himalayas.

Our last visit to the region got off to an adventurous start after late monsoon rains slammed the area causing the worst flooding seen in years. This year things look dryer for Thomas, Dres and I! Our project, a beautiful spear head shaped peak that caught our eye on our last visit.

The Peak

Like many other things in this hidden region, the mountain leaves a lot to be discovered. There is very little information available about the peak; not even sure how high it is, but we are guessing between 6000 and 6200 meters above sea level.

The mountain is beautiful and appears to be quite technical, exactly what we are looking for. We’ve brought everything we think we may need and are ready to take advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer!

Tobias Hatje will join our team up to basecamp and from there Thomas, Dres and myself will make our way to to the mountain. Our plan is to be back home in late October with lots of great photos and stories to retell.

Our Expedition Team: Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf, Dres Abegglen, Tobias Hatje (to base camp)

Talk to you then…


 


Experience
Stephan Siegrist

Individual presentations for organizations
and companies.

NEW - View Film about Stephan Siegrist
Corporate Presentations

In his multimedia presentations, professional mountain climber Stephan Siegrist, born in 1972, from the Bernese Oberland takes his audience on a journey into the world of climbing adventures and presents the highlights of his career as a climber and adventurist. Siegrist, considered one of the best alpinists of our time for many years now, tours not only through his native country of Switzerland but also lectures regularly abroad.

Whether in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica, high quality images and exciting videos coloring the presentations allow the spectator to lose themselves in far away worlds and bold adventures. Siegrist never portrays himself as a hero; he speaks about his remote expeditions with a large share of humor, self-irony and modesty.

Business lectures help establish synergies in the corporate world. Siegrist’s idea is to not only to motivate the employees of a company but also to inspire the management by sharing his leadership skills and experience.

Successfully implementing vision and ideas calls for clever strategy and planning in order to reach a goal and tap into the full potential available. Commitment and activity help launch a dream. Endurance and confidence help gain strength, even from failure. Knowledge and experience cultivate trust in your instinct: there are times when you have to be able to turn back.

Through his many years of expedition and team climbing, Siegrist is able to create synergies between the mountaineering and the corporate worlds and confers his know-how in the latter; minor errors can have major consequences. Optimal risk management is indispensable, whether on a mountain or within an enterprise.

Stephan Siegrist motivates and encourages reflection through his talks. His action is driven by a passion to discover and explore unknown territory. Every goal, once targeted, is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment.

Testimonials

“We booked Stephan Siegrist as a keynote speaker for our Sales Team. He combined his grasping style of performance with impressive pictures and movies and managed to illustrate the parallels between mountaineering and sales hence motivating and captivating our sales team.”

Andreas Hungerbühler, Director of Marketing & Business Development,
Bisnode D&B Schweiz AG

“Dear Stefan, thank you so much for your valuable contribution to our congress. The presentation about your highline projects brought us a conference room brimming with enthusiastic participants. The additional organization of slacklines on the hotel complex added activity to the program and rounded off the event perfectly. The participants were able get a taste of the challenges posed by a highline on alpine peaks for themselves in a more laid-back atmosphere. We are all looking forward to the follow-up event next year.”

“Exciting and captivating, focused and attuned to our guests, professional and friendly.”

Highline presentation as part of our Medi Sportortho Congress 2013, Mallorca, Frank Thelemann, Medi 

“We have invited Stephan as a speaker to our events on several occasions: whether it be speaking about motivation, concentration and dedication to juniors at a golf club or dissertating over team spirit and risk management to private bankers and hedge fund specialist’s. All were mesmerized by Stephan’s inspiring words and breathtaking pictures. Very professional.”

PAMP

Meeting Challenges

While on expedition and throughout his exploits, Stephan Siegrist is faced by numerous challenges and tasks. These can demands can be transferred to the expectations and targets found in the management setting.

Developing and implementing vision, understanding the dynamics of team building, gauging ones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the importance of self-assessment, are some of many relevant themes.

In the area of mental training, Stephan Siegrist works together with Psychologist Thomas Theurillat.

Individual Presentations

Stephan Siegrist often draws parallels to his own background and sheds light on how he pushes the limits to make the impossible possible.

These presentations can be tailored individually to your specific needs. Various theme possibilities, presentation length and number of participants can all be catered for upon request.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime for further information and a personalized proposal: info@stephan-siegrist.ch.

KISHTWAR TRIO

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas
Senf and Dres Abegglen

In early October Andreas “Dres” Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned home after an amazing and successful trip to the Kishtwar region in northern India. A magical and remote region I first visited in 2011, we had the privilege of making first ascents on two unclimbed, and unnamed 5000m peaks before making the second ascent of the impressive Kishtwar Shivling.

We left Switzerland at the start of September and were greeted in Kashmir by late and heavy monsoon rains. With a lot of luck and determination we reached our first base camp on September 13, despite the mass flooding and terrible road conditions. Eager to make up for lost time, we climbed a line up the South face of the previously unclimbed Shiepra, bivying at 5100m. We reached the 5885m high summit on September 16 and graded the route as follows: difficulties up to WI3, IV, 75° ice.

Our descent took us over the exposed West ridge, via a series of abseils followed by a 50° ice slope. The new route is called Maaji, which in Hindi means mother. The honor of naming the peak was left to our Liaisons Officer Ran Jan, who named the mountain Shiepra after the Hindi God Shiva’s wife.

The weather at this point was ideal and conditions looked promising, so we set off to make an attempt on another unclimbed peak nearby. Below the ridge leading to the peak is a very visible rock structure which looks like the renowned ‘playboy bunny’. Coming up with a good name for the peak was pretty easy, we named it Kharagosa, which in Hindi means rabbit. Thomas, Dres and I bivied at 4800m below the North East face, we continued across the glacier to the base of the East face and then ascended 1000m over tricky, mixed terrain.

Three demanding UIAA grade V pitches led to the South East face, bringing us over much easier ground and to the 5840m high summit which we reached on September 21. The new route, Pinky, is named after the most beautiful woman in the nearby village of Sumcham.
After our ascent on Kharagosa we still had time so we packed up and moved our base camp to the base of Kishtwar Shivling which we reached on September 29.



 

The North face of the technical and impressive mountain was first climbed in 1983 by Britain’s Stephen Venables and Dick Renshaw over a stretch of seven days. Political tension between Pakistan and India has resulted in this area being more or less off-limits for almost two decades. Foreign alpinists have only recently begun to return and explore the area.

Intent on making the second ascent of this magnificent peak we climbed a line up the East pillar, the target of previous expeditions, and made a first bivy on the glacier at 4700m before following a 50° ramp to the saddle at 5400m. We set our second bivy up at this point, and then climbed 10 demanding pitches past 90° WI5 ice, through a hidden couloir, bringing back memories of the famous Super Canaleta on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy, then past tricky mixed terrain which led to the foot of the enormous summit cornices.

On October 1, the gods were smiling upon us: Dres, Tomas and I were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a hole in the cornice which was big enough to climb through, leading us to the 5895m East summit. 14 abseils later we arrived back on the saddle where our tents we waiting for us. The following morning we made our descent back down to base camp. The new route is called Challo, which means let’s go in Hindi.

A successful ascent on a complex and beautiful mountain like Kistwar Shivling was a real reward for me. Kashmir is a place I am free to climb for the pure joy of the mountain and a region I cherish with deep appreciation and respect. Having all come home safely, with our backpacks full of great memories, unforgettable climbs and a lot of laughs together, has only strengthened my bond to this unbelievable and breathtaking region.

Report by Stephan Siegrist; Photos by Thomas Senf | visualimpact.ch


Kashmir
2014

New Adventure
Lies Ahead in Kashmir!

In the isolated area bordering Pakistan and North India, a beautiful unnamed, unclimbed mountain awaits us! The aesthetic 6000er is remote and hidden away from civilization – exactly what I like!

In the upcoming days, Thomas Senf and Dres (Andreas) Abegglen and I hope to get started on our project. The journey will take us back to the same valley in the Kashmir Himalayas I visited in 2011 with another team when we summited the Cerro Kishtwar.

From Zurich we’ve flown to Delhi and have now arrived in the city of Jammu. The plan from here; a 2 day Jeep ride to the town of Atholi where we begin our 5 day trek to our base camp at 4000 meters above sea level. That was the plan…

Expeditions are known for two things, amongst others; the adventure and not going according to plan!

Over the past few days Northern India, Pakistan and Kashmir have been inundated by a late monsoon. Heavy rains have caused massive flooding, landslides and destruction in cities, towns and above all the rural areas.

 

Roads have been washed away, destroyed by landslides and access has been cut off by flooding rivers and damaged bridges. The area has not seen this intensity of rain fall during post monsoon season in over 2 decades.

In short, getting to base camp is going to be more complicated than we ever imagined!

On a positive note, the weather forecast for the coming week looks better; dry weather is meant to be on its way. For the moment we are concentrating on the urgency of the situation here.

We’ll be in touch once we know more. Over the next 5 weeks we will try to send some news home twice via satellite phone to keep you updated on our progress.

For the time being I wish everyone at home a beautiful and hopefully dry autumn!


All the best from Jammu, Stephan Siegrist.
Photos taken by Thomas Senf.


News
Update

Fall 2014

CHASING RAINBOWS

This summer was definitely a good one for rainbows, just not the one I was chasing. Persistant rain, wet conditions and even snow all contributed to a frustrating summer season here in Switzerland.

Despite the continuos onslaught of rain, I was able to devote a few days of preparation to the project, but nothing close to what I was hoping for. So for this year, I’ve cut my loses and put this project on the shelf until next year!

In the mean time, I’ve turned my focus to my upcoming expedition in September.


MAE PROJECT, KASHMIR

In 2011 Denis, Burdet, David Lama and I set out to Kashmir for what would end up being one of the most memorable expeditions I have been on. In the good company of my old friend cameraman Rob Frost and photographer Stefan Schlumpf, we had the privilege of entering this area that had been primarily inaccessible to foreigners and climbers due to political instability.

I returned home from this expedition not only having successfully opened a new route on Cerro Kishtwar and on White Saphire, an unclimbed, unnamed mountain hidden in the valley, but also with inspiration for a future project!

Surrounded by a horizon of pristine and unclimbed summits, one mountain in particular caught my eye. And so, three years later, motivated and full of anticipation, I am returning to Kashmir with Dres Abegglen and photographer Thomas Senf in hopes of opening a route on this rare gem!

More info to come in September.

Weblinks:

facebook.com/stephansiegristalpinist
givengain.com
facebook.com/projectmae

New Film

Cerro Kishtwar
An Ice Clold Story



We did it! Many thanks to Timeline Productions and all the people who rolled up their sleeves & helped us get this film done!

CERRO KISHTWAR – AN ICE COLD STORY

I saw the line on the north west face of Cerro Kishtwar and couldn’t get it out of my mind. In 1992 Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy spent 17 grueling days in the same wall before having to retreat 100 metres below the summit…

25 years later, Thomas Huber, Julian Zanker and I returned to climb the line that I had dreamt about for so long.

Drop me a line if you’d like to screen the film.



Har Har
Mahadev

Success on
Cerro Kishtwar

On October 14th Stephan Siegrist (SUI), Julian Zanker (SUI), and Thomas Huber (GER) stood atop the granite giant in Kashmir. They are the fourth team that was able to climb this mountain via a spectacular line. Their goal was the yet unclimbed central north-west face of Cerro Kishtwar.

In 1992 the two Englishmen Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy tried to climb their way through the wall. They had to give up 100 meters below the summit after 17 days due to exhaustion.

A year later their fellow landsmen Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad climbed by way of an ice chute in the left part of the wall to a notch at about 5600 meters and moved over into the slightly flatter east part of the mountain to reach the peak as the first team to do so. The mountains in Kashmir were then barred for all foreign alpinists for several years for military and political reasons.

The ban was lifted early in 2010 and Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet, and David Lama made the first expedition into the mountain region in 2011.Their goal was to climb Cerro Kishtwar alpine style. They reached the summit as the second team ever via an ice track on the north-west side to the right of the distinctive granite wall. In 2015 Hayden Kennedy, Marco Prezelj, Manu Pellisier, and Urban Novak climbed the granite tower via the east wall alpine style and were awarded the Piolet d`Or for their ascent.

The team of three began their adventure in the Kashmiri Himalaya on September 7th. They reached base camp on September 13th. Best weather conditions left the team with no break and they were able to establish ABC on September 18th at 5050 meters.

The team began their ascent of the wall on October 1st after several material transports. They weren’t able to stick to their plan to complete their climb in five days. They discontinued their first attempt for tactical reasons and returned to base camp. They returned on October 8th with new strength and a fresh attitude, right back into the adventure!

The weather was stable. The mornings were clear, clouds came in by noon, the afternoons brought snow. The team had to fight iced up cracks, spindrift, extreme cold with temperatures below -20° C, and difficult techno-climbing up to A3+. On summit day, October 14th, they were rewarded with a sunny day. We almost felt like we weren’t alone.



 

Like we were being rewarded for everything we had to go through with this unique moment. We took the last meters together and we could hardly believe it. Cirrostratus clouds flew by in the jet stream 500 meters above us and we were standing there in the sun, in complete calm. We all knew that we were only able to make it because we felt like a courageous alliance together!

Our route through the north-west wall of the Cerro Kishtwar will be named „Har-Har Mahadev.“ This saying is from Hindu mythology and dedicated to the god Lord Shiva: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Or as we would say in Bavaria: „Get a grip!“

Interview

Listen for an interview on The Cutting Edge, a podcast from the editors of the American Alpine Journal:

Weblink: americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-podcast

Facts

The team partially used fixed ropes in the first part of the wall and established Camp 1 at „Snowledge“ on the foot of the granite wall at 5450 meters. They were able to reach pitch 7 after three days during their first attempt. They started their second attempt the next day on October 8th. They reached the summit seven days later. The team spent ten days in the wall in total. They established 4 camps: Camp 1 “Snowledge”, Camp 2 “Happyledge”, Camp 3 “Sunnyledge”, Camp 4 “Kempinski”.

First ascent of the central north-west face by Stephan Siegrist, Julian Zanker, and Thomas Huber on October 14th, 2017.

Route name: „Har Har Mahadev“ from Hindu mythology meaning no less than: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Grades: VII, A3+,6b, M6, 80°

First part: 400 meters ice and mixed

Second part: 600 meters rock and mixed, 24 pitches

Belays partially equipped with bolts

Drill holes in the pitches: 8 Bathooks and 7 rivets

Material used: 15 Bird Beaks in different sizes, 4 Baby Angels, 6 Lost Arrows, 4 knifeblades, stoppers, double set of Cams up to Nr.4

Portaledge necessary

Descent: Rappell over the route


Jeff Lowes
Metanoia

Thomas Huber, Roger
Schäli & Stephan Siegrist
gelingt die zweite
Begehung

Thomas Huber, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist score the second ascent of Jeff Lowe’s legendary climbing route “Metanoia” on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland.

In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) made their way to climb one of the most bold and legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, who was fascinated by the unique history behind the climb, was quick to get Siegrist on the team to climb “Metanoia.” Schaeli was also on board immediately.

The three pro-climbers began their first attempt in the week before Christmas. They had to abort their effort about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge after their bivvy due to increasingly bad weather conditions. A second attempt on December 28th, 2016 had to be interrupted shortly after a storm set in. They commenced their climb on “Metanoia” on December 29th, 2016. They set their bivvy about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge again and continued onward the next day. The three alpinists reached the top-out of “Metanoia” in the evening of December 30th, 2016. They are the first to successfully repeat the route.

“Metanoia” was established in 1991 by the exceptional American alpinist Jeff Lowe in the winter in a solo effort. Lowe is known, amongst others, for his solo ascent of the south face of Ama Dablam in 1979. He also still holds the record for reaching the highpoint of Latok I. Lowe has ticked more than 1000 first ascents worldwide. He was involved in the development of the first ice screw as well as first cam. He also invented the globally recognized difficulty scale for ice and mixed climbs. He brought the Sport Climbing Championships to the USA and opened the legendary and well- visited Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.

1991 was a tough year for Lowe personally. When he began his attempt to open a new, direct line though the north face of the Eiger. Lowe wanted to create a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism who approached the greatest alpine walls with primitive equipment and techniques, without using bolts. Lowe says: “ So I also climbed with no bolts, hoping that Metanoia might serve as an example of what can be accomplished without them.”
Nine days later Lowe appears at the summit of the Eiger, defying adverse conditions. He braved severe storms and proved his mastery of climbing and his power of
endurance. In the life of Jeff Lowe this climb was somewhat a path to enlightenment.

He climbed out of the north face of Eiger with a whole new view on life. He named his route “Metanoia” which is Greek and means as much as “fundamental change of view, transformative change of heart.” Lowe says: ““Metanoia” rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life operates. As a result I have become more compassionate and connected to my family, friends, the climbing tribe, humanity, the planet and the universe.” In his route Lowe found his attitude towards life that still holds true today: to approach everything with courage and love. He hasn’t lost this attitude even after being diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder 16 years ago that has tied him to a wheelchair.



 

Jeff Lowe was excited about the first repeat of his “Metanoia”: “Thomas Huber called us to share the good news that he, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist succeeded on “Metanoia”. I’m happy and gratified that they found the route to be hard, bold, beautiful and ‘visionary.’ Their confirmation of the quality of Metanoia is very gratifying and quite humbling. Best of all, Thomas understands what I was doing with the climb; which was trying to create an example of how alpinists can progress in an environmentally conscious way that honors the spirit of extreme alpinism.”

Thomas Huber Lowe’s ascent of “Metanoia”: “He was alone, he had never been in the wall before, he could only rely on himself. I tried to imagine myself in his place after every hard passage that lay behind me. His fight passed in front of my inner eye like a movie. What he accomplished is really just madness.”

Huber goes on saying: “With Metanoia Jeff was able to prove that you can accomplish impossible challenges just with your heart. He set new standards in alpinism with his ascent. This Metanoia, the new way of seeing the world and this new mind-set on life help Jeff today to approach his battle with his illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude is what inspires me in my life. We, Steff, Roger and I, are thankful to be able to live Metanoia.”
Stephan Siegrist is also impressed by Lowe’s achievement. He says: “He climbed that route in this hard wall alone with the gear they had back then! You can only survive that kind of hardship if you’re in a deep crisis.” The route itself is something special for Siegrist, too: “When I climbed the north face of the Eiger for the first time with about 20 years of age Lowe had already climbed “Metanoia.” The spectacular ascent and following stories in the media have followed me and have left me in awe ever since.” Climbing the route himself was something special for Siegrist: “After 37 ascents and three first ascents in the north face of the Eiger the “Metanoia” definitely put the crown on it all. For me personally this is one of the highlights of my 37 ascents on the Eiger.”

Roger Schaeli adds: “Climbing “Metanoia” was my biggest adventure on the Eiger with the coolest team with which I was allowed to climb on the north face! The route inspired me to find more alpine challenges. My highest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. “Metanoia” is really bad ass!”

Lowe climbed “Metanoia” in 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli installed an 8mm bolt at a belay since they wanted to avoid the risk of the entire rope team falling. In addition they used a 10mm bolt in a pitch before the Hinterstoisser Traverse. It was probably drilled to support the film team of the documentary “Metanoia.”

Facts

Route: Metanoia, 7, A4, M6
Berg: Eiger north face, Switzerland
First ascent 1991: Jeff Lowe (USA), solo
First repeat 2016: Huber, Siegrist, Schaeli with 8mm bolt and cliff (belay), 10 mm bolt (from film production “Metanoia” documentary 2013)
Website Jeff Lowe: jeffloweclimber.com
notextile.

Tupendeo

One mountain,
Two stories

Film Trailer



Film Premiere

The Tupendeo film premiere will take place on November 19th at the Kendal Mountain Festival (UK).



Film Description

Leaving a trail is not a uniquely human activity. All animals do, from thin sheep tracks to the chemical trail left by a line of ants. Whether we wish to or not, we leave our mark wherever we go.

As the world’s population increases, and travel becomes easier, we must journey further, or look more closely, to find untrodden ground or an unclimbed peak. We seek the opposite of the trail’s logical purpose: instead of getting from one place to another as simply as possible, we break trail for no other reason than to find somewhere new and to feed our hunger for adventure.

When Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen set off towards Tupendeo in 2015, they have no clue that the peak already has its own story to tell. The locals warn them that tragedy had struck many years ago. As the trio climb up the face, they come across an old rope still hanging along with a rappel device, causing many questions to arise. Who left it hanging there? What happened?

They all know far too well how close success and defeat can be on a mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they decide to bring the rappel device back with them and search for traces. They want to know whose story the Tupendeo was hiding.


KASHMIR 2015

Climbing Virgin Summits
in Kashmir

In September and October 2015 Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascents of Bhala 5900m, Tupendeo 5700m and Maha Dev Phobrang 5900m and its famous Te tower, three hitherto unclimbed mountains in the Kashmir region of India’s Himalaya.

A year after visiting the Kishtwar region in Northern India, Swiss alpinists Dres Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned to the Himalaya this September and October where we pulled off another three notable first ascents.

Our trio had seen a photo of a 5900m high summit called Bhala that strikingly resembled the world-famous Matterhorn and the call of this beautiful mountain was simply too strong to ignore. Located to the south of the Kishtwar area in the Kashmir region, Bhala had previously been off-limits due to the territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and was therefore unclimbed.

Maps of the area are famously imprecise, but thanks to excellent local connections we managed to reach the town of Kaban and then quickly establish base camp at the foot of Bhala, which means Spear and was named as such by a previous expedition to the region due to its form. Weather conditions played in our favor and after biviing on the East Col on 12 September, the next morning we climbed an obvious ramp line up the 700m high North-East Face. Despite its beauty the rock quality on Bhala was extremely poor and we negotiated loose and dangerous rock to summit at 15:00 that day. We descended to the col where we bivied for a second time, and returned to Base Camp on the 14th of September.

Despite the now unstable weather with regular spills in the afternoon we set our sights on another “perfect” peak nearby called Tupendeo. In the early afternoon of the 18th of September we reached a bivy point at the base of the mountain, fixed a couple of pitches and then snuggled up for the night. The next morning we climbed an 800m line and summited at 13:30, before returning to base camp at 21:30 that same day. In stark comparison to Bhala, on Tupendeo we dealt with some of the best rock climbing we had ever had ever encountered at altitude.



 

Poor weather set in and pinned our team down in Base Camp for a week, after which we then climbed another peak in the same valley: Maha Dev Phobrang. A characteristic 200m crystal tower called Te (Crystal) juts out above 5500m and we opted for the more difficult, but certainly more beautiful line that took them straight to the top of this feature. After bivying on the ridge on 1 October, the next day we climbed 4 pitches with difficulties up to 6a/b and topped out on this pre-summit at 14:00. With time to spare we then abseiled off and continued on to the mountain’s main summit which was reached at 15:30 before returning safely to BC at 21:00. The biggest superlatives don’t even begin to explain the conditions we had on this mountain: quite simply unique.

It is interesting to note that while the Indian military maps mark Bhala as 6100m and Te as 6163m, according to the recent GPS readings both mountains are 5900m high.

Facts

Bhala (Spear) 5900m, NE Face | Route: Copa-Kaban
Start: 12/09/2015
Summit: 13/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 14/09/2015
Difficulty: mid-grade alpine climbing, loose rock

Tupendeo 5700m, SE Pillar | Route: Deokhal
Start: 18/09/2015
Summit: 19/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 19/09/2015
Difficulty: 6a/b, 21 pitches, 800m
Notes: on some maps marked as Tupendo 1 or Druid

Te (Kristall) 5900m | Route: Chaprasi
Start: 01/10/2015
Summit: 02/10/2015, Base Camp Return: 02/10/2015
Difficulty: 5c/6a, 4 pitches, 200m, excellent rock quality
Notes: alpine climbing 60° to main summit

Read on: Preparations for our Kashmir Expedition


KASHMIR 2015

In Search of
Forgotten Summits

An Adventure Begins

When the plane touches down in Delhi the real adventure begins: The heat, familiar smells from past visits, the sounds, colours and faces that all mark the beginning of an expedition to me. Sensory overload – I love it!

I’ve passed through this bustling city so many times – ironically the gateway to one of the most peaceful and preserved landscapes still left on this planet, the Kashmiri Himalayas.

Our last visit to the region got off to an adventurous start after late monsoon rains slammed the area causing the worst flooding seen in years. This year things look dryer for Thomas, Dres and I! Our project, a beautiful spear head shaped peak that caught our eye on our last visit.

The Peak

Like many other things in this hidden region, the mountain leaves a lot to be discovered. There is very little information available about the peak; not even sure how high it is, but we are guessing between 6000 and 6200 meters above sea level.

The mountain is beautiful and appears to be quite technical, exactly what we are looking for. We’ve brought everything we think we may need and are ready to take advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer!

Tobias Hatje will join our team up to basecamp and from there Thomas, Dres and myself will make our way to to the mountain. Our plan is to be back home in late October with lots of great photos and stories to retell.

Our Expedition Team: Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf, Dres Abegglen, Tobias Hatje (to base camp)

Talk to you then…


 


Experience
Stephan Siegrist

Individual presentations for organizations
and companies.

NEW - View Film about Stephan Siegrist
Corporate Presentations

In his multimedia presentations, professional mountain climber Stephan Siegrist, born in 1972, from the Bernese Oberland takes his audience on a journey into the world of climbing adventures and presents the highlights of his career as a climber and adventurist. Siegrist, considered one of the best alpinists of our time for many years now, tours not only through his native country of Switzerland but also lectures regularly abroad.

Whether in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica, high quality images and exciting videos coloring the presentations allow the spectator to lose themselves in far away worlds and bold adventures. Siegrist never portrays himself as a hero; he speaks about his remote expeditions with a large share of humor, self-irony and modesty.

Business lectures help establish synergies in the corporate world. Siegrist’s idea is to not only to motivate the employees of a company but also to inspire the management by sharing his leadership skills and experience.

Successfully implementing vision and ideas calls for clever strategy and planning in order to reach a goal and tap into the full potential available. Commitment and activity help launch a dream. Endurance and confidence help gain strength, even from failure. Knowledge and experience cultivate trust in your instinct: there are times when you have to be able to turn back.

Through his many years of expedition and team climbing, Siegrist is able to create synergies between the mountaineering and the corporate worlds and confers his know-how in the latter; minor errors can have major consequences. Optimal risk management is indispensable, whether on a mountain or within an enterprise.

Stephan Siegrist motivates and encourages reflection through his talks. His action is driven by a passion to discover and explore unknown territory. Every goal, once targeted, is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment.

Testimonials

“We booked Stephan Siegrist as a keynote speaker for our Sales Team. He combined his grasping style of performance with impressive pictures and movies and managed to illustrate the parallels between mountaineering and sales hence motivating and captivating our sales team.”

Andreas Hungerbühler, Director of Marketing & Business Development,
Bisnode D&B Schweiz AG

“Dear Stefan, thank you so much for your valuable contribution to our congress. The presentation about your highline projects brought us a conference room brimming with enthusiastic participants. The additional organization of slacklines on the hotel complex added activity to the program and rounded off the event perfectly. The participants were able get a taste of the challenges posed by a highline on alpine peaks for themselves in a more laid-back atmosphere. We are all looking forward to the follow-up event next year.”

“Exciting and captivating, focused and attuned to our guests, professional and friendly.”

Highline presentation as part of our Medi Sportortho Congress 2013, Mallorca, Frank Thelemann, Medi 

“We have invited Stephan as a speaker to our events on several occasions: whether it be speaking about motivation, concentration and dedication to juniors at a golf club or dissertating over team spirit and risk management to private bankers and hedge fund specialist’s. All were mesmerized by Stephan’s inspiring words and breathtaking pictures. Very professional.”

PAMP

Meeting Challenges

While on expedition and throughout his exploits, Stephan Siegrist is faced by numerous challenges and tasks. These can demands can be transferred to the expectations and targets found in the management setting.

Developing and implementing vision, understanding the dynamics of team building, gauging ones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the importance of self-assessment, are some of many relevant themes.

In the area of mental training, Stephan Siegrist works together with Psychologist Thomas Theurillat.

Individual Presentations

Stephan Siegrist often draws parallels to his own background and sheds light on how he pushes the limits to make the impossible possible.

These presentations can be tailored individually to your specific needs. Various theme possibilities, presentation length and number of participants can all be catered for upon request.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime for further information and a personalized proposal: info@stephan-siegrist.ch.

KISHTWAR TRIO

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas
Senf and Dres Abegglen

In early October Andreas “Dres” Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned home after an amazing and successful trip to the Kishtwar region in northern India. A magical and remote region I first visited in 2011, we had the privilege of making first ascents on two unclimbed, and unnamed 5000m peaks before making the second ascent of the impressive Kishtwar Shivling.

We left Switzerland at the start of September and were greeted in Kashmir by late and heavy monsoon rains. With a lot of luck and determination we reached our first base camp on September 13, despite the mass flooding and terrible road conditions. Eager to make up for lost time, we climbed a line up the South face of the previously unclimbed Shiepra, bivying at 5100m. We reached the 5885m high summit on September 16 and graded the route as follows: difficulties up to WI3, IV, 75° ice.

Our descent took us over the exposed West ridge, via a series of abseils followed by a 50° ice slope. The new route is called Maaji, which in Hindi means mother. The honor of naming the peak was left to our Liaisons Officer Ran Jan, who named the mountain Shiepra after the Hindi God Shiva’s wife.

The weather at this point was ideal and conditions looked promising, so we set off to make an attempt on another unclimbed peak nearby. Below the ridge leading to the peak is a very visible rock structure which looks like the renowned ‘playboy bunny’. Coming up with a good name for the peak was pretty easy, we named it Kharagosa, which in Hindi means rabbit. Thomas, Dres and I bivied at 4800m below the North East face, we continued across the glacier to the base of the East face and then ascended 1000m over tricky, mixed terrain.

Three demanding UIAA grade V pitches led to the South East face, bringing us over much easier ground and to the 5840m high summit which we reached on September 21. The new route, Pinky, is named after the most beautiful woman in the nearby village of Sumcham.
After our ascent on Kharagosa we still had time so we packed up and moved our base camp to the base of Kishtwar Shivling which we reached on September 29.



 

The North face of the technical and impressive mountain was first climbed in 1983 by Britain’s Stephen Venables and Dick Renshaw over a stretch of seven days. Political tension between Pakistan and India has resulted in this area being more or less off-limits for almost two decades. Foreign alpinists have only recently begun to return and explore the area.

Intent on making the second ascent of this magnificent peak we climbed a line up the East pillar, the target of previous expeditions, and made a first bivy on the glacier at 4700m before following a 50° ramp to the saddle at 5400m. We set our second bivy up at this point, and then climbed 10 demanding pitches past 90° WI5 ice, through a hidden couloir, bringing back memories of the famous Super Canaleta on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy, then past tricky mixed terrain which led to the foot of the enormous summit cornices.

On October 1, the gods were smiling upon us: Dres, Tomas and I were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a hole in the cornice which was big enough to climb through, leading us to the 5895m East summit. 14 abseils later we arrived back on the saddle where our tents we waiting for us. The following morning we made our descent back down to base camp. The new route is called Challo, which means let’s go in Hindi.

A successful ascent on a complex and beautiful mountain like Kistwar Shivling was a real reward for me. Kashmir is a place I am free to climb for the pure joy of the mountain and a region I cherish with deep appreciation and respect. Having all come home safely, with our backpacks full of great memories, unforgettable climbs and a lot of laughs together, has only strengthened my bond to this unbelievable and breathtaking region.

Report by Stephan Siegrist; Photos by Thomas Senf | visualimpact.ch


Kashmir
2014

New Adventure
Lies Ahead in Kashmir!

In the isolated area bordering Pakistan and North India, a beautiful unnamed, unclimbed mountain awaits us! The aesthetic 6000er is remote and hidden away from civilization – exactly what I like!

In the upcoming days, Thomas Senf and Dres (Andreas) Abegglen and I hope to get started on our project. The journey will take us back to the same valley in the Kashmir Himalayas I visited in 2011 with another team when we summited the Cerro Kishtwar.

From Zurich we’ve flown to Delhi and have now arrived in the city of Jammu. The plan from here; a 2 day Jeep ride to the town of Atholi where we begin our 5 day trek to our base camp at 4000 meters above sea level. That was the plan…

Expeditions are known for two things, amongst others; the adventure and not going according to plan!

Over the past few days Northern India, Pakistan and Kashmir have been inundated by a late monsoon. Heavy rains have caused massive flooding, landslides and destruction in cities, towns and above all the rural areas.

 

Roads have been washed away, destroyed by landslides and access has been cut off by flooding rivers and damaged bridges. The area has not seen this intensity of rain fall during post monsoon season in over 2 decades.

In short, getting to base camp is going to be more complicated than we ever imagined!

On a positive note, the weather forecast for the coming week looks better; dry weather is meant to be on its way. For the moment we are concentrating on the urgency of the situation here.

We’ll be in touch once we know more. Over the next 5 weeks we will try to send some news home twice via satellite phone to keep you updated on our progress.

For the time being I wish everyone at home a beautiful and hopefully dry autumn!


All the best from Jammu, Stephan Siegrist.
Photos taken by Thomas Senf.


News
Update

Fall 2014

CHASING RAINBOWS

This summer was definitely a good one for rainbows, just not the one I was chasing. Persistant rain, wet conditions and even snow all contributed to a frustrating summer season here in Switzerland.

Despite the continuos onslaught of rain, I was able to devote a few days of preparation to the project, but nothing close to what I was hoping for. So for this year, I’ve cut my loses and put this project on the shelf until next year!

In the mean time, I’ve turned my focus to my upcoming expedition in September.


MAE PROJECT, KASHMIR

In 2011 Denis, Burdet, David Lama and I set out to Kashmir for what would end up being one of the most memorable expeditions I have been on. In the good company of my old friend cameraman Rob Frost and photographer Stefan Schlumpf, we had the privilege of entering this area that had been primarily inaccessible to foreigners and climbers due to political instability.

I returned home from this expedition not only having successfully opened a new route on Cerro Kishtwar and on White Saphire, an unclimbed, unnamed mountain hidden in the valley, but also with inspiration for a future project!

Surrounded by a horizon of pristine and unclimbed summits, one mountain in particular caught my eye. And so, three years later, motivated and full of anticipation, I am returning to Kashmir with Dres Abegglen and photographer Thomas Senf in hopes of opening a route on this rare gem!

More info to come in September.

Weblinks:

facebook.com/stephansiegristalpinist
givengain.com
facebook.com/projectmae

New Film

Cerro Kishtwar
An Ice Clold Story



We did it! Many thanks to Timeline Productions and all the people who rolled up their sleeves & helped us get this film done!

CERRO KISHTWAR – AN ICE COLD STORY

I saw the line on the north west face of Cerro Kishtwar and couldn’t get it out of my mind. In 1992 Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy spent 17 grueling days in the same wall before having to retreat 100 metres below the summit…

25 years later, Thomas Huber, Julian Zanker and I returned to climb the line that I had dreamt about for so long.

Drop me a line if you’d like to screen the film.



Har Har
Mahadev

Success on
Cerro Kishtwar

On October 14th Stephan Siegrist (SUI), Julian Zanker (SUI), and Thomas Huber (GER) stood atop the granite giant in Kashmir. They are the fourth team that was able to climb this mountain via a spectacular line. Their goal was the yet unclimbed central north-west face of Cerro Kishtwar.

In 1992 the two Englishmen Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy tried to climb their way through the wall. They had to give up 100 meters below the summit after 17 days due to exhaustion.

A year later their fellow landsmen Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad climbed by way of an ice chute in the left part of the wall to a notch at about 5600 meters and moved over into the slightly flatter east part of the mountain to reach the peak as the first team to do so. The mountains in Kashmir were then barred for all foreign alpinists for several years for military and political reasons.

The ban was lifted early in 2010 and Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet, and David Lama made the first expedition into the mountain region in 2011.Their goal was to climb Cerro Kishtwar alpine style. They reached the summit as the second team ever via an ice track on the north-west side to the right of the distinctive granite wall. In 2015 Hayden Kennedy, Marco Prezelj, Manu Pellisier, and Urban Novak climbed the granite tower via the east wall alpine style and were awarded the Piolet d`Or for their ascent.

The team of three began their adventure in the Kashmiri Himalaya on September 7th. They reached base camp on September 13th. Best weather conditions left the team with no break and they were able to establish ABC on September 18th at 5050 meters.

The team began their ascent of the wall on October 1st after several material transports. They weren’t able to stick to their plan to complete their climb in five days. They discontinued their first attempt for tactical reasons and returned to base camp. They returned on October 8th with new strength and a fresh attitude, right back into the adventure!

The weather was stable. The mornings were clear, clouds came in by noon, the afternoons brought snow. The team had to fight iced up cracks, spindrift, extreme cold with temperatures below -20° C, and difficult techno-climbing up to A3+. On summit day, October 14th, they were rewarded with a sunny day. We almost felt like we weren’t alone.



 

Like we were being rewarded for everything we had to go through with this unique moment. We took the last meters together and we could hardly believe it. Cirrostratus clouds flew by in the jet stream 500 meters above us and we were standing there in the sun, in complete calm. We all knew that we were only able to make it because we felt like a courageous alliance together!

Our route through the north-west wall of the Cerro Kishtwar will be named „Har-Har Mahadev.“ This saying is from Hindu mythology and dedicated to the god Lord Shiva: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Or as we would say in Bavaria: „Get a grip!“

Interview

Listen for an interview on The Cutting Edge, a podcast from the editors of the American Alpine Journal:

Weblink: americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-podcast

Facts

The team partially used fixed ropes in the first part of the wall and established Camp 1 at „Snowledge“ on the foot of the granite wall at 5450 meters. They were able to reach pitch 7 after three days during their first attempt. They started their second attempt the next day on October 8th. They reached the summit seven days later. The team spent ten days in the wall in total. They established 4 camps: Camp 1 “Snowledge”, Camp 2 “Happyledge”, Camp 3 “Sunnyledge”, Camp 4 “Kempinski”.

First ascent of the central north-west face by Stephan Siegrist, Julian Zanker, and Thomas Huber on October 14th, 2017.

Route name: „Har Har Mahadev“ from Hindu mythology meaning no less than: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Grades: VII, A3+,6b, M6, 80°

First part: 400 meters ice and mixed

Second part: 600 meters rock and mixed, 24 pitches

Belays partially equipped with bolts

Drill holes in the pitches: 8 Bathooks and 7 rivets

Material used: 15 Bird Beaks in different sizes, 4 Baby Angels, 6 Lost Arrows, 4 knifeblades, stoppers, double set of Cams up to Nr.4

Portaledge necessary

Descent: Rappell over the route


Jeff Lowes
Metanoia

Thomas Huber, Roger
Schäli & Stephan Siegrist
gelingt die zweite
Begehung

Thomas Huber, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist score the second ascent of Jeff Lowe’s legendary climbing route “Metanoia” on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland.

In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) made their way to climb one of the most bold and legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, who was fascinated by the unique history behind the climb, was quick to get Siegrist on the team to climb “Metanoia.” Schaeli was also on board immediately.

The three pro-climbers began their first attempt in the week before Christmas. They had to abort their effort about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge after their bivvy due to increasingly bad weather conditions. A second attempt on December 28th, 2016 had to be interrupted shortly after a storm set in. They commenced their climb on “Metanoia” on December 29th, 2016. They set their bivvy about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge again and continued onward the next day. The three alpinists reached the top-out of “Metanoia” in the evening of December 30th, 2016. They are the first to successfully repeat the route.

“Metanoia” was established in 1991 by the exceptional American alpinist Jeff Lowe in the winter in a solo effort. Lowe is known, amongst others, for his solo ascent of the south face of Ama Dablam in 1979. He also still holds the record for reaching the highpoint of Latok I. Lowe has ticked more than 1000 first ascents worldwide. He was involved in the development of the first ice screw as well as first cam. He also invented the globally recognized difficulty scale for ice and mixed climbs. He brought the Sport Climbing Championships to the USA and opened the legendary and well- visited Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.

1991 was a tough year for Lowe personally. When he began his attempt to open a new, direct line though the north face of the Eiger. Lowe wanted to create a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism who approached the greatest alpine walls with primitive equipment and techniques, without using bolts. Lowe says: “ So I also climbed with no bolts, hoping that Metanoia might serve as an example of what can be accomplished without them.”
Nine days later Lowe appears at the summit of the Eiger, defying adverse conditions. He braved severe storms and proved his mastery of climbing and his power of
endurance. In the life of Jeff Lowe this climb was somewhat a path to enlightenment.

He climbed out of the north face of Eiger with a whole new view on life. He named his route “Metanoia” which is Greek and means as much as “fundamental change of view, transformative change of heart.” Lowe says: ““Metanoia” rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life operates. As a result I have become more compassionate and connected to my family, friends, the climbing tribe, humanity, the planet and the universe.” In his route Lowe found his attitude towards life that still holds true today: to approach everything with courage and love. He hasn’t lost this attitude even after being diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder 16 years ago that has tied him to a wheelchair.



 

Jeff Lowe was excited about the first repeat of his “Metanoia”: “Thomas Huber called us to share the good news that he, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist succeeded on “Metanoia”. I’m happy and gratified that they found the route to be hard, bold, beautiful and ‘visionary.’ Their confirmation of the quality of Metanoia is very gratifying and quite humbling. Best of all, Thomas understands what I was doing with the climb; which was trying to create an example of how alpinists can progress in an environmentally conscious way that honors the spirit of extreme alpinism.”

Thomas Huber Lowe’s ascent of “Metanoia”: “He was alone, he had never been in the wall before, he could only rely on himself. I tried to imagine myself in his place after every hard passage that lay behind me. His fight passed in front of my inner eye like a movie. What he accomplished is really just madness.”

Huber goes on saying: “With Metanoia Jeff was able to prove that you can accomplish impossible challenges just with your heart. He set new standards in alpinism with his ascent. This Metanoia, the new way of seeing the world and this new mind-set on life help Jeff today to approach his battle with his illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude is what inspires me in my life. We, Steff, Roger and I, are thankful to be able to live Metanoia.”
Stephan Siegrist is also impressed by Lowe’s achievement. He says: “He climbed that route in this hard wall alone with the gear they had back then! You can only survive that kind of hardship if you’re in a deep crisis.” The route itself is something special for Siegrist, too: “When I climbed the north face of the Eiger for the first time with about 20 years of age Lowe had already climbed “Metanoia.” The spectacular ascent and following stories in the media have followed me and have left me in awe ever since.” Climbing the route himself was something special for Siegrist: “After 37 ascents and three first ascents in the north face of the Eiger the “Metanoia” definitely put the crown on it all. For me personally this is one of the highlights of my 37 ascents on the Eiger.”

Roger Schaeli adds: “Climbing “Metanoia” was my biggest adventure on the Eiger with the coolest team with which I was allowed to climb on the north face! The route inspired me to find more alpine challenges. My highest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. “Metanoia” is really bad ass!”

Lowe climbed “Metanoia” in 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli installed an 8mm bolt at a belay since they wanted to avoid the risk of the entire rope team falling. In addition they used a 10mm bolt in a pitch before the Hinterstoisser Traverse. It was probably drilled to support the film team of the documentary “Metanoia.”

Facts

Route: Metanoia, 7, A4, M6
Berg: Eiger north face, Switzerland
First ascent 1991: Jeff Lowe (USA), solo
First repeat 2016: Huber, Siegrist, Schaeli with 8mm bolt and cliff (belay), 10 mm bolt (from film production “Metanoia” documentary 2013)
Website Jeff Lowe: jeffloweclimber.com
notextile.

Tupendeo

One mountain,
Two stories

Film Trailer



Film Premiere

The Tupendeo film premiere will take place on November 19th at the Kendal Mountain Festival (UK).



Film Description

Leaving a trail is not a uniquely human activity. All animals do, from thin sheep tracks to the chemical trail left by a line of ants. Whether we wish to or not, we leave our mark wherever we go.

As the world’s population increases, and travel becomes easier, we must journey further, or look more closely, to find untrodden ground or an unclimbed peak. We seek the opposite of the trail’s logical purpose: instead of getting from one place to another as simply as possible, we break trail for no other reason than to find somewhere new and to feed our hunger for adventure.

When Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen set off towards Tupendeo in 2015, they have no clue that the peak already has its own story to tell. The locals warn them that tragedy had struck many years ago. As the trio climb up the face, they come across an old rope still hanging along with a rappel device, causing many questions to arise. Who left it hanging there? What happened?

They all know far too well how close success and defeat can be on a mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they decide to bring the rappel device back with them and search for traces. They want to know whose story the Tupendeo was hiding.


KASHMIR 2015

Climbing Virgin Summits
in Kashmir

In September and October 2015 Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascents of Bhala 5900m, Tupendeo 5700m and Maha Dev Phobrang 5900m and its famous Te tower, three hitherto unclimbed mountains in the Kashmir region of India’s Himalaya.

A year after visiting the Kishtwar region in Northern India, Swiss alpinists Dres Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned to the Himalaya this September and October where we pulled off another three notable first ascents.

Our trio had seen a photo of a 5900m high summit called Bhala that strikingly resembled the world-famous Matterhorn and the call of this beautiful mountain was simply too strong to ignore. Located to the south of the Kishtwar area in the Kashmir region, Bhala had previously been off-limits due to the territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and was therefore unclimbed.

Maps of the area are famously imprecise, but thanks to excellent local connections we managed to reach the town of Kaban and then quickly establish base camp at the foot of Bhala, which means Spear and was named as such by a previous expedition to the region due to its form. Weather conditions played in our favor and after biviing on the East Col on 12 September, the next morning we climbed an obvious ramp line up the 700m high North-East Face. Despite its beauty the rock quality on Bhala was extremely poor and we negotiated loose and dangerous rock to summit at 15:00 that day. We descended to the col where we bivied for a second time, and returned to Base Camp on the 14th of September.

Despite the now unstable weather with regular spills in the afternoon we set our sights on another “perfect” peak nearby called Tupendeo. In the early afternoon of the 18th of September we reached a bivy point at the base of the mountain, fixed a couple of pitches and then snuggled up for the night. The next morning we climbed an 800m line and summited at 13:30, before returning to base camp at 21:30 that same day. In stark comparison to Bhala, on Tupendeo we dealt with some of the best rock climbing we had ever had ever encountered at altitude.



 

Poor weather set in and pinned our team down in Base Camp for a week, after which we then climbed another peak in the same valley: Maha Dev Phobrang. A characteristic 200m crystal tower called Te (Crystal) juts out above 5500m and we opted for the more difficult, but certainly more beautiful line that took them straight to the top of this feature. After bivying on the ridge on 1 October, the next day we climbed 4 pitches with difficulties up to 6a/b and topped out on this pre-summit at 14:00. With time to spare we then abseiled off and continued on to the mountain’s main summit which was reached at 15:30 before returning safely to BC at 21:00. The biggest superlatives don’t even begin to explain the conditions we had on this mountain: quite simply unique.

It is interesting to note that while the Indian military maps mark Bhala as 6100m and Te as 6163m, according to the recent GPS readings both mountains are 5900m high.

Facts

Bhala (Spear) 5900m, NE Face | Route: Copa-Kaban
Start: 12/09/2015
Summit: 13/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 14/09/2015
Difficulty: mid-grade alpine climbing, loose rock

Tupendeo 5700m, SE Pillar | Route: Deokhal
Start: 18/09/2015
Summit: 19/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 19/09/2015
Difficulty: 6a/b, 21 pitches, 800m
Notes: on some maps marked as Tupendo 1 or Druid

Te (Kristall) 5900m | Route: Chaprasi
Start: 01/10/2015
Summit: 02/10/2015, Base Camp Return: 02/10/2015
Difficulty: 5c/6a, 4 pitches, 200m, excellent rock quality
Notes: alpine climbing 60° to main summit

Read on: Preparations for our Kashmir Expedition


KASHMIR 2015

In Search of
Forgotten Summits

An Adventure Begins

When the plane touches down in Delhi the real adventure begins: The heat, familiar smells from past visits, the sounds, colours and faces that all mark the beginning of an expedition to me. Sensory overload – I love it!

I’ve passed through this bustling city so many times – ironically the gateway to one of the most peaceful and preserved landscapes still left on this planet, the Kashmiri Himalayas.

Our last visit to the region got off to an adventurous start after late monsoon rains slammed the area causing the worst flooding seen in years. This year things look dryer for Thomas, Dres and I! Our project, a beautiful spear head shaped peak that caught our eye on our last visit.

The Peak

Like many other things in this hidden region, the mountain leaves a lot to be discovered. There is very little information available about the peak; not even sure how high it is, but we are guessing between 6000 and 6200 meters above sea level.

The mountain is beautiful and appears to be quite technical, exactly what we are looking for. We’ve brought everything we think we may need and are ready to take advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer!

Tobias Hatje will join our team up to basecamp and from there Thomas, Dres and myself will make our way to to the mountain. Our plan is to be back home in late October with lots of great photos and stories to retell.

Our Expedition Team: Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf, Dres Abegglen, Tobias Hatje (to base camp)

Talk to you then…


 


Experience
Stephan Siegrist

Individual presentations for organizations
and companies.

NEW - View Film about Stephan Siegrist
Corporate Presentations

In his multimedia presentations, professional mountain climber Stephan Siegrist, born in 1972, from the Bernese Oberland takes his audience on a journey into the world of climbing adventures and presents the highlights of his career as a climber and adventurist. Siegrist, considered one of the best alpinists of our time for many years now, tours not only through his native country of Switzerland but also lectures regularly abroad.

Whether in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica, high quality images and exciting videos coloring the presentations allow the spectator to lose themselves in far away worlds and bold adventures. Siegrist never portrays himself as a hero; he speaks about his remote expeditions with a large share of humor, self-irony and modesty.

Business lectures help establish synergies in the corporate world. Siegrist’s idea is to not only to motivate the employees of a company but also to inspire the management by sharing his leadership skills and experience.

Successfully implementing vision and ideas calls for clever strategy and planning in order to reach a goal and tap into the full potential available. Commitment and activity help launch a dream. Endurance and confidence help gain strength, even from failure. Knowledge and experience cultivate trust in your instinct: there are times when you have to be able to turn back.

Through his many years of expedition and team climbing, Siegrist is able to create synergies between the mountaineering and the corporate worlds and confers his know-how in the latter; minor errors can have major consequences. Optimal risk management is indispensable, whether on a mountain or within an enterprise.

Stephan Siegrist motivates and encourages reflection through his talks. His action is driven by a passion to discover and explore unknown territory. Every goal, once targeted, is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment.

Testimonials

“We booked Stephan Siegrist as a keynote speaker for our Sales Team. He combined his grasping style of performance with impressive pictures and movies and managed to illustrate the parallels between mountaineering and sales hence motivating and captivating our sales team.”

Andreas Hungerbühler, Director of Marketing & Business Development,
Bisnode D&B Schweiz AG

“Dear Stefan, thank you so much for your valuable contribution to our congress. The presentation about your highline projects brought us a conference room brimming with enthusiastic participants. The additional organization of slacklines on the hotel complex added activity to the program and rounded off the event perfectly. The participants were able get a taste of the challenges posed by a highline on alpine peaks for themselves in a more laid-back atmosphere. We are all looking forward to the follow-up event next year.”

“Exciting and captivating, focused and attuned to our guests, professional and friendly.”

Highline presentation as part of our Medi Sportortho Congress 2013, Mallorca, Frank Thelemann, Medi 

“We have invited Stephan as a speaker to our events on several occasions: whether it be speaking about motivation, concentration and dedication to juniors at a golf club or dissertating over team spirit and risk management to private bankers and hedge fund specialist’s. All were mesmerized by Stephan’s inspiring words and breathtaking pictures. Very professional.”

PAMP

Meeting Challenges

While on expedition and throughout his exploits, Stephan Siegrist is faced by numerous challenges and tasks. These can demands can be transferred to the expectations and targets found in the management setting.

Developing and implementing vision, understanding the dynamics of team building, gauging ones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the importance of self-assessment, are some of many relevant themes.

In the area of mental training, Stephan Siegrist works together with Psychologist Thomas Theurillat.

Individual Presentations

Stephan Siegrist often draws parallels to his own background and sheds light on how he pushes the limits to make the impossible possible.

These presentations can be tailored individually to your specific needs. Various theme possibilities, presentation length and number of participants can all be catered for upon request.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime for further information and a personalized proposal: info@stephan-siegrist.ch.

KISHTWAR TRIO

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas
Senf and Dres Abegglen

In early October Andreas “Dres” Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned home after an amazing and successful trip to the Kishtwar region in northern India. A magical and remote region I first visited in 2011, we had the privilege of making first ascents on two unclimbed, and unnamed 5000m peaks before making the second ascent of the impressive Kishtwar Shivling.

We left Switzerland at the start of September and were greeted in Kashmir by late and heavy monsoon rains. With a lot of luck and determination we reached our first base camp on September 13, despite the mass flooding and terrible road conditions. Eager to make up for lost time, we climbed a line up the South face of the previously unclimbed Shiepra, bivying at 5100m. We reached the 5885m high summit on September 16 and graded the route as follows: difficulties up to WI3, IV, 75° ice.

Our descent took us over the exposed West ridge, via a series of abseils followed by a 50° ice slope. The new route is called Maaji, which in Hindi means mother. The honor of naming the peak was left to our Liaisons Officer Ran Jan, who named the mountain Shiepra after the Hindi God Shiva’s wife.

The weather at this point was ideal and conditions looked promising, so we set off to make an attempt on another unclimbed peak nearby. Below the ridge leading to the peak is a very visible rock structure which looks like the renowned ‘playboy bunny’. Coming up with a good name for the peak was pretty easy, we named it Kharagosa, which in Hindi means rabbit. Thomas, Dres and I bivied at 4800m below the North East face, we continued across the glacier to the base of the East face and then ascended 1000m over tricky, mixed terrain.

Three demanding UIAA grade V pitches led to the South East face, bringing us over much easier ground and to the 5840m high summit which we reached on September 21. The new route, Pinky, is named after the most beautiful woman in the nearby village of Sumcham.
After our ascent on Kharagosa we still had time so we packed up and moved our base camp to the base of Kishtwar Shivling which we reached on September 29.



 

The North face of the technical and impressive mountain was first climbed in 1983 by Britain’s Stephen Venables and Dick Renshaw over a stretch of seven days. Political tension between Pakistan and India has resulted in this area being more or less off-limits for almost two decades. Foreign alpinists have only recently begun to return and explore the area.

Intent on making the second ascent of this magnificent peak we climbed a line up the East pillar, the target of previous expeditions, and made a first bivy on the glacier at 4700m before following a 50° ramp to the saddle at 5400m. We set our second bivy up at this point, and then climbed 10 demanding pitches past 90° WI5 ice, through a hidden couloir, bringing back memories of the famous Super Canaleta on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy, then past tricky mixed terrain which led to the foot of the enormous summit cornices.

On October 1, the gods were smiling upon us: Dres, Tomas and I were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a hole in the cornice which was big enough to climb through, leading us to the 5895m East summit. 14 abseils later we arrived back on the saddle where our tents we waiting for us. The following morning we made our descent back down to base camp. The new route is called Challo, which means let’s go in Hindi.

A successful ascent on a complex and beautiful mountain like Kistwar Shivling was a real reward for me. Kashmir is a place I am free to climb for the pure joy of the mountain and a region I cherish with deep appreciation and respect. Having all come home safely, with our backpacks full of great memories, unforgettable climbs and a lot of laughs together, has only strengthened my bond to this unbelievable and breathtaking region.

Report by Stephan Siegrist; Photos by Thomas Senf | visualimpact.ch


Kashmir
2014

New Adventure
Lies Ahead in Kashmir!

In the isolated area bordering Pakistan and North India, a beautiful unnamed, unclimbed mountain awaits us! The aesthetic 6000er is remote and hidden away from civilization – exactly what I like!

In the upcoming days, Thomas Senf and Dres (Andreas) Abegglen and I hope to get started on our project. The journey will take us back to the same valley in the Kashmir Himalayas I visited in 2011 with another team when we summited the Cerro Kishtwar.

From Zurich we’ve flown to Delhi and have now arrived in the city of Jammu. The plan from here; a 2 day Jeep ride to the town of Atholi where we begin our 5 day trek to our base camp at 4000 meters above sea level. That was the plan…

Expeditions are known for two things, amongst others; the adventure and not going according to plan!

Over the past few days Northern India, Pakistan and Kashmir have been inundated by a late monsoon. Heavy rains have caused massive flooding, landslides and destruction in cities, towns and above all the rural areas.

 

Roads have been washed away, destroyed by landslides and access has been cut off by flooding rivers and damaged bridges. The area has not seen this intensity of rain fall during post monsoon season in over 2 decades.

In short, getting to base camp is going to be more complicated than we ever imagined!

On a positive note, the weather forecast for the coming week looks better; dry weather is meant to be on its way. For the moment we are concentrating on the urgency of the situation here.

We’ll be in touch once we know more. Over the next 5 weeks we will try to send some news home twice via satellite phone to keep you updated on our progress.

For the time being I wish everyone at home a beautiful and hopefully dry autumn!


All the best from Jammu, Stephan Siegrist.
Photos taken by Thomas Senf.


News
Update

Fall 2014

CHASING RAINBOWS

This summer was definitely a good one for rainbows, just not the one I was chasing. Persistant rain, wet conditions and even snow all contributed to a frustrating summer season here in Switzerland.

Despite the continuos onslaught of rain, I was able to devote a few days of preparation to the project, but nothing close to what I was hoping for. So for this year, I’ve cut my loses and put this project on the shelf until next year!

In the mean time, I’ve turned my focus to my upcoming expedition in September.


MAE PROJECT, KASHMIR

In 2011 Denis, Burdet, David Lama and I set out to Kashmir for what would end up being one of the most memorable expeditions I have been on. In the good company of my old friend cameraman Rob Frost and photographer Stefan Schlumpf, we had the privilege of entering this area that had been primarily inaccessible to foreigners and climbers due to political instability.

I returned home from this expedition not only having successfully opened a new route on Cerro Kishtwar and on White Saphire, an unclimbed, unnamed mountain hidden in the valley, but also with inspiration for a future project!

Surrounded by a horizon of pristine and unclimbed summits, one mountain in particular caught my eye. And so, three years later, motivated and full of anticipation, I am returning to Kashmir with Dres Abegglen and photographer Thomas Senf in hopes of opening a route on this rare gem!

More info to come in September.

Weblinks:

facebook.com/stephansiegristalpinist
givengain.com
facebook.com/projectmae

New Film

Cerro Kishtwar
An Ice Clold Story



We did it! Many thanks to Timeline Productions and all the people who rolled up their sleeves & helped us get this film done!

CERRO KISHTWAR – AN ICE COLD STORY

I saw the line on the north west face of Cerro Kishtwar and couldn’t get it out of my mind. In 1992 Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy spent 17 grueling days in the same wall before having to retreat 100 metres below the summit…

25 years later, Thomas Huber, Julian Zanker and I returned to climb the line that I had dreamt about for so long.

Drop me a line if you’d like to screen the film.



Har Har
Mahadev

Success on
Cerro Kishtwar

On October 14th Stephan Siegrist (SUI), Julian Zanker (SUI), and Thomas Huber (GER) stood atop the granite giant in Kashmir. They are the fourth team that was able to climb this mountain via a spectacular line. Their goal was the yet unclimbed central north-west face of Cerro Kishtwar.

In 1992 the two Englishmen Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy tried to climb their way through the wall. They had to give up 100 meters below the summit after 17 days due to exhaustion.

A year later their fellow landsmen Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad climbed by way of an ice chute in the left part of the wall to a notch at about 5600 meters and moved over into the slightly flatter east part of the mountain to reach the peak as the first team to do so. The mountains in Kashmir were then barred for all foreign alpinists for several years for military and political reasons.

The ban was lifted early in 2010 and Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet, and David Lama made the first expedition into the mountain region in 2011.Their goal was to climb Cerro Kishtwar alpine style. They reached the summit as the second team ever via an ice track on the north-west side to the right of the distinctive granite wall. In 2015 Hayden Kennedy, Marco Prezelj, Manu Pellisier, and Urban Novak climbed the granite tower via the east wall alpine style and were awarded the Piolet d`Or for their ascent.

The team of three began their adventure in the Kashmiri Himalaya on September 7th. They reached base camp on September 13th. Best weather conditions left the team with no break and they were able to establish ABC on September 18th at 5050 meters.

The team began their ascent of the wall on October 1st after several material transports. They weren’t able to stick to their plan to complete their climb in five days. They discontinued their first attempt for tactical reasons and returned to base camp. They returned on October 8th with new strength and a fresh attitude, right back into the adventure!

The weather was stable. The mornings were clear, clouds came in by noon, the afternoons brought snow. The team had to fight iced up cracks, spindrift, extreme cold with temperatures below -20° C, and difficult techno-climbing up to A3+. On summit day, October 14th, they were rewarded with a sunny day. We almost felt like we weren’t alone.



 

Like we were being rewarded for everything we had to go through with this unique moment. We took the last meters together and we could hardly believe it. Cirrostratus clouds flew by in the jet stream 500 meters above us and we were standing there in the sun, in complete calm. We all knew that we were only able to make it because we felt like a courageous alliance together!

Our route through the north-west wall of the Cerro Kishtwar will be named „Har-Har Mahadev.“ This saying is from Hindu mythology and dedicated to the god Lord Shiva: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Or as we would say in Bavaria: „Get a grip!“

Interview

Listen for an interview on The Cutting Edge, a podcast from the editors of the American Alpine Journal:

Weblink: americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-podcast

Facts

The team partially used fixed ropes in the first part of the wall and established Camp 1 at „Snowledge“ on the foot of the granite wall at 5450 meters. They were able to reach pitch 7 after three days during their first attempt. They started their second attempt the next day on October 8th. They reached the summit seven days later. The team spent ten days in the wall in total. They established 4 camps: Camp 1 “Snowledge”, Camp 2 “Happyledge”, Camp 3 “Sunnyledge”, Camp 4 “Kempinski”.

First ascent of the central north-west face by Stephan Siegrist, Julian Zanker, and Thomas Huber on October 14th, 2017.

Route name: „Har Har Mahadev“ from Hindu mythology meaning no less than: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Grades: VII, A3+,6b, M6, 80°

First part: 400 meters ice and mixed

Second part: 600 meters rock and mixed, 24 pitches

Belays partially equipped with bolts

Drill holes in the pitches: 8 Bathooks and 7 rivets

Material used: 15 Bird Beaks in different sizes, 4 Baby Angels, 6 Lost Arrows, 4 knifeblades, stoppers, double set of Cams up to Nr.4

Portaledge necessary

Descent: Rappell over the route


Jeff Lowes
Metanoia

Thomas Huber, Roger
Schäli & Stephan Siegrist
gelingt die zweite
Begehung

Thomas Huber, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist score the second ascent of Jeff Lowe’s legendary climbing route “Metanoia” on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland.

In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) made their way to climb one of the most bold and legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, who was fascinated by the unique history behind the climb, was quick to get Siegrist on the team to climb “Metanoia.” Schaeli was also on board immediately.

The three pro-climbers began their first attempt in the week before Christmas. They had to abort their effort about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge after their bivvy due to increasingly bad weather conditions. A second attempt on December 28th, 2016 had to be interrupted shortly after a storm set in. They commenced their climb on “Metanoia” on December 29th, 2016. They set their bivvy about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge again and continued onward the next day. The three alpinists reached the top-out of “Metanoia” in the evening of December 30th, 2016. They are the first to successfully repeat the route.

“Metanoia” was established in 1991 by the exceptional American alpinist Jeff Lowe in the winter in a solo effort. Lowe is known, amongst others, for his solo ascent of the south face of Ama Dablam in 1979. He also still holds the record for reaching the highpoint of Latok I. Lowe has ticked more than 1000 first ascents worldwide. He was involved in the development of the first ice screw as well as first cam. He also invented the globally recognized difficulty scale for ice and mixed climbs. He brought the Sport Climbing Championships to the USA and opened the legendary and well- visited Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.

1991 was a tough year for Lowe personally. When he began his attempt to open a new, direct line though the north face of the Eiger. Lowe wanted to create a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism who approached the greatest alpine walls with primitive equipment and techniques, without using bolts. Lowe says: “ So I also climbed with no bolts, hoping that Metanoia might serve as an example of what can be accomplished without them.”
Nine days later Lowe appears at the summit of the Eiger, defying adverse conditions. He braved severe storms and proved his mastery of climbing and his power of
endurance. In the life of Jeff Lowe this climb was somewhat a path to enlightenment.

He climbed out of the north face of Eiger with a whole new view on life. He named his route “Metanoia” which is Greek and means as much as “fundamental change of view, transformative change of heart.” Lowe says: ““Metanoia” rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life operates. As a result I have become more compassionate and connected to my family, friends, the climbing tribe, humanity, the planet and the universe.” In his route Lowe found his attitude towards life that still holds true today: to approach everything with courage and love. He hasn’t lost this attitude even after being diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder 16 years ago that has tied him to a wheelchair.



 

Jeff Lowe was excited about the first repeat of his “Metanoia”: “Thomas Huber called us to share the good news that he, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist succeeded on “Metanoia”. I’m happy and gratified that they found the route to be hard, bold, beautiful and ‘visionary.’ Their confirmation of the quality of Metanoia is very gratifying and quite humbling. Best of all, Thomas understands what I was doing with the climb; which was trying to create an example of how alpinists can progress in an environmentally conscious way that honors the spirit of extreme alpinism.”

Thomas Huber Lowe’s ascent of “Metanoia”: “He was alone, he had never been in the wall before, he could only rely on himself. I tried to imagine myself in his place after every hard passage that lay behind me. His fight passed in front of my inner eye like a movie. What he accomplished is really just madness.”

Huber goes on saying: “With Metanoia Jeff was able to prove that you can accomplish impossible challenges just with your heart. He set new standards in alpinism with his ascent. This Metanoia, the new way of seeing the world and this new mind-set on life help Jeff today to approach his battle with his illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude is what inspires me in my life. We, Steff, Roger and I, are thankful to be able to live Metanoia.”
Stephan Siegrist is also impressed by Lowe’s achievement. He says: “He climbed that route in this hard wall alone with the gear they had back then! You can only survive that kind of hardship if you’re in a deep crisis.” The route itself is something special for Siegrist, too: “When I climbed the north face of the Eiger for the first time with about 20 years of age Lowe had already climbed “Metanoia.” The spectacular ascent and following stories in the media have followed me and have left me in awe ever since.” Climbing the route himself was something special for Siegrist: “After 37 ascents and three first ascents in the north face of the Eiger the “Metanoia” definitely put the crown on it all. For me personally this is one of the highlights of my 37 ascents on the Eiger.”

Roger Schaeli adds: “Climbing “Metanoia” was my biggest adventure on the Eiger with the coolest team with which I was allowed to climb on the north face! The route inspired me to find more alpine challenges. My highest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. “Metanoia” is really bad ass!”

Lowe climbed “Metanoia” in 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli installed an 8mm bolt at a belay since they wanted to avoid the risk of the entire rope team falling. In addition they used a 10mm bolt in a pitch before the Hinterstoisser Traverse. It was probably drilled to support the film team of the documentary “Metanoia.”

Facts

Route: Metanoia, 7, A4, M6
Berg: Eiger north face, Switzerland
First ascent 1991: Jeff Lowe (USA), solo
First repeat 2016: Huber, Siegrist, Schaeli with 8mm bolt and cliff (belay), 10 mm bolt (from film production “Metanoia” documentary 2013)
Website Jeff Lowe: jeffloweclimber.com
notextile.

Tupendeo

One mountain,
Two stories

Film Trailer



Film Premiere

The Tupendeo film premiere will take place on November 19th at the Kendal Mountain Festival (UK).



Film Description

Leaving a trail is not a uniquely human activity. All animals do, from thin sheep tracks to the chemical trail left by a line of ants. Whether we wish to or not, we leave our mark wherever we go.

As the world’s population increases, and travel becomes easier, we must journey further, or look more closely, to find untrodden ground or an unclimbed peak. We seek the opposite of the trail’s logical purpose: instead of getting from one place to another as simply as possible, we break trail for no other reason than to find somewhere new and to feed our hunger for adventure.

When Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen set off towards Tupendeo in 2015, they have no clue that the peak already has its own story to tell. The locals warn them that tragedy had struck many years ago. As the trio climb up the face, they come across an old rope still hanging along with a rappel device, causing many questions to arise. Who left it hanging there? What happened?

They all know far too well how close success and defeat can be on a mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they decide to bring the rappel device back with them and search for traces. They want to know whose story the Tupendeo was hiding.


KASHMIR 2015

Climbing Virgin Summits
in Kashmir

In September and October 2015 Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascents of Bhala 5900m, Tupendeo 5700m and Maha Dev Phobrang 5900m and its famous Te tower, three hitherto unclimbed mountains in the Kashmir region of India’s Himalaya.

A year after visiting the Kishtwar region in Northern India, Swiss alpinists Dres Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned to the Himalaya this September and October where we pulled off another three notable first ascents.

Our trio had seen a photo of a 5900m high summit called Bhala that strikingly resembled the world-famous Matterhorn and the call of this beautiful mountain was simply too strong to ignore. Located to the south of the Kishtwar area in the Kashmir region, Bhala had previously been off-limits due to the territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and was therefore unclimbed.

Maps of the area are famously imprecise, but thanks to excellent local connections we managed to reach the town of Kaban and then quickly establish base camp at the foot of Bhala, which means Spear and was named as such by a previous expedition to the region due to its form. Weather conditions played in our favor and after biviing on the East Col on 12 September, the next morning we climbed an obvious ramp line up the 700m high North-East Face. Despite its beauty the rock quality on Bhala was extremely poor and we negotiated loose and dangerous rock to summit at 15:00 that day. We descended to the col where we bivied for a second time, and returned to Base Camp on the 14th of September.

Despite the now unstable weather with regular spills in the afternoon we set our sights on another “perfect” peak nearby called Tupendeo. In the early afternoon of the 18th of September we reached a bivy point at the base of the mountain, fixed a couple of pitches and then snuggled up for the night. The next morning we climbed an 800m line and summited at 13:30, before returning to base camp at 21:30 that same day. In stark comparison to Bhala, on Tupendeo we dealt with some of the best rock climbing we had ever had ever encountered at altitude.



 

Poor weather set in and pinned our team down in Base Camp for a week, after which we then climbed another peak in the same valley: Maha Dev Phobrang. A characteristic 200m crystal tower called Te (Crystal) juts out above 5500m and we opted for the more difficult, but certainly more beautiful line that took them straight to the top of this feature. After bivying on the ridge on 1 October, the next day we climbed 4 pitches with difficulties up to 6a/b and topped out on this pre-summit at 14:00. With time to spare we then abseiled off and continued on to the mountain’s main summit which was reached at 15:30 before returning safely to BC at 21:00. The biggest superlatives don’t even begin to explain the conditions we had on this mountain: quite simply unique.

It is interesting to note that while the Indian military maps mark Bhala as 6100m and Te as 6163m, according to the recent GPS readings both mountains are 5900m high.

Facts

Bhala (Spear) 5900m, NE Face | Route: Copa-Kaban
Start: 12/09/2015
Summit: 13/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 14/09/2015
Difficulty: mid-grade alpine climbing, loose rock

Tupendeo 5700m, SE Pillar | Route: Deokhal
Start: 18/09/2015
Summit: 19/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 19/09/2015
Difficulty: 6a/b, 21 pitches, 800m
Notes: on some maps marked as Tupendo 1 or Druid

Te (Kristall) 5900m | Route: Chaprasi
Start: 01/10/2015
Summit: 02/10/2015, Base Camp Return: 02/10/2015
Difficulty: 5c/6a, 4 pitches, 200m, excellent rock quality
Notes: alpine climbing 60° to main summit

Read on: Preparations for our Kashmir Expedition


KASHMIR 2015

In Search of
Forgotten Summits

An Adventure Begins

When the plane touches down in Delhi the real adventure begins: The heat, familiar smells from past visits, the sounds, colours and faces that all mark the beginning of an expedition to me. Sensory overload – I love it!

I’ve passed through this bustling city so many times – ironically the gateway to one of the most peaceful and preserved landscapes still left on this planet, the Kashmiri Himalayas.

Our last visit to the region got off to an adventurous start after late monsoon rains slammed the area causing the worst flooding seen in years. This year things look dryer for Thomas, Dres and I! Our project, a beautiful spear head shaped peak that caught our eye on our last visit.

The Peak

Like many other things in this hidden region, the mountain leaves a lot to be discovered. There is very little information available about the peak; not even sure how high it is, but we are guessing between 6000 and 6200 meters above sea level.

The mountain is beautiful and appears to be quite technical, exactly what we are looking for. We’ve brought everything we think we may need and are ready to take advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer!

Tobias Hatje will join our team up to basecamp and from there Thomas, Dres and myself will make our way to to the mountain. Our plan is to be back home in late October with lots of great photos and stories to retell.

Our Expedition Team: Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf, Dres Abegglen, Tobias Hatje (to base camp)

Talk to you then…


 


Experience
Stephan Siegrist

Individual presentations for organizations
and companies.

NEW - View Film about Stephan Siegrist
Corporate Presentations

In his multimedia presentations, professional mountain climber Stephan Siegrist, born in 1972, from the Bernese Oberland takes his audience on a journey into the world of climbing adventures and presents the highlights of his career as a climber and adventurist. Siegrist, considered one of the best alpinists of our time for many years now, tours not only through his native country of Switzerland but also lectures regularly abroad.

Whether in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica, high quality images and exciting videos coloring the presentations allow the spectator to lose themselves in far away worlds and bold adventures. Siegrist never portrays himself as a hero; he speaks about his remote expeditions with a large share of humor, self-irony and modesty.

Business lectures help establish synergies in the corporate world. Siegrist’s idea is to not only to motivate the employees of a company but also to inspire the management by sharing his leadership skills and experience.

Successfully implementing vision and ideas calls for clever strategy and planning in order to reach a goal and tap into the full potential available. Commitment and activity help launch a dream. Endurance and confidence help gain strength, even from failure. Knowledge and experience cultivate trust in your instinct: there are times when you have to be able to turn back.

Through his many years of expedition and team climbing, Siegrist is able to create synergies between the mountaineering and the corporate worlds and confers his know-how in the latter; minor errors can have major consequences. Optimal risk management is indispensable, whether on a mountain or within an enterprise.

Stephan Siegrist motivates and encourages reflection through his talks. His action is driven by a passion to discover and explore unknown territory. Every goal, once targeted, is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment.

Testimonials

“We booked Stephan Siegrist as a keynote speaker for our Sales Team. He combined his grasping style of performance with impressive pictures and movies and managed to illustrate the parallels between mountaineering and sales hence motivating and captivating our sales team.”

Andreas Hungerbühler, Director of Marketing & Business Development,
Bisnode D&B Schweiz AG

“Dear Stefan, thank you so much for your valuable contribution to our congress. The presentation about your highline projects brought us a conference room brimming with enthusiastic participants. The additional organization of slacklines on the hotel complex added activity to the program and rounded off the event perfectly. The participants were able get a taste of the challenges posed by a highline on alpine peaks for themselves in a more laid-back atmosphere. We are all looking forward to the follow-up event next year.”

“Exciting and captivating, focused and attuned to our guests, professional and friendly.”

Highline presentation as part of our Medi Sportortho Congress 2013, Mallorca, Frank Thelemann, Medi 

“We have invited Stephan as a speaker to our events on several occasions: whether it be speaking about motivation, concentration and dedication to juniors at a golf club or dissertating over team spirit and risk management to private bankers and hedge fund specialist’s. All were mesmerized by Stephan’s inspiring words and breathtaking pictures. Very professional.”

PAMP

Meeting Challenges

While on expedition and throughout his exploits, Stephan Siegrist is faced by numerous challenges and tasks. These can demands can be transferred to the expectations and targets found in the management setting.

Developing and implementing vision, understanding the dynamics of team building, gauging ones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the importance of self-assessment, are some of many relevant themes.

In the area of mental training, Stephan Siegrist works together with Psychologist Thomas Theurillat.

Individual Presentations

Stephan Siegrist often draws parallels to his own background and sheds light on how he pushes the limits to make the impossible possible.

These presentations can be tailored individually to your specific needs. Various theme possibilities, presentation length and number of participants can all be catered for upon request.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime for further information and a personalized proposal: info@stephan-siegrist.ch.

KISHTWAR TRIO

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas
Senf and Dres Abegglen

In early October Andreas “Dres” Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned home after an amazing and successful trip to the Kishtwar region in northern India. A magical and remote region I first visited in 2011, we had the privilege of making first ascents on two unclimbed, and unnamed 5000m peaks before making the second ascent of the impressive Kishtwar Shivling.

We left Switzerland at the start of September and were greeted in Kashmir by late and heavy monsoon rains. With a lot of luck and determination we reached our first base camp on September 13, despite the mass flooding and terrible road conditions. Eager to make up for lost time, we climbed a line up the South face of the previously unclimbed Shiepra, bivying at 5100m. We reached the 5885m high summit on September 16 and graded the route as follows: difficulties up to WI3, IV, 75° ice.

Our descent took us over the exposed West ridge, via a series of abseils followed by a 50° ice slope. The new route is called Maaji, which in Hindi means mother. The honor of naming the peak was left to our Liaisons Officer Ran Jan, who named the mountain Shiepra after the Hindi God Shiva’s wife.

The weather at this point was ideal and conditions looked promising, so we set off to make an attempt on another unclimbed peak nearby. Below the ridge leading to the peak is a very visible rock structure which looks like the renowned ‘playboy bunny’. Coming up with a good name for the peak was pretty easy, we named it Kharagosa, which in Hindi means rabbit. Thomas, Dres and I bivied at 4800m below the North East face, we continued across the glacier to the base of the East face and then ascended 1000m over tricky, mixed terrain.

Three demanding UIAA grade V pitches led to the South East face, bringing us over much easier ground and to the 5840m high summit which we reached on September 21. The new route, Pinky, is named after the most beautiful woman in the nearby village of Sumcham.
After our ascent on Kharagosa we still had time so we packed up and moved our base camp to the base of Kishtwar Shivling which we reached on September 29.



 

The North face of the technical and impressive mountain was first climbed in 1983 by Britain’s Stephen Venables and Dick Renshaw over a stretch of seven days. Political tension between Pakistan and India has resulted in this area being more or less off-limits for almost two decades. Foreign alpinists have only recently begun to return and explore the area.

Intent on making the second ascent of this magnificent peak we climbed a line up the East pillar, the target of previous expeditions, and made a first bivy on the glacier at 4700m before following a 50° ramp to the saddle at 5400m. We set our second bivy up at this point, and then climbed 10 demanding pitches past 90° WI5 ice, through a hidden couloir, bringing back memories of the famous Super Canaleta on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy, then past tricky mixed terrain which led to the foot of the enormous summit cornices.

On October 1, the gods were smiling upon us: Dres, Tomas and I were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a hole in the cornice which was big enough to climb through, leading us to the 5895m East summit. 14 abseils later we arrived back on the saddle where our tents we waiting for us. The following morning we made our descent back down to base camp. The new route is called Challo, which means let’s go in Hindi.

A successful ascent on a complex and beautiful mountain like Kistwar Shivling was a real reward for me. Kashmir is a place I am free to climb for the pure joy of the mountain and a region I cherish with deep appreciation and respect. Having all come home safely, with our backpacks full of great memories, unforgettable climbs and a lot of laughs together, has only strengthened my bond to this unbelievable and breathtaking region.

Report by Stephan Siegrist; Photos by Thomas Senf | visualimpact.ch


Kashmir
2014

New Adventure
Lies Ahead in Kashmir!

In the isolated area bordering Pakistan and North India, a beautiful unnamed, unclimbed mountain awaits us! The aesthetic 6000er is remote and hidden away from civilization – exactly what I like!

In the upcoming days, Thomas Senf and Dres (Andreas) Abegglen and I hope to get started on our project. The journey will take us back to the same valley in the Kashmir Himalayas I visited in 2011 with another team when we summited the Cerro Kishtwar.

From Zurich we’ve flown to Delhi and have now arrived in the city of Jammu. The plan from here; a 2 day Jeep ride to the town of Atholi where we begin our 5 day trek to our base camp at 4000 meters above sea level. That was the plan…

Expeditions are known for two things, amongst others; the adventure and not going according to plan!

Over the past few days Northern India, Pakistan and Kashmir have been inundated by a late monsoon. Heavy rains have caused massive flooding, landslides and destruction in cities, towns and above all the rural areas.

 

Roads have been washed away, destroyed by landslides and access has been cut off by flooding rivers and damaged bridges. The area has not seen this intensity of rain fall during post monsoon season in over 2 decades.

In short, getting to base camp is going to be more complicated than we ever imagined!

On a positive note, the weather forecast for the coming week looks better; dry weather is meant to be on its way. For the moment we are concentrating on the urgency of the situation here.

We’ll be in touch once we know more. Over the next 5 weeks we will try to send some news home twice via satellite phone to keep you updated on our progress.

For the time being I wish everyone at home a beautiful and hopefully dry autumn!


All the best from Jammu, Stephan Siegrist.
Photos taken by Thomas Senf.


News
Update

Fall 2014

CHASING RAINBOWS

This summer was definitely a good one for rainbows, just not the one I was chasing. Persistant rain, wet conditions and even snow all contributed to a frustrating summer season here in Switzerland.

Despite the continuos onslaught of rain, I was able to devote a few days of preparation to the project, but nothing close to what I was hoping for. So for this year, I’ve cut my loses and put this project on the shelf until next year!

In the mean time, I’ve turned my focus to my upcoming expedition in September.


MAE PROJECT, KASHMIR

In 2011 Denis, Burdet, David Lama and I set out to Kashmir for what would end up being one of the most memorable expeditions I have been on. In the good company of my old friend cameraman Rob Frost and photographer Stefan Schlumpf, we had the privilege of entering this area that had been primarily inaccessible to foreigners and climbers due to political instability.

I returned home from this expedition not only having successfully opened a new route on Cerro Kishtwar and on White Saphire, an unclimbed, unnamed mountain hidden in the valley, but also with inspiration for a future project!

Surrounded by a horizon of pristine and unclimbed summits, one mountain in particular caught my eye. And so, three years later, motivated and full of anticipation, I am returning to Kashmir with Dres Abegglen and photographer Thomas Senf in hopes of opening a route on this rare gem!

More info to come in September.

Weblinks:

facebook.com/stephansiegristalpinist
givengain.com
facebook.com/projectmae

New Film

Cerro Kishtwar
An Ice Clold Story



We did it! Many thanks to Timeline Productions and all the people who rolled up their sleeves & helped us get this film done!

CERRO KISHTWAR – AN ICE COLD STORY

I saw the line on the north west face of Cerro Kishtwar and couldn’t get it out of my mind. In 1992 Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy spent 17 grueling days in the same wall before having to retreat 100 metres below the summit…

25 years later, Thomas Huber, Julian Zanker and I returned to climb the line that I had dreamt about for so long.

Drop me a line if you’d like to screen the film.



Har Har
Mahadev

Success on
Cerro Kishtwar

On October 14th Stephan Siegrist (SUI), Julian Zanker (SUI), and Thomas Huber (GER) stood atop the granite giant in Kashmir. They are the fourth team that was able to climb this mountain via a spectacular line. Their goal was the yet unclimbed central north-west face of Cerro Kishtwar.

In 1992 the two Englishmen Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy tried to climb their way through the wall. They had to give up 100 meters below the summit after 17 days due to exhaustion.

A year later their fellow landsmen Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad climbed by way of an ice chute in the left part of the wall to a notch at about 5600 meters and moved over into the slightly flatter east part of the mountain to reach the peak as the first team to do so. The mountains in Kashmir were then barred for all foreign alpinists for several years for military and political reasons.

The ban was lifted early in 2010 and Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet, and David Lama made the first expedition into the mountain region in 2011.Their goal was to climb Cerro Kishtwar alpine style. They reached the summit as the second team ever via an ice track on the north-west side to the right of the distinctive granite wall. In 2015 Hayden Kennedy, Marco Prezelj, Manu Pellisier, and Urban Novak climbed the granite tower via the east wall alpine style and were awarded the Piolet d`Or for their ascent.

The team of three began their adventure in the Kashmiri Himalaya on September 7th. They reached base camp on September 13th. Best weather conditions left the team with no break and they were able to establish ABC on September 18th at 5050 meters.

The team began their ascent of the wall on October 1st after several material transports. They weren’t able to stick to their plan to complete their climb in five days. They discontinued their first attempt for tactical reasons and returned to base camp. They returned on October 8th with new strength and a fresh attitude, right back into the adventure!

The weather was stable. The mornings were clear, clouds came in by noon, the afternoons brought snow. The team had to fight iced up cracks, spindrift, extreme cold with temperatures below -20° C, and difficult techno-climbing up to A3+. On summit day, October 14th, they were rewarded with a sunny day. We almost felt like we weren’t alone.



 

Like we were being rewarded for everything we had to go through with this unique moment. We took the last meters together and we could hardly believe it. Cirrostratus clouds flew by in the jet stream 500 meters above us and we were standing there in the sun, in complete calm. We all knew that we were only able to make it because we felt like a courageous alliance together!

Our route through the north-west wall of the Cerro Kishtwar will be named „Har-Har Mahadev.“ This saying is from Hindu mythology and dedicated to the god Lord Shiva: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Or as we would say in Bavaria: „Get a grip!“

Interview

Listen for an interview on The Cutting Edge, a podcast from the editors of the American Alpine Journal:

Weblink: americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-podcast

Facts

The team partially used fixed ropes in the first part of the wall and established Camp 1 at „Snowledge“ on the foot of the granite wall at 5450 meters. They were able to reach pitch 7 after three days during their first attempt. They started their second attempt the next day on October 8th. They reached the summit seven days later. The team spent ten days in the wall in total. They established 4 camps: Camp 1 “Snowledge”, Camp 2 “Happyledge”, Camp 3 “Sunnyledge”, Camp 4 “Kempinski”.

First ascent of the central north-west face by Stephan Siegrist, Julian Zanker, and Thomas Huber on October 14th, 2017.

Route name: „Har Har Mahadev“ from Hindu mythology meaning no less than: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Grades: VII, A3+,6b, M6, 80°

First part: 400 meters ice and mixed

Second part: 600 meters rock and mixed, 24 pitches

Belays partially equipped with bolts

Drill holes in the pitches: 8 Bathooks and 7 rivets

Material used: 15 Bird Beaks in different sizes, 4 Baby Angels, 6 Lost Arrows, 4 knifeblades, stoppers, double set of Cams up to Nr.4

Portaledge necessary

Descent: Rappell over the route


Jeff Lowes
Metanoia

Thomas Huber, Roger
Schäli & Stephan Siegrist
gelingt die zweite
Begehung

Thomas Huber, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist score the second ascent of Jeff Lowe’s legendary climbing route “Metanoia” on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland.

In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) made their way to climb one of the most bold and legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, who was fascinated by the unique history behind the climb, was quick to get Siegrist on the team to climb “Metanoia.” Schaeli was also on board immediately.

The three pro-climbers began their first attempt in the week before Christmas. They had to abort their effort about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge after their bivvy due to increasingly bad weather conditions. A second attempt on December 28th, 2016 had to be interrupted shortly after a storm set in. They commenced their climb on “Metanoia” on December 29th, 2016. They set their bivvy about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge again and continued onward the next day. The three alpinists reached the top-out of “Metanoia” in the evening of December 30th, 2016. They are the first to successfully repeat the route.

“Metanoia” was established in 1991 by the exceptional American alpinist Jeff Lowe in the winter in a solo effort. Lowe is known, amongst others, for his solo ascent of the south face of Ama Dablam in 1979. He also still holds the record for reaching the highpoint of Latok I. Lowe has ticked more than 1000 first ascents worldwide. He was involved in the development of the first ice screw as well as first cam. He also invented the globally recognized difficulty scale for ice and mixed climbs. He brought the Sport Climbing Championships to the USA and opened the legendary and well- visited Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.

1991 was a tough year for Lowe personally. When he began his attempt to open a new, direct line though the north face of the Eiger. Lowe wanted to create a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism who approached the greatest alpine walls with primitive equipment and techniques, without using bolts. Lowe says: “ So I also climbed with no bolts, hoping that Metanoia might serve as an example of what can be accomplished without them.”
Nine days later Lowe appears at the summit of the Eiger, defying adverse conditions. He braved severe storms and proved his mastery of climbing and his power of
endurance. In the life of Jeff Lowe this climb was somewhat a path to enlightenment.

He climbed out of the north face of Eiger with a whole new view on life. He named his route “Metanoia” which is Greek and means as much as “fundamental change of view, transformative change of heart.” Lowe says: ““Metanoia” rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life operates. As a result I have become more compassionate and connected to my family, friends, the climbing tribe, humanity, the planet and the universe.” In his route Lowe found his attitude towards life that still holds true today: to approach everything with courage and love. He hasn’t lost this attitude even after being diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder 16 years ago that has tied him to a wheelchair.



 

Jeff Lowe was excited about the first repeat of his “Metanoia”: “Thomas Huber called us to share the good news that he, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist succeeded on “Metanoia”. I’m happy and gratified that they found the route to be hard, bold, beautiful and ‘visionary.’ Their confirmation of the quality of Metanoia is very gratifying and quite humbling. Best of all, Thomas understands what I was doing with the climb; which was trying to create an example of how alpinists can progress in an environmentally conscious way that honors the spirit of extreme alpinism.”

Thomas Huber Lowe’s ascent of “Metanoia”: “He was alone, he had never been in the wall before, he could only rely on himself. I tried to imagine myself in his place after every hard passage that lay behind me. His fight passed in front of my inner eye like a movie. What he accomplished is really just madness.”

Huber goes on saying: “With Metanoia Jeff was able to prove that you can accomplish impossible challenges just with your heart. He set new standards in alpinism with his ascent. This Metanoia, the new way of seeing the world and this new mind-set on life help Jeff today to approach his battle with his illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude is what inspires me in my life. We, Steff, Roger and I, are thankful to be able to live Metanoia.”
Stephan Siegrist is also impressed by Lowe’s achievement. He says: “He climbed that route in this hard wall alone with the gear they had back then! You can only survive that kind of hardship if you’re in a deep crisis.” The route itself is something special for Siegrist, too: “When I climbed the north face of the Eiger for the first time with about 20 years of age Lowe had already climbed “Metanoia.” The spectacular ascent and following stories in the media have followed me and have left me in awe ever since.” Climbing the route himself was something special for Siegrist: “After 37 ascents and three first ascents in the north face of the Eiger the “Metanoia” definitely put the crown on it all. For me personally this is one of the highlights of my 37 ascents on the Eiger.”

Roger Schaeli adds: “Climbing “Metanoia” was my biggest adventure on the Eiger with the coolest team with which I was allowed to climb on the north face! The route inspired me to find more alpine challenges. My highest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. “Metanoia” is really bad ass!”

Lowe climbed “Metanoia” in 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli installed an 8mm bolt at a belay since they wanted to avoid the risk of the entire rope team falling. In addition they used a 10mm bolt in a pitch before the Hinterstoisser Traverse. It was probably drilled to support the film team of the documentary “Metanoia.”

Facts

Route: Metanoia, 7, A4, M6
Berg: Eiger north face, Switzerland
First ascent 1991: Jeff Lowe (USA), solo
First repeat 2016: Huber, Siegrist, Schaeli with 8mm bolt and cliff (belay), 10 mm bolt (from film production “Metanoia” documentary 2013)
Website Jeff Lowe: jeffloweclimber.com
notextile.

Tupendeo

One mountain,
Two stories

Film Trailer



Film Premiere

The Tupendeo film premiere will take place on November 19th at the Kendal Mountain Festival (UK).



Film Description

Leaving a trail is not a uniquely human activity. All animals do, from thin sheep tracks to the chemical trail left by a line of ants. Whether we wish to or not, we leave our mark wherever we go.

As the world’s population increases, and travel becomes easier, we must journey further, or look more closely, to find untrodden ground or an unclimbed peak. We seek the opposite of the trail’s logical purpose: instead of getting from one place to another as simply as possible, we break trail for no other reason than to find somewhere new and to feed our hunger for adventure.

When Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen set off towards Tupendeo in 2015, they have no clue that the peak already has its own story to tell. The locals warn them that tragedy had struck many years ago. As the trio climb up the face, they come across an old rope still hanging along with a rappel device, causing many questions to arise. Who left it hanging there? What happened?

They all know far too well how close success and defeat can be on a mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they decide to bring the rappel device back with them and search for traces. They want to know whose story the Tupendeo was hiding.


KASHMIR 2015

Climbing Virgin Summits
in Kashmir

In September and October 2015 Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascents of Bhala 5900m, Tupendeo 5700m and Maha Dev Phobrang 5900m and its famous Te tower, three hitherto unclimbed mountains in the Kashmir region of India’s Himalaya.

A year after visiting the Kishtwar region in Northern India, Swiss alpinists Dres Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned to the Himalaya this September and October where we pulled off another three notable first ascents.

Our trio had seen a photo of a 5900m high summit called Bhala that strikingly resembled the world-famous Matterhorn and the call of this beautiful mountain was simply too strong to ignore. Located to the south of the Kishtwar area in the Kashmir region, Bhala had previously been off-limits due to the territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and was therefore unclimbed.

Maps of the area are famously imprecise, but thanks to excellent local connections we managed to reach the town of Kaban and then quickly establish base camp at the foot of Bhala, which means Spear and was named as such by a previous expedition to the region due to its form. Weather conditions played in our favor and after biviing on the East Col on 12 September, the next morning we climbed an obvious ramp line up the 700m high North-East Face. Despite its beauty the rock quality on Bhala was extremely poor and we negotiated loose and dangerous rock to summit at 15:00 that day. We descended to the col where we bivied for a second time, and returned to Base Camp on the 14th of September.

Despite the now unstable weather with regular spills in the afternoon we set our sights on another “perfect” peak nearby called Tupendeo. In the early afternoon of the 18th of September we reached a bivy point at the base of the mountain, fixed a couple of pitches and then snuggled up for the night. The next morning we climbed an 800m line and summited at 13:30, before returning to base camp at 21:30 that same day. In stark comparison to Bhala, on Tupendeo we dealt with some of the best rock climbing we had ever had ever encountered at altitude.



 

Poor weather set in and pinned our team down in Base Camp for a week, after which we then climbed another peak in the same valley: Maha Dev Phobrang. A characteristic 200m crystal tower called Te (Crystal) juts out above 5500m and we opted for the more difficult, but certainly more beautiful line that took them straight to the top of this feature. After bivying on the ridge on 1 October, the next day we climbed 4 pitches with difficulties up to 6a/b and topped out on this pre-summit at 14:00. With time to spare we then abseiled off and continued on to the mountain’s main summit which was reached at 15:30 before returning safely to BC at 21:00. The biggest superlatives don’t even begin to explain the conditions we had on this mountain: quite simply unique.

It is interesting to note that while the Indian military maps mark Bhala as 6100m and Te as 6163m, according to the recent GPS readings both mountains are 5900m high.

Facts

Bhala (Spear) 5900m, NE Face | Route: Copa-Kaban
Start: 12/09/2015
Summit: 13/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 14/09/2015
Difficulty: mid-grade alpine climbing, loose rock

Tupendeo 5700m, SE Pillar | Route: Deokhal
Start: 18/09/2015
Summit: 19/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 19/09/2015
Difficulty: 6a/b, 21 pitches, 800m
Notes: on some maps marked as Tupendo 1 or Druid

Te (Kristall) 5900m | Route: Chaprasi
Start: 01/10/2015
Summit: 02/10/2015, Base Camp Return: 02/10/2015
Difficulty: 5c/6a, 4 pitches, 200m, excellent rock quality
Notes: alpine climbing 60° to main summit

Read on: Preparations for our Kashmir Expedition


KASHMIR 2015

In Search of
Forgotten Summits

An Adventure Begins

When the plane touches down in Delhi the real adventure begins: The heat, familiar smells from past visits, the sounds, colours and faces that all mark the beginning of an expedition to me. Sensory overload – I love it!

I’ve passed through this bustling city so many times – ironically the gateway to one of the most peaceful and preserved landscapes still left on this planet, the Kashmiri Himalayas.

Our last visit to the region got off to an adventurous start after late monsoon rains slammed the area causing the worst flooding seen in years. This year things look dryer for Thomas, Dres and I! Our project, a beautiful spear head shaped peak that caught our eye on our last visit.

The Peak

Like many other things in this hidden region, the mountain leaves a lot to be discovered. There is very little information available about the peak; not even sure how high it is, but we are guessing between 6000 and 6200 meters above sea level.

The mountain is beautiful and appears to be quite technical, exactly what we are looking for. We’ve brought everything we think we may need and are ready to take advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer!

Tobias Hatje will join our team up to basecamp and from there Thomas, Dres and myself will make our way to to the mountain. Our plan is to be back home in late October with lots of great photos and stories to retell.

Our Expedition Team: Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf, Dres Abegglen, Tobias Hatje (to base camp)

Talk to you then…


 


Experience
Stephan Siegrist

Individual presentations for organizations
and companies.

NEW - View Film about Stephan Siegrist
Corporate Presentations

In his multimedia presentations, professional mountain climber Stephan Siegrist, born in 1972, from the Bernese Oberland takes his audience on a journey into the world of climbing adventures and presents the highlights of his career as a climber and adventurist. Siegrist, considered one of the best alpinists of our time for many years now, tours not only through his native country of Switzerland but also lectures regularly abroad.

Whether in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica, high quality images and exciting videos coloring the presentations allow the spectator to lose themselves in far away worlds and bold adventures. Siegrist never portrays himself as a hero; he speaks about his remote expeditions with a large share of humor, self-irony and modesty.

Business lectures help establish synergies in the corporate world. Siegrist’s idea is to not only to motivate the employees of a company but also to inspire the management by sharing his leadership skills and experience.

Successfully implementing vision and ideas calls for clever strategy and planning in order to reach a goal and tap into the full potential available. Commitment and activity help launch a dream. Endurance and confidence help gain strength, even from failure. Knowledge and experience cultivate trust in your instinct: there are times when you have to be able to turn back.

Through his many years of expedition and team climbing, Siegrist is able to create synergies between the mountaineering and the corporate worlds and confers his know-how in the latter; minor errors can have major consequences. Optimal risk management is indispensable, whether on a mountain or within an enterprise.

Stephan Siegrist motivates and encourages reflection through his talks. His action is driven by a passion to discover and explore unknown territory. Every goal, once targeted, is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment.

Testimonials

“We booked Stephan Siegrist as a keynote speaker for our Sales Team. He combined his grasping style of performance with impressive pictures and movies and managed to illustrate the parallels between mountaineering and sales hence motivating and captivating our sales team.”

Andreas Hungerbühler, Director of Marketing & Business Development,
Bisnode D&B Schweiz AG

“Dear Stefan, thank you so much for your valuable contribution to our congress. The presentation about your highline projects brought us a conference room brimming with enthusiastic participants. The additional organization of slacklines on the hotel complex added activity to the program and rounded off the event perfectly. The participants were able get a taste of the challenges posed by a highline on alpine peaks for themselves in a more laid-back atmosphere. We are all looking forward to the follow-up event next year.”

“Exciting and captivating, focused and attuned to our guests, professional and friendly.”

Highline presentation as part of our Medi Sportortho Congress 2013, Mallorca, Frank Thelemann, Medi 

“We have invited Stephan as a speaker to our events on several occasions: whether it be speaking about motivation, concentration and dedication to juniors at a golf club or dissertating over team spirit and risk management to private bankers and hedge fund specialist’s. All were mesmerized by Stephan’s inspiring words and breathtaking pictures. Very professional.”

PAMP

Meeting Challenges

While on expedition and throughout his exploits, Stephan Siegrist is faced by numerous challenges and tasks. These can demands can be transferred to the expectations and targets found in the management setting.

Developing and implementing vision, understanding the dynamics of team building, gauging ones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the importance of self-assessment, are some of many relevant themes.

In the area of mental training, Stephan Siegrist works together with Psychologist Thomas Theurillat.

Individual Presentations

Stephan Siegrist often draws parallels to his own background and sheds light on how he pushes the limits to make the impossible possible.

These presentations can be tailored individually to your specific needs. Various theme possibilities, presentation length and number of participants can all be catered for upon request.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime for further information and a personalized proposal: info@stephan-siegrist.ch.

KISHTWAR TRIO

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas
Senf and Dres Abegglen

In early October Andreas “Dres” Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned home after an amazing and successful trip to the Kishtwar region in northern India. A magical and remote region I first visited in 2011, we had the privilege of making first ascents on two unclimbed, and unnamed 5000m peaks before making the second ascent of the impressive Kishtwar Shivling.

We left Switzerland at the start of September and were greeted in Kashmir by late and heavy monsoon rains. With a lot of luck and determination we reached our first base camp on September 13, despite the mass flooding and terrible road conditions. Eager to make up for lost time, we climbed a line up the South face of the previously unclimbed Shiepra, bivying at 5100m. We reached the 5885m high summit on September 16 and graded the route as follows: difficulties up to WI3, IV, 75° ice.

Our descent took us over the exposed West ridge, via a series of abseils followed by a 50° ice slope. The new route is called Maaji, which in Hindi means mother. The honor of naming the peak was left to our Liaisons Officer Ran Jan, who named the mountain Shiepra after the Hindi God Shiva’s wife.

The weather at this point was ideal and conditions looked promising, so we set off to make an attempt on another unclimbed peak nearby. Below the ridge leading to the peak is a very visible rock structure which looks like the renowned ‘playboy bunny’. Coming up with a good name for the peak was pretty easy, we named it Kharagosa, which in Hindi means rabbit. Thomas, Dres and I bivied at 4800m below the North East face, we continued across the glacier to the base of the East face and then ascended 1000m over tricky, mixed terrain.

Three demanding UIAA grade V pitches led to the South East face, bringing us over much easier ground and to the 5840m high summit which we reached on September 21. The new route, Pinky, is named after the most beautiful woman in the nearby village of Sumcham.
After our ascent on Kharagosa we still had time so we packed up and moved our base camp to the base of Kishtwar Shivling which we reached on September 29.



 

The North face of the technical and impressive mountain was first climbed in 1983 by Britain’s Stephen Venables and Dick Renshaw over a stretch of seven days. Political tension between Pakistan and India has resulted in this area being more or less off-limits for almost two decades. Foreign alpinists have only recently begun to return and explore the area.

Intent on making the second ascent of this magnificent peak we climbed a line up the East pillar, the target of previous expeditions, and made a first bivy on the glacier at 4700m before following a 50° ramp to the saddle at 5400m. We set our second bivy up at this point, and then climbed 10 demanding pitches past 90° WI5 ice, through a hidden couloir, bringing back memories of the famous Super Canaleta on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy, then past tricky mixed terrain which led to the foot of the enormous summit cornices.

On October 1, the gods were smiling upon us: Dres, Tomas and I were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a hole in the cornice which was big enough to climb through, leading us to the 5895m East summit. 14 abseils later we arrived back on the saddle where our tents we waiting for us. The following morning we made our descent back down to base camp. The new route is called Challo, which means let’s go in Hindi.

A successful ascent on a complex and beautiful mountain like Kistwar Shivling was a real reward for me. Kashmir is a place I am free to climb for the pure joy of the mountain and a region I cherish with deep appreciation and respect. Having all come home safely, with our backpacks full of great memories, unforgettable climbs and a lot of laughs together, has only strengthened my bond to this unbelievable and breathtaking region.

Report by Stephan Siegrist; Photos by Thomas Senf | visualimpact.ch


Kashmir
2014

New Adventure
Lies Ahead in Kashmir!

In the isolated area bordering Pakistan and North India, a beautiful unnamed, unclimbed mountain awaits us! The aesthetic 6000er is remote and hidden away from civilization – exactly what I like!

In the upcoming days, Thomas Senf and Dres (Andreas) Abegglen and I hope to get started on our project. The journey will take us back to the same valley in the Kashmir Himalayas I visited in 2011 with another team when we summited the Cerro Kishtwar.

From Zurich we’ve flown to Delhi and have now arrived in the city of Jammu. The plan from here; a 2 day Jeep ride to the town of Atholi where we begin our 5 day trek to our base camp at 4000 meters above sea level. That was the plan…

Expeditions are known for two things, amongst others; the adventure and not going according to plan!

Over the past few days Northern India, Pakistan and Kashmir have been inundated by a late monsoon. Heavy rains have caused massive flooding, landslides and destruction in cities, towns and above all the rural areas.

 

Roads have been washed away, destroyed by landslides and access has been cut off by flooding rivers and damaged bridges. The area has not seen this intensity of rain fall during post monsoon season in over 2 decades.

In short, getting to base camp is going to be more complicated than we ever imagined!

On a positive note, the weather forecast for the coming week looks better; dry weather is meant to be on its way. For the moment we are concentrating on the urgency of the situation here.

We’ll be in touch once we know more. Over the next 5 weeks we will try to send some news home twice via satellite phone to keep you updated on our progress.

For the time being I wish everyone at home a beautiful and hopefully dry autumn!


All the best from Jammu, Stephan Siegrist.
Photos taken by Thomas Senf.


News
Update

Fall 2014

CHASING RAINBOWS

This summer was definitely a good one for rainbows, just not the one I was chasing. Persistant rain, wet conditions and even snow all contributed to a frustrating summer season here in Switzerland.

Despite the continuos onslaught of rain, I was able to devote a few days of preparation to the project, but nothing close to what I was hoping for. So for this year, I’ve cut my loses and put this project on the shelf until next year!

In the mean time, I’ve turned my focus to my upcoming expedition in September.


MAE PROJECT, KASHMIR

In 2011 Denis, Burdet, David Lama and I set out to Kashmir for what would end up being one of the most memorable expeditions I have been on. In the good company of my old friend cameraman Rob Frost and photographer Stefan Schlumpf, we had the privilege of entering this area that had been primarily inaccessible to foreigners and climbers due to political instability.

I returned home from this expedition not only having successfully opened a new route on Cerro Kishtwar and on White Saphire, an unclimbed, unnamed mountain hidden in the valley, but also with inspiration for a future project!

Surrounded by a horizon of pristine and unclimbed summits, one mountain in particular caught my eye. And so, three years later, motivated and full of anticipation, I am returning to Kashmir with Dres Abegglen and photographer Thomas Senf in hopes of opening a route on this rare gem!

More info to come in September.

Weblinks:

facebook.com/stephansiegristalpinist
givengain.com
facebook.com/projectmae

New Film

Cerro Kishtwar
An Ice Clold Story



We did it! Many thanks to Timeline Productions and all the people who rolled up their sleeves & helped us get this film done!

CERRO KISHTWAR – AN ICE COLD STORY

I saw the line on the north west face of Cerro Kishtwar and couldn’t get it out of my mind. In 1992 Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy spent 17 grueling days in the same wall before having to retreat 100 metres below the summit…

25 years later, Thomas Huber, Julian Zanker and I returned to climb the line that I had dreamt about for so long.

Drop me a line if you’d like to screen the film.



Har Har
Mahadev

Success on
Cerro Kishtwar

On October 14th Stephan Siegrist (SUI), Julian Zanker (SUI), and Thomas Huber (GER) stood atop the granite giant in Kashmir. They are the fourth team that was able to climb this mountain via a spectacular line. Their goal was the yet unclimbed central north-west face of Cerro Kishtwar.

In 1992 the two Englishmen Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy tried to climb their way through the wall. They had to give up 100 meters below the summit after 17 days due to exhaustion.

A year later their fellow landsmen Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad climbed by way of an ice chute in the left part of the wall to a notch at about 5600 meters and moved over into the slightly flatter east part of the mountain to reach the peak as the first team to do so. The mountains in Kashmir were then barred for all foreign alpinists for several years for military and political reasons.

The ban was lifted early in 2010 and Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet, and David Lama made the first expedition into the mountain region in 2011.Their goal was to climb Cerro Kishtwar alpine style. They reached the summit as the second team ever via an ice track on the north-west side to the right of the distinctive granite wall. In 2015 Hayden Kennedy, Marco Prezelj, Manu Pellisier, and Urban Novak climbed the granite tower via the east wall alpine style and were awarded the Piolet d`Or for their ascent.

The team of three began their adventure in the Kashmiri Himalaya on September 7th. They reached base camp on September 13th. Best weather conditions left the team with no break and they were able to establish ABC on September 18th at 5050 meters.

The team began their ascent of the wall on October 1st after several material transports. They weren’t able to stick to their plan to complete their climb in five days. They discontinued their first attempt for tactical reasons and returned to base camp. They returned on October 8th with new strength and a fresh attitude, right back into the adventure!

The weather was stable. The mornings were clear, clouds came in by noon, the afternoons brought snow. The team had to fight iced up cracks, spindrift, extreme cold with temperatures below -20° C, and difficult techno-climbing up to A3+. On summit day, October 14th, they were rewarded with a sunny day. We almost felt like we weren’t alone.



 

Like we were being rewarded for everything we had to go through with this unique moment. We took the last meters together and we could hardly believe it. Cirrostratus clouds flew by in the jet stream 500 meters above us and we were standing there in the sun, in complete calm. We all knew that we were only able to make it because we felt like a courageous alliance together!

Our route through the north-west wall of the Cerro Kishtwar will be named „Har-Har Mahadev.“ This saying is from Hindu mythology and dedicated to the god Lord Shiva: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Or as we would say in Bavaria: „Get a grip!“

Interview

Listen for an interview on The Cutting Edge, a podcast from the editors of the American Alpine Journal:

Weblink: americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-podcast

Facts

The team partially used fixed ropes in the first part of the wall and established Camp 1 at „Snowledge“ on the foot of the granite wall at 5450 meters. They were able to reach pitch 7 after three days during their first attempt. They started their second attempt the next day on October 8th. They reached the summit seven days later. The team spent ten days in the wall in total. They established 4 camps: Camp 1 “Snowledge”, Camp 2 “Happyledge”, Camp 3 “Sunnyledge”, Camp 4 “Kempinski”.

First ascent of the central north-west face by Stephan Siegrist, Julian Zanker, and Thomas Huber on October 14th, 2017.

Route name: „Har Har Mahadev“ from Hindu mythology meaning no less than: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Grades: VII, A3+,6b, M6, 80°

First part: 400 meters ice and mixed

Second part: 600 meters rock and mixed, 24 pitches

Belays partially equipped with bolts

Drill holes in the pitches: 8 Bathooks and 7 rivets

Material used: 15 Bird Beaks in different sizes, 4 Baby Angels, 6 Lost Arrows, 4 knifeblades, stoppers, double set of Cams up to Nr.4

Portaledge necessary

Descent: Rappell over the route


Jeff Lowes
Metanoia

Thomas Huber, Roger
Schäli & Stephan Siegrist
gelingt die zweite
Begehung

Thomas Huber, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist score the second ascent of Jeff Lowe’s legendary climbing route “Metanoia” on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland.

In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) made their way to climb one of the most bold and legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, who was fascinated by the unique history behind the climb, was quick to get Siegrist on the team to climb “Metanoia.” Schaeli was also on board immediately.

The three pro-climbers began their first attempt in the week before Christmas. They had to abort their effort about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge after their bivvy due to increasingly bad weather conditions. A second attempt on December 28th, 2016 had to be interrupted shortly after a storm set in. They commenced their climb on “Metanoia” on December 29th, 2016. They set their bivvy about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge again and continued onward the next day. The three alpinists reached the top-out of “Metanoia” in the evening of December 30th, 2016. They are the first to successfully repeat the route.

“Metanoia” was established in 1991 by the exceptional American alpinist Jeff Lowe in the winter in a solo effort. Lowe is known, amongst others, for his solo ascent of the south face of Ama Dablam in 1979. He also still holds the record for reaching the highpoint of Latok I. Lowe has ticked more than 1000 first ascents worldwide. He was involved in the development of the first ice screw as well as first cam. He also invented the globally recognized difficulty scale for ice and mixed climbs. He brought the Sport Climbing Championships to the USA and opened the legendary and well- visited Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.

1991 was a tough year for Lowe personally. When he began his attempt to open a new, direct line though the north face of the Eiger. Lowe wanted to create a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism who approached the greatest alpine walls with primitive equipment and techniques, without using bolts. Lowe says: “ So I also climbed with no bolts, hoping that Metanoia might serve as an example of what can be accomplished without them.”
Nine days later Lowe appears at the summit of the Eiger, defying adverse conditions. He braved severe storms and proved his mastery of climbing and his power of
endurance. In the life of Jeff Lowe this climb was somewhat a path to enlightenment.

He climbed out of the north face of Eiger with a whole new view on life. He named his route “Metanoia” which is Greek and means as much as “fundamental change of view, transformative change of heart.” Lowe says: ““Metanoia” rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life operates. As a result I have become more compassionate and connected to my family, friends, the climbing tribe, humanity, the planet and the universe.” In his route Lowe found his attitude towards life that still holds true today: to approach everything with courage and love. He hasn’t lost this attitude even after being diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder 16 years ago that has tied him to a wheelchair.



 

Jeff Lowe was excited about the first repeat of his “Metanoia”: “Thomas Huber called us to share the good news that he, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist succeeded on “Metanoia”. I’m happy and gratified that they found the route to be hard, bold, beautiful and ‘visionary.’ Their confirmation of the quality of Metanoia is very gratifying and quite humbling. Best of all, Thomas understands what I was doing with the climb; which was trying to create an example of how alpinists can progress in an environmentally conscious way that honors the spirit of extreme alpinism.”

Thomas Huber Lowe’s ascent of “Metanoia”: “He was alone, he had never been in the wall before, he could only rely on himself. I tried to imagine myself in his place after every hard passage that lay behind me. His fight passed in front of my inner eye like a movie. What he accomplished is really just madness.”

Huber goes on saying: “With Metanoia Jeff was able to prove that you can accomplish impossible challenges just with your heart. He set new standards in alpinism with his ascent. This Metanoia, the new way of seeing the world and this new mind-set on life help Jeff today to approach his battle with his illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude is what inspires me in my life. We, Steff, Roger and I, are thankful to be able to live Metanoia.”
Stephan Siegrist is also impressed by Lowe’s achievement. He says: “He climbed that route in this hard wall alone with the gear they had back then! You can only survive that kind of hardship if you’re in a deep crisis.” The route itself is something special for Siegrist, too: “When I climbed the north face of the Eiger for the first time with about 20 years of age Lowe had already climbed “Metanoia.” The spectacular ascent and following stories in the media have followed me and have left me in awe ever since.” Climbing the route himself was something special for Siegrist: “After 37 ascents and three first ascents in the north face of the Eiger the “Metanoia” definitely put the crown on it all. For me personally this is one of the highlights of my 37 ascents on the Eiger.”

Roger Schaeli adds: “Climbing “Metanoia” was my biggest adventure on the Eiger with the coolest team with which I was allowed to climb on the north face! The route inspired me to find more alpine challenges. My highest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. “Metanoia” is really bad ass!”

Lowe climbed “Metanoia” in 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli installed an 8mm bolt at a belay since they wanted to avoid the risk of the entire rope team falling. In addition they used a 10mm bolt in a pitch before the Hinterstoisser Traverse. It was probably drilled to support the film team of the documentary “Metanoia.”

Facts

Route: Metanoia, 7, A4, M6
Berg: Eiger north face, Switzerland
First ascent 1991: Jeff Lowe (USA), solo
First repeat 2016: Huber, Siegrist, Schaeli with 8mm bolt and cliff (belay), 10 mm bolt (from film production “Metanoia” documentary 2013)
Website Jeff Lowe: jeffloweclimber.com
notextile.

Tupendeo

One mountain,
Two stories

Film Trailer



Film Premiere

The Tupendeo film premiere will take place on November 19th at the Kendal Mountain Festival (UK).



Film Description

Leaving a trail is not a uniquely human activity. All animals do, from thin sheep tracks to the chemical trail left by a line of ants. Whether we wish to or not, we leave our mark wherever we go.

As the world’s population increases, and travel becomes easier, we must journey further, or look more closely, to find untrodden ground or an unclimbed peak. We seek the opposite of the trail’s logical purpose: instead of getting from one place to another as simply as possible, we break trail for no other reason than to find somewhere new and to feed our hunger for adventure.

When Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen set off towards Tupendeo in 2015, they have no clue that the peak already has its own story to tell. The locals warn them that tragedy had struck many years ago. As the trio climb up the face, they come across an old rope still hanging along with a rappel device, causing many questions to arise. Who left it hanging there? What happened?

They all know far too well how close success and defeat can be on a mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they decide to bring the rappel device back with them and search for traces. They want to know whose story the Tupendeo was hiding.


KASHMIR 2015

Climbing Virgin Summits
in Kashmir

In September and October 2015 Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascents of Bhala 5900m, Tupendeo 5700m and Maha Dev Phobrang 5900m and its famous Te tower, three hitherto unclimbed mountains in the Kashmir region of India’s Himalaya.

A year after visiting the Kishtwar region in Northern India, Swiss alpinists Dres Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned to the Himalaya this September and October where we pulled off another three notable first ascents.

Our trio had seen a photo of a 5900m high summit called Bhala that strikingly resembled the world-famous Matterhorn and the call of this beautiful mountain was simply too strong to ignore. Located to the south of the Kishtwar area in the Kashmir region, Bhala had previously been off-limits due to the territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and was therefore unclimbed.

Maps of the area are famously imprecise, but thanks to excellent local connections we managed to reach the town of Kaban and then quickly establish base camp at the foot of Bhala, which means Spear and was named as such by a previous expedition to the region due to its form. Weather conditions played in our favor and after biviing on the East Col on 12 September, the next morning we climbed an obvious ramp line up the 700m high North-East Face. Despite its beauty the rock quality on Bhala was extremely poor and we negotiated loose and dangerous rock to summit at 15:00 that day. We descended to the col where we bivied for a second time, and returned to Base Camp on the 14th of September.

Despite the now unstable weather with regular spills in the afternoon we set our sights on another “perfect” peak nearby called Tupendeo. In the early afternoon of the 18th of September we reached a bivy point at the base of the mountain, fixed a couple of pitches and then snuggled up for the night. The next morning we climbed an 800m line and summited at 13:30, before returning to base camp at 21:30 that same day. In stark comparison to Bhala, on Tupendeo we dealt with some of the best rock climbing we had ever had ever encountered at altitude.



 

Poor weather set in and pinned our team down in Base Camp for a week, after which we then climbed another peak in the same valley: Maha Dev Phobrang. A characteristic 200m crystal tower called Te (Crystal) juts out above 5500m and we opted for the more difficult, but certainly more beautiful line that took them straight to the top of this feature. After bivying on the ridge on 1 October, the next day we climbed 4 pitches with difficulties up to 6a/b and topped out on this pre-summit at 14:00. With time to spare we then abseiled off and continued on to the mountain’s main summit which was reached at 15:30 before returning safely to BC at 21:00. The biggest superlatives don’t even begin to explain the conditions we had on this mountain: quite simply unique.

It is interesting to note that while the Indian military maps mark Bhala as 6100m and Te as 6163m, according to the recent GPS readings both mountains are 5900m high.

Facts

Bhala (Spear) 5900m, NE Face | Route: Copa-Kaban
Start: 12/09/2015
Summit: 13/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 14/09/2015
Difficulty: mid-grade alpine climbing, loose rock

Tupendeo 5700m, SE Pillar | Route: Deokhal
Start: 18/09/2015
Summit: 19/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 19/09/2015
Difficulty: 6a/b, 21 pitches, 800m
Notes: on some maps marked as Tupendo 1 or Druid

Te (Kristall) 5900m | Route: Chaprasi
Start: 01/10/2015
Summit: 02/10/2015, Base Camp Return: 02/10/2015
Difficulty: 5c/6a, 4 pitches, 200m, excellent rock quality
Notes: alpine climbing 60° to main summit

Read on: Preparations for our Kashmir Expedition


KASHMIR 2015

In Search of
Forgotten Summits

An Adventure Begins

When the plane touches down in Delhi the real adventure begins: The heat, familiar smells from past visits, the sounds, colours and faces that all mark the beginning of an expedition to me. Sensory overload – I love it!

I’ve passed through this bustling city so many times – ironically the gateway to one of the most peaceful and preserved landscapes still left on this planet, the Kashmiri Himalayas.

Our last visit to the region got off to an adventurous start after late monsoon rains slammed the area causing the worst flooding seen in years. This year things look dryer for Thomas, Dres and I! Our project, a beautiful spear head shaped peak that caught our eye on our last visit.

The Peak

Like many other things in this hidden region, the mountain leaves a lot to be discovered. There is very little information available about the peak; not even sure how high it is, but we are guessing between 6000 and 6200 meters above sea level.

The mountain is beautiful and appears to be quite technical, exactly what we are looking for. We’ve brought everything we think we may need and are ready to take advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer!

Tobias Hatje will join our team up to basecamp and from there Thomas, Dres and myself will make our way to to the mountain. Our plan is to be back home in late October with lots of great photos and stories to retell.

Our Expedition Team: Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf, Dres Abegglen, Tobias Hatje (to base camp)

Talk to you then…


 


Experience
Stephan Siegrist

Individual presentations for organizations
and companies.

NEW - View Film about Stephan Siegrist
Corporate Presentations

In his multimedia presentations, professional mountain climber Stephan Siegrist, born in 1972, from the Bernese Oberland takes his audience on a journey into the world of climbing adventures and presents the highlights of his career as a climber and adventurist. Siegrist, considered one of the best alpinists of our time for many years now, tours not only through his native country of Switzerland but also lectures regularly abroad.

Whether in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica, high quality images and exciting videos coloring the presentations allow the spectator to lose themselves in far away worlds and bold adventures. Siegrist never portrays himself as a hero; he speaks about his remote expeditions with a large share of humor, self-irony and modesty.

Business lectures help establish synergies in the corporate world. Siegrist’s idea is to not only to motivate the employees of a company but also to inspire the management by sharing his leadership skills and experience.

Successfully implementing vision and ideas calls for clever strategy and planning in order to reach a goal and tap into the full potential available. Commitment and activity help launch a dream. Endurance and confidence help gain strength, even from failure. Knowledge and experience cultivate trust in your instinct: there are times when you have to be able to turn back.

Through his many years of expedition and team climbing, Siegrist is able to create synergies between the mountaineering and the corporate worlds and confers his know-how in the latter; minor errors can have major consequences. Optimal risk management is indispensable, whether on a mountain or within an enterprise.

Stephan Siegrist motivates and encourages reflection through his talks. His action is driven by a passion to discover and explore unknown territory. Every goal, once targeted, is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment.

Testimonials

“We booked Stephan Siegrist as a keynote speaker for our Sales Team. He combined his grasping style of performance with impressive pictures and movies and managed to illustrate the parallels between mountaineering and sales hence motivating and captivating our sales team.”

Andreas Hungerbühler, Director of Marketing & Business Development,
Bisnode D&B Schweiz AG

“Dear Stefan, thank you so much for your valuable contribution to our congress. The presentation about your highline projects brought us a conference room brimming with enthusiastic participants. The additional organization of slacklines on the hotel complex added activity to the program and rounded off the event perfectly. The participants were able get a taste of the challenges posed by a highline on alpine peaks for themselves in a more laid-back atmosphere. We are all looking forward to the follow-up event next year.”

“Exciting and captivating, focused and attuned to our guests, professional and friendly.”

Highline presentation as part of our Medi Sportortho Congress 2013, Mallorca, Frank Thelemann, Medi 

“We have invited Stephan as a speaker to our events on several occasions: whether it be speaking about motivation, concentration and dedication to juniors at a golf club or dissertating over team spirit and risk management to private bankers and hedge fund specialist’s. All were mesmerized by Stephan’s inspiring words and breathtaking pictures. Very professional.”

PAMP

Meeting Challenges

While on expedition and throughout his exploits, Stephan Siegrist is faced by numerous challenges and tasks. These can demands can be transferred to the expectations and targets found in the management setting.

Developing and implementing vision, understanding the dynamics of team building, gauging ones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the importance of self-assessment, are some of many relevant themes.

In the area of mental training, Stephan Siegrist works together with Psychologist Thomas Theurillat.

Individual Presentations

Stephan Siegrist often draws parallels to his own background and sheds light on how he pushes the limits to make the impossible possible.

These presentations can be tailored individually to your specific needs. Various theme possibilities, presentation length and number of participants can all be catered for upon request.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime for further information and a personalized proposal: info@stephan-siegrist.ch.

KISHTWAR TRIO

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas
Senf and Dres Abegglen

In early October Andreas “Dres” Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned home after an amazing and successful trip to the Kishtwar region in northern India. A magical and remote region I first visited in 2011, we had the privilege of making first ascents on two unclimbed, and unnamed 5000m peaks before making the second ascent of the impressive Kishtwar Shivling.

We left Switzerland at the start of September and were greeted in Kashmir by late and heavy monsoon rains. With a lot of luck and determination we reached our first base camp on September 13, despite the mass flooding and terrible road conditions. Eager to make up for lost time, we climbed a line up the South face of the previously unclimbed Shiepra, bivying at 5100m. We reached the 5885m high summit on September 16 and graded the route as follows: difficulties up to WI3, IV, 75° ice.

Our descent took us over the exposed West ridge, via a series of abseils followed by a 50° ice slope. The new route is called Maaji, which in Hindi means mother. The honor of naming the peak was left to our Liaisons Officer Ran Jan, who named the mountain Shiepra after the Hindi God Shiva’s wife.

The weather at this point was ideal and conditions looked promising, so we set off to make an attempt on another unclimbed peak nearby. Below the ridge leading to the peak is a very visible rock structure which looks like the renowned ‘playboy bunny’. Coming up with a good name for the peak was pretty easy, we named it Kharagosa, which in Hindi means rabbit. Thomas, Dres and I bivied at 4800m below the North East face, we continued across the glacier to the base of the East face and then ascended 1000m over tricky, mixed terrain.

Three demanding UIAA grade V pitches led to the South East face, bringing us over much easier ground and to the 5840m high summit which we reached on September 21. The new route, Pinky, is named after the most beautiful woman in the nearby village of Sumcham.
After our ascent on Kharagosa we still had time so we packed up and moved our base camp to the base of Kishtwar Shivling which we reached on September 29.



 

The North face of the technical and impressive mountain was first climbed in 1983 by Britain’s Stephen Venables and Dick Renshaw over a stretch of seven days. Political tension between Pakistan and India has resulted in this area being more or less off-limits for almost two decades. Foreign alpinists have only recently begun to return and explore the area.

Intent on making the second ascent of this magnificent peak we climbed a line up the East pillar, the target of previous expeditions, and made a first bivy on the glacier at 4700m before following a 50° ramp to the saddle at 5400m. We set our second bivy up at this point, and then climbed 10 demanding pitches past 90° WI5 ice, through a hidden couloir, bringing back memories of the famous Super Canaleta on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy, then past tricky mixed terrain which led to the foot of the enormous summit cornices.

On October 1, the gods were smiling upon us: Dres, Tomas and I were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a hole in the cornice which was big enough to climb through, leading us to the 5895m East summit. 14 abseils later we arrived back on the saddle where our tents we waiting for us. The following morning we made our descent back down to base camp. The new route is called Challo, which means let’s go in Hindi.

A successful ascent on a complex and beautiful mountain like Kistwar Shivling was a real reward for me. Kashmir is a place I am free to climb for the pure joy of the mountain and a region I cherish with deep appreciation and respect. Having all come home safely, with our backpacks full of great memories, unforgettable climbs and a lot of laughs together, has only strengthened my bond to this unbelievable and breathtaking region.

Report by Stephan Siegrist; Photos by Thomas Senf | visualimpact.ch


Kashmir
2014

New Adventure
Lies Ahead in Kashmir!

In the isolated area bordering Pakistan and North India, a beautiful unnamed, unclimbed mountain awaits us! The aesthetic 6000er is remote and hidden away from civilization – exactly what I like!

In the upcoming days, Thomas Senf and Dres (Andreas) Abegglen and I hope to get started on our project. The journey will take us back to the same valley in the Kashmir Himalayas I visited in 2011 with another team when we summited the Cerro Kishtwar.

From Zurich we’ve flown to Delhi and have now arrived in the city of Jammu. The plan from here; a 2 day Jeep ride to the town of Atholi where we begin our 5 day trek to our base camp at 4000 meters above sea level. That was the plan…

Expeditions are known for two things, amongst others; the adventure and not going according to plan!

Over the past few days Northern India, Pakistan and Kashmir have been inundated by a late monsoon. Heavy rains have caused massive flooding, landslides and destruction in cities, towns and above all the rural areas.

 

Roads have been washed away, destroyed by landslides and access has been cut off by flooding rivers and damaged bridges. The area has not seen this intensity of rain fall during post monsoon season in over 2 decades.

In short, getting to base camp is going to be more complicated than we ever imagined!

On a positive note, the weather forecast for the coming week looks better; dry weather is meant to be on its way. For the moment we are concentrating on the urgency of the situation here.

We’ll be in touch once we know more. Over the next 5 weeks we will try to send some news home twice via satellite phone to keep you updated on our progress.

For the time being I wish everyone at home a beautiful and hopefully dry autumn!


All the best from Jammu, Stephan Siegrist.
Photos taken by Thomas Senf.


News
Update

Fall 2014

CHASING RAINBOWS

This summer was definitely a good one for rainbows, just not the one I was chasing. Persistant rain, wet conditions and even snow all contributed to a frustrating summer season here in Switzerland.

Despite the continuos onslaught of rain, I was able to devote a few days of preparation to the project, but nothing close to what I was hoping for. So for this year, I’ve cut my loses and put this project on the shelf until next year!

In the mean time, I’ve turned my focus to my upcoming expedition in September.


MAE PROJECT, KASHMIR

In 2011 Denis, Burdet, David Lama and I set out to Kashmir for what would end up being one of the most memorable expeditions I have been on. In the good company of my old friend cameraman Rob Frost and photographer Stefan Schlumpf, we had the privilege of entering this area that had been primarily inaccessible to foreigners and climbers due to political instability.

I returned home from this expedition not only having successfully opened a new route on Cerro Kishtwar and on White Saphire, an unclimbed, unnamed mountain hidden in the valley, but also with inspiration for a future project!

Surrounded by a horizon of pristine and unclimbed summits, one mountain in particular caught my eye. And so, three years later, motivated and full of anticipation, I am returning to Kashmir with Dres Abegglen and photographer Thomas Senf in hopes of opening a route on this rare gem!

More info to come in September.

Weblinks:

facebook.com/stephansiegristalpinist
givengain.com
facebook.com/projectmae

New Film

Cerro Kishtwar
An Ice Clold Story



We did it! Many thanks to Timeline Productions and all the people who rolled up their sleeves & helped us get this film done!

CERRO KISHTWAR – AN ICE COLD STORY

I saw the line on the north west face of Cerro Kishtwar and couldn’t get it out of my mind. In 1992 Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy spent 17 grueling days in the same wall before having to retreat 100 metres below the summit…

25 years later, Thomas Huber, Julian Zanker and I returned to climb the line that I had dreamt about for so long.

Drop me a line if you’d like to screen the film.



Har Har
Mahadev

Success on
Cerro Kishtwar

On October 14th Stephan Siegrist (SUI), Julian Zanker (SUI), and Thomas Huber (GER) stood atop the granite giant in Kashmir. They are the fourth team that was able to climb this mountain via a spectacular line. Their goal was the yet unclimbed central north-west face of Cerro Kishtwar.

In 1992 the two Englishmen Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy tried to climb their way through the wall. They had to give up 100 meters below the summit after 17 days due to exhaustion.

A year later their fellow landsmen Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad climbed by way of an ice chute in the left part of the wall to a notch at about 5600 meters and moved over into the slightly flatter east part of the mountain to reach the peak as the first team to do so. The mountains in Kashmir were then barred for all foreign alpinists for several years for military and political reasons.

The ban was lifted early in 2010 and Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet, and David Lama made the first expedition into the mountain region in 2011.Their goal was to climb Cerro Kishtwar alpine style. They reached the summit as the second team ever via an ice track on the north-west side to the right of the distinctive granite wall. In 2015 Hayden Kennedy, Marco Prezelj, Manu Pellisier, and Urban Novak climbed the granite tower via the east wall alpine style and were awarded the Piolet d`Or for their ascent.

The team of three began their adventure in the Kashmiri Himalaya on September 7th. They reached base camp on September 13th. Best weather conditions left the team with no break and they were able to establish ABC on September 18th at 5050 meters.

The team began their ascent of the wall on October 1st after several material transports. They weren’t able to stick to their plan to complete their climb in five days. They discontinued their first attempt for tactical reasons and returned to base camp. They returned on October 8th with new strength and a fresh attitude, right back into the adventure!

The weather was stable. The mornings were clear, clouds came in by noon, the afternoons brought snow. The team had to fight iced up cracks, spindrift, extreme cold with temperatures below -20° C, and difficult techno-climbing up to A3+. On summit day, October 14th, they were rewarded with a sunny day. We almost felt like we weren’t alone.



 

Like we were being rewarded for everything we had to go through with this unique moment. We took the last meters together and we could hardly believe it. Cirrostratus clouds flew by in the jet stream 500 meters above us and we were standing there in the sun, in complete calm. We all knew that we were only able to make it because we felt like a courageous alliance together!

Our route through the north-west wall of the Cerro Kishtwar will be named „Har-Har Mahadev.“ This saying is from Hindu mythology and dedicated to the god Lord Shiva: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Or as we would say in Bavaria: „Get a grip!“

Interview

Listen for an interview on The Cutting Edge, a podcast from the editors of the American Alpine Journal:

Weblink: americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-podcast

Facts

The team partially used fixed ropes in the first part of the wall and established Camp 1 at „Snowledge“ on the foot of the granite wall at 5450 meters. They were able to reach pitch 7 after three days during their first attempt. They started their second attempt the next day on October 8th. They reached the summit seven days later. The team spent ten days in the wall in total. They established 4 camps: Camp 1 “Snowledge”, Camp 2 “Happyledge”, Camp 3 “Sunnyledge”, Camp 4 “Kempinski”.

First ascent of the central north-west face by Stephan Siegrist, Julian Zanker, and Thomas Huber on October 14th, 2017.

Route name: „Har Har Mahadev“ from Hindu mythology meaning no less than: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Grades: VII, A3+,6b, M6, 80°

First part: 400 meters ice and mixed

Second part: 600 meters rock and mixed, 24 pitches

Belays partially equipped with bolts

Drill holes in the pitches: 8 Bathooks and 7 rivets

Material used: 15 Bird Beaks in different sizes, 4 Baby Angels, 6 Lost Arrows, 4 knifeblades, stoppers, double set of Cams up to Nr.4

Portaledge necessary

Descent: Rappell over the route


Jeff Lowes
Metanoia

Thomas Huber, Roger
Schäli & Stephan Siegrist
gelingt die zweite
Begehung

Thomas Huber, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist score the second ascent of Jeff Lowe’s legendary climbing route “Metanoia” on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland.

In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) made their way to climb one of the most bold and legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, who was fascinated by the unique history behind the climb, was quick to get Siegrist on the team to climb “Metanoia.” Schaeli was also on board immediately.

The three pro-climbers began their first attempt in the week before Christmas. They had to abort their effort about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge after their bivvy due to increasingly bad weather conditions. A second attempt on December 28th, 2016 had to be interrupted shortly after a storm set in. They commenced their climb on “Metanoia” on December 29th, 2016. They set their bivvy about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge again and continued onward the next day. The three alpinists reached the top-out of “Metanoia” in the evening of December 30th, 2016. They are the first to successfully repeat the route.

“Metanoia” was established in 1991 by the exceptional American alpinist Jeff Lowe in the winter in a solo effort. Lowe is known, amongst others, for his solo ascent of the south face of Ama Dablam in 1979. He also still holds the record for reaching the highpoint of Latok I. Lowe has ticked more than 1000 first ascents worldwide. He was involved in the development of the first ice screw as well as first cam. He also invented the globally recognized difficulty scale for ice and mixed climbs. He brought the Sport Climbing Championships to the USA and opened the legendary and well- visited Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.

1991 was a tough year for Lowe personally. When he began his attempt to open a new, direct line though the north face of the Eiger. Lowe wanted to create a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism who approached the greatest alpine walls with primitive equipment and techniques, without using bolts. Lowe says: “ So I also climbed with no bolts, hoping that Metanoia might serve as an example of what can be accomplished without them.”
Nine days later Lowe appears at the summit of the Eiger, defying adverse conditions. He braved severe storms and proved his mastery of climbing and his power of
endurance. In the life of Jeff Lowe this climb was somewhat a path to enlightenment.

He climbed out of the north face of Eiger with a whole new view on life. He named his route “Metanoia” which is Greek and means as much as “fundamental change of view, transformative change of heart.” Lowe says: ““Metanoia” rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life operates. As a result I have become more compassionate and connected to my family, friends, the climbing tribe, humanity, the planet and the universe.” In his route Lowe found his attitude towards life that still holds true today: to approach everything with courage and love. He hasn’t lost this attitude even after being diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder 16 years ago that has tied him to a wheelchair.



 

Jeff Lowe was excited about the first repeat of his “Metanoia”: “Thomas Huber called us to share the good news that he, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist succeeded on “Metanoia”. I’m happy and gratified that they found the route to be hard, bold, beautiful and ‘visionary.’ Their confirmation of the quality of Metanoia is very gratifying and quite humbling. Best of all, Thomas understands what I was doing with the climb; which was trying to create an example of how alpinists can progress in an environmentally conscious way that honors the spirit of extreme alpinism.”

Thomas Huber Lowe’s ascent of “Metanoia”: “He was alone, he had never been in the wall before, he could only rely on himself. I tried to imagine myself in his place after every hard passage that lay behind me. His fight passed in front of my inner eye like a movie. What he accomplished is really just madness.”

Huber goes on saying: “With Metanoia Jeff was able to prove that you can accomplish impossible challenges just with your heart. He set new standards in alpinism with his ascent. This Metanoia, the new way of seeing the world and this new mind-set on life help Jeff today to approach his battle with his illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude is what inspires me in my life. We, Steff, Roger and I, are thankful to be able to live Metanoia.”
Stephan Siegrist is also impressed by Lowe’s achievement. He says: “He climbed that route in this hard wall alone with the gear they had back then! You can only survive that kind of hardship if you’re in a deep crisis.” The route itself is something special for Siegrist, too: “When I climbed the north face of the Eiger for the first time with about 20 years of age Lowe had already climbed “Metanoia.” The spectacular ascent and following stories in the media have followed me and have left me in awe ever since.” Climbing the route himself was something special for Siegrist: “After 37 ascents and three first ascents in the north face of the Eiger the “Metanoia” definitely put the crown on it all. For me personally this is one of the highlights of my 37 ascents on the Eiger.”

Roger Schaeli adds: “Climbing “Metanoia” was my biggest adventure on the Eiger with the coolest team with which I was allowed to climb on the north face! The route inspired me to find more alpine challenges. My highest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. “Metanoia” is really bad ass!”

Lowe climbed “Metanoia” in 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli installed an 8mm bolt at a belay since they wanted to avoid the risk of the entire rope team falling. In addition they used a 10mm bolt in a pitch before the Hinterstoisser Traverse. It was probably drilled to support the film team of the documentary “Metanoia.”

Facts

Route: Metanoia, 7, A4, M6
Berg: Eiger north face, Switzerland
First ascent 1991: Jeff Lowe (USA), solo
First repeat 2016: Huber, Siegrist, Schaeli with 8mm bolt and cliff (belay), 10 mm bolt (from film production “Metanoia” documentary 2013)
Website Jeff Lowe: jeffloweclimber.com
notextile.

Tupendeo

One mountain,
Two stories

Film Trailer



Film Premiere

The Tupendeo film premiere will take place on November 19th at the Kendal Mountain Festival (UK).



Film Description

Leaving a trail is not a uniquely human activity. All animals do, from thin sheep tracks to the chemical trail left by a line of ants. Whether we wish to or not, we leave our mark wherever we go.

As the world’s population increases, and travel becomes easier, we must journey further, or look more closely, to find untrodden ground or an unclimbed peak. We seek the opposite of the trail’s logical purpose: instead of getting from one place to another as simply as possible, we break trail for no other reason than to find somewhere new and to feed our hunger for adventure.

When Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen set off towards Tupendeo in 2015, they have no clue that the peak already has its own story to tell. The locals warn them that tragedy had struck many years ago. As the trio climb up the face, they come across an old rope still hanging along with a rappel device, causing many questions to arise. Who left it hanging there? What happened?

They all know far too well how close success and defeat can be on a mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they decide to bring the rappel device back with them and search for traces. They want to know whose story the Tupendeo was hiding.


KASHMIR 2015

Climbing Virgin Summits
in Kashmir

In September and October 2015 Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascents of Bhala 5900m, Tupendeo 5700m and Maha Dev Phobrang 5900m and its famous Te tower, three hitherto unclimbed mountains in the Kashmir region of India’s Himalaya.

A year after visiting the Kishtwar region in Northern India, Swiss alpinists Dres Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned to the Himalaya this September and October where we pulled off another three notable first ascents.

Our trio had seen a photo of a 5900m high summit called Bhala that strikingly resembled the world-famous Matterhorn and the call of this beautiful mountain was simply too strong to ignore. Located to the south of the Kishtwar area in the Kashmir region, Bhala had previously been off-limits due to the territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and was therefore unclimbed.

Maps of the area are famously imprecise, but thanks to excellent local connections we managed to reach the town of Kaban and then quickly establish base camp at the foot of Bhala, which means Spear and was named as such by a previous expedition to the region due to its form. Weather conditions played in our favor and after biviing on the East Col on 12 September, the next morning we climbed an obvious ramp line up the 700m high North-East Face. Despite its beauty the rock quality on Bhala was extremely poor and we negotiated loose and dangerous rock to summit at 15:00 that day. We descended to the col where we bivied for a second time, and returned to Base Camp on the 14th of September.

Despite the now unstable weather with regular spills in the afternoon we set our sights on another “perfect” peak nearby called Tupendeo. In the early afternoon of the 18th of September we reached a bivy point at the base of the mountain, fixed a couple of pitches and then snuggled up for the night. The next morning we climbed an 800m line and summited at 13:30, before returning to base camp at 21:30 that same day. In stark comparison to Bhala, on Tupendeo we dealt with some of the best rock climbing we had ever had ever encountered at altitude.



 

Poor weather set in and pinned our team down in Base Camp for a week, after which we then climbed another peak in the same valley: Maha Dev Phobrang. A characteristic 200m crystal tower called Te (Crystal) juts out above 5500m and we opted for the more difficult, but certainly more beautiful line that took them straight to the top of this feature. After bivying on the ridge on 1 October, the next day we climbed 4 pitches with difficulties up to 6a/b and topped out on this pre-summit at 14:00. With time to spare we then abseiled off and continued on to the mountain’s main summit which was reached at 15:30 before returning safely to BC at 21:00. The biggest superlatives don’t even begin to explain the conditions we had on this mountain: quite simply unique.

It is interesting to note that while the Indian military maps mark Bhala as 6100m and Te as 6163m, according to the recent GPS readings both mountains are 5900m high.

Facts

Bhala (Spear) 5900m, NE Face | Route: Copa-Kaban
Start: 12/09/2015
Summit: 13/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 14/09/2015
Difficulty: mid-grade alpine climbing, loose rock

Tupendeo 5700m, SE Pillar | Route: Deokhal
Start: 18/09/2015
Summit: 19/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 19/09/2015
Difficulty: 6a/b, 21 pitches, 800m
Notes: on some maps marked as Tupendo 1 or Druid

Te (Kristall) 5900m | Route: Chaprasi
Start: 01/10/2015
Summit: 02/10/2015, Base Camp Return: 02/10/2015
Difficulty: 5c/6a, 4 pitches, 200m, excellent rock quality
Notes: alpine climbing 60° to main summit

Read on: Preparations for our Kashmir Expedition


KASHMIR 2015

In Search of
Forgotten Summits

An Adventure Begins

When the plane touches down in Delhi the real adventure begins: The heat, familiar smells from past visits, the sounds, colours and faces that all mark the beginning of an expedition to me. Sensory overload – I love it!

I’ve passed through this bustling city so many times – ironically the gateway to one of the most peaceful and preserved landscapes still left on this planet, the Kashmiri Himalayas.

Our last visit to the region got off to an adventurous start after late monsoon rains slammed the area causing the worst flooding seen in years. This year things look dryer for Thomas, Dres and I! Our project, a beautiful spear head shaped peak that caught our eye on our last visit.

The Peak

Like many other things in this hidden region, the mountain leaves a lot to be discovered. There is very little information available about the peak; not even sure how high it is, but we are guessing between 6000 and 6200 meters above sea level.

The mountain is beautiful and appears to be quite technical, exactly what we are looking for. We’ve brought everything we think we may need and are ready to take advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer!

Tobias Hatje will join our team up to basecamp and from there Thomas, Dres and myself will make our way to to the mountain. Our plan is to be back home in late October with lots of great photos and stories to retell.

Our Expedition Team: Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf, Dres Abegglen, Tobias Hatje (to base camp)

Talk to you then…


 


Experience
Stephan Siegrist

Individual presentations for organizations
and companies.

NEW - View Film about Stephan Siegrist
Corporate Presentations

In his multimedia presentations, professional mountain climber Stephan Siegrist, born in 1972, from the Bernese Oberland takes his audience on a journey into the world of climbing adventures and presents the highlights of his career as a climber and adventurist. Siegrist, considered one of the best alpinists of our time for many years now, tours not only through his native country of Switzerland but also lectures regularly abroad.

Whether in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica, high quality images and exciting videos coloring the presentations allow the spectator to lose themselves in far away worlds and bold adventures. Siegrist never portrays himself as a hero; he speaks about his remote expeditions with a large share of humor, self-irony and modesty.

Business lectures help establish synergies in the corporate world. Siegrist’s idea is to not only to motivate the employees of a company but also to inspire the management by sharing his leadership skills and experience.

Successfully implementing vision and ideas calls for clever strategy and planning in order to reach a goal and tap into the full potential available. Commitment and activity help launch a dream. Endurance and confidence help gain strength, even from failure. Knowledge and experience cultivate trust in your instinct: there are times when you have to be able to turn back.

Through his many years of expedition and team climbing, Siegrist is able to create synergies between the mountaineering and the corporate worlds and confers his know-how in the latter; minor errors can have major consequences. Optimal risk management is indispensable, whether on a mountain or within an enterprise.

Stephan Siegrist motivates and encourages reflection through his talks. His action is driven by a passion to discover and explore unknown territory. Every goal, once targeted, is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment.

Testimonials

“We booked Stephan Siegrist as a keynote speaker for our Sales Team. He combined his grasping style of performance with impressive pictures and movies and managed to illustrate the parallels between mountaineering and sales hence motivating and captivating our sales team.”

Andreas Hungerbühler, Director of Marketing & Business Development,
Bisnode D&B Schweiz AG

“Dear Stefan, thank you so much for your valuable contribution to our congress. The presentation about your highline projects brought us a conference room brimming with enthusiastic participants. The additional organization of slacklines on the hotel complex added activity to the program and rounded off the event perfectly. The participants were able get a taste of the challenges posed by a highline on alpine peaks for themselves in a more laid-back atmosphere. We are all looking forward to the follow-up event next year.”

“Exciting and captivating, focused and attuned to our guests, professional and friendly.”

Highline presentation as part of our Medi Sportortho Congress 2013, Mallorca, Frank Thelemann, Medi 

“We have invited Stephan as a speaker to our events on several occasions: whether it be speaking about motivation, concentration and dedication to juniors at a golf club or dissertating over team spirit and risk management to private bankers and hedge fund specialist’s. All were mesmerized by Stephan’s inspiring words and breathtaking pictures. Very professional.”

PAMP

Meeting Challenges

While on expedition and throughout his exploits, Stephan Siegrist is faced by numerous challenges and tasks. These can demands can be transferred to the expectations and targets found in the management setting.

Developing and implementing vision, understanding the dynamics of team building, gauging ones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the importance of self-assessment, are some of many relevant themes.

In the area of mental training, Stephan Siegrist works together with Psychologist Thomas Theurillat.

Individual Presentations

Stephan Siegrist often draws parallels to his own background and sheds light on how he pushes the limits to make the impossible possible.

These presentations can be tailored individually to your specific needs. Various theme possibilities, presentation length and number of participants can all be catered for upon request.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime for further information and a personalized proposal: info@stephan-siegrist.ch.

KISHTWAR TRIO

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas
Senf and Dres Abegglen

In early October Andreas “Dres” Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned home after an amazing and successful trip to the Kishtwar region in northern India. A magical and remote region I first visited in 2011, we had the privilege of making first ascents on two unclimbed, and unnamed 5000m peaks before making the second ascent of the impressive Kishtwar Shivling.

We left Switzerland at the start of September and were greeted in Kashmir by late and heavy monsoon rains. With a lot of luck and determination we reached our first base camp on September 13, despite the mass flooding and terrible road conditions. Eager to make up for lost time, we climbed a line up the South face of the previously unclimbed Shiepra, bivying at 5100m. We reached the 5885m high summit on September 16 and graded the route as follows: difficulties up to WI3, IV, 75° ice.

Our descent took us over the exposed West ridge, via a series of abseils followed by a 50° ice slope. The new route is called Maaji, which in Hindi means mother. The honor of naming the peak was left to our Liaisons Officer Ran Jan, who named the mountain Shiepra after the Hindi God Shiva’s wife.

The weather at this point was ideal and conditions looked promising, so we set off to make an attempt on another unclimbed peak nearby. Below the ridge leading to the peak is a very visible rock structure which looks like the renowned ‘playboy bunny’. Coming up with a good name for the peak was pretty easy, we named it Kharagosa, which in Hindi means rabbit. Thomas, Dres and I bivied at 4800m below the North East face, we continued across the glacier to the base of the East face and then ascended 1000m over tricky, mixed terrain.

Three demanding UIAA grade V pitches led to the South East face, bringing us over much easier ground and to the 5840m high summit which we reached on September 21. The new route, Pinky, is named after the most beautiful woman in the nearby village of Sumcham.
After our ascent on Kharagosa we still had time so we packed up and moved our base camp to the base of Kishtwar Shivling which we reached on September 29.



 

The North face of the technical and impressive mountain was first climbed in 1983 by Britain’s Stephen Venables and Dick Renshaw over a stretch of seven days. Political tension between Pakistan and India has resulted in this area being more or less off-limits for almost two decades. Foreign alpinists have only recently begun to return and explore the area.

Intent on making the second ascent of this magnificent peak we climbed a line up the East pillar, the target of previous expeditions, and made a first bivy on the glacier at 4700m before following a 50° ramp to the saddle at 5400m. We set our second bivy up at this point, and then climbed 10 demanding pitches past 90° WI5 ice, through a hidden couloir, bringing back memories of the famous Super Canaleta on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy, then past tricky mixed terrain which led to the foot of the enormous summit cornices.

On October 1, the gods were smiling upon us: Dres, Tomas and I were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a hole in the cornice which was big enough to climb through, leading us to the 5895m East summit. 14 abseils later we arrived back on the saddle where our tents we waiting for us. The following morning we made our descent back down to base camp. The new route is called Challo, which means let’s go in Hindi.

A successful ascent on a complex and beautiful mountain like Kistwar Shivling was a real reward for me. Kashmir is a place I am free to climb for the pure joy of the mountain and a region I cherish with deep appreciation and respect. Having all come home safely, with our backpacks full of great memories, unforgettable climbs and a lot of laughs together, has only strengthened my bond to this unbelievable and breathtaking region.

Report by Stephan Siegrist; Photos by Thomas Senf | visualimpact.ch


Kashmir
2014

New Adventure
Lies Ahead in Kashmir!

In the isolated area bordering Pakistan and North India, a beautiful unnamed, unclimbed mountain awaits us! The aesthetic 6000er is remote and hidden away from civilization – exactly what I like!

In the upcoming days, Thomas Senf and Dres (Andreas) Abegglen and I hope to get started on our project. The journey will take us back to the same valley in the Kashmir Himalayas I visited in 2011 with another team when we summited the Cerro Kishtwar.

From Zurich we’ve flown to Delhi and have now arrived in the city of Jammu. The plan from here; a 2 day Jeep ride to the town of Atholi where we begin our 5 day trek to our base camp at 4000 meters above sea level. That was the plan…

Expeditions are known for two things, amongst others; the adventure and not going according to plan!

Over the past few days Northern India, Pakistan and Kashmir have been inundated by a late monsoon. Heavy rains have caused massive flooding, landslides and destruction in cities, towns and above all the rural areas.

 

Roads have been washed away, destroyed by landslides and access has been cut off by flooding rivers and damaged bridges. The area has not seen this intensity of rain fall during post monsoon season in over 2 decades.

In short, getting to base camp is going to be more complicated than we ever imagined!

On a positive note, the weather forecast for the coming week looks better; dry weather is meant to be on its way. For the moment we are concentrating on the urgency of the situation here.

We’ll be in touch once we know more. Over the next 5 weeks we will try to send some news home twice via satellite phone to keep you updated on our progress.

For the time being I wish everyone at home a beautiful and hopefully dry autumn!


All the best from Jammu, Stephan Siegrist.
Photos taken by Thomas Senf.


News
Update

Fall 2014

CHASING RAINBOWS

This summer was definitely a good one for rainbows, just not the one I was chasing. Persistant rain, wet conditions and even snow all contributed to a frustrating summer season here in Switzerland.

Despite the continuos onslaught of rain, I was able to devote a few days of preparation to the project, but nothing close to what I was hoping for. So for this year, I’ve cut my loses and put this project on the shelf until next year!

In the mean time, I’ve turned my focus to my upcoming expedition in September.


MAE PROJECT, KASHMIR

In 2011 Denis, Burdet, David Lama and I set out to Kashmir for what would end up being one of the most memorable expeditions I have been on. In the good company of my old friend cameraman Rob Frost and photographer Stefan Schlumpf, we had the privilege of entering this area that had been primarily inaccessible to foreigners and climbers due to political instability.

I returned home from this expedition not only having successfully opened a new route on Cerro Kishtwar and on White Saphire, an unclimbed, unnamed mountain hidden in the valley, but also with inspiration for a future project!

Surrounded by a horizon of pristine and unclimbed summits, one mountain in particular caught my eye. And so, three years later, motivated and full of anticipation, I am returning to Kashmir with Dres Abegglen and photographer Thomas Senf in hopes of opening a route on this rare gem!

More info to come in September.

Weblinks:

facebook.com/stephansiegristalpinist
givengain.com
facebook.com/projectmae

New Film

Cerro Kishtwar
An Ice Clold Story



We did it! Many thanks to Timeline Productions and all the people who rolled up their sleeves & helped us get this film done!

CERRO KISHTWAR – AN ICE COLD STORY

I saw the line on the north west face of Cerro Kishtwar and couldn’t get it out of my mind. In 1992 Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy spent 17 grueling days in the same wall before having to retreat 100 metres below the summit…

25 years later, Thomas Huber, Julian Zanker and I returned to climb the line that I had dreamt about for so long.

Drop me a line if you’d like to screen the film.



Har Har
Mahadev

Success on
Cerro Kishtwar

On October 14th Stephan Siegrist (SUI), Julian Zanker (SUI), and Thomas Huber (GER) stood atop the granite giant in Kashmir. They are the fourth team that was able to climb this mountain via a spectacular line. Their goal was the yet unclimbed central north-west face of Cerro Kishtwar.

In 1992 the two Englishmen Andy Perkins and Brendan Murphy tried to climb their way through the wall. They had to give up 100 meters below the summit after 17 days due to exhaustion.

A year later their fellow landsmen Mick Fowler and Steve Sustad climbed by way of an ice chute in the left part of the wall to a notch at about 5600 meters and moved over into the slightly flatter east part of the mountain to reach the peak as the first team to do so. The mountains in Kashmir were then barred for all foreign alpinists for several years for military and political reasons.

The ban was lifted early in 2010 and Stephan Siegrist, Denis Burdet, and David Lama made the first expedition into the mountain region in 2011.Their goal was to climb Cerro Kishtwar alpine style. They reached the summit as the second team ever via an ice track on the north-west side to the right of the distinctive granite wall. In 2015 Hayden Kennedy, Marco Prezelj, Manu Pellisier, and Urban Novak climbed the granite tower via the east wall alpine style and were awarded the Piolet d`Or for their ascent.

The team of three began their adventure in the Kashmiri Himalaya on September 7th. They reached base camp on September 13th. Best weather conditions left the team with no break and they were able to establish ABC on September 18th at 5050 meters.

The team began their ascent of the wall on October 1st after several material transports. They weren’t able to stick to their plan to complete their climb in five days. They discontinued their first attempt for tactical reasons and returned to base camp. They returned on October 8th with new strength and a fresh attitude, right back into the adventure!

The weather was stable. The mornings were clear, clouds came in by noon, the afternoons brought snow. The team had to fight iced up cracks, spindrift, extreme cold with temperatures below -20° C, and difficult techno-climbing up to A3+. On summit day, October 14th, they were rewarded with a sunny day. We almost felt like we weren’t alone.



 

Like we were being rewarded for everything we had to go through with this unique moment. We took the last meters together and we could hardly believe it. Cirrostratus clouds flew by in the jet stream 500 meters above us and we were standing there in the sun, in complete calm. We all knew that we were only able to make it because we felt like a courageous alliance together!

Our route through the north-west wall of the Cerro Kishtwar will be named „Har-Har Mahadev.“ This saying is from Hindu mythology and dedicated to the god Lord Shiva: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Or as we would say in Bavaria: „Get a grip!“

Interview

Listen for an interview on The Cutting Edge, a podcast from the editors of the American Alpine Journal:

Weblink: americanalpineclub.org/cutting-edge-podcast

Facts

The team partially used fixed ropes in the first part of the wall and established Camp 1 at „Snowledge“ on the foot of the granite wall at 5450 meters. They were able to reach pitch 7 after three days during their first attempt. They started their second attempt the next day on October 8th. They reached the summit seven days later. The team spent ten days in the wall in total. They established 4 camps: Camp 1 “Snowledge”, Camp 2 “Happyledge”, Camp 3 “Sunnyledge”, Camp 4 “Kempinski”.

First ascent of the central north-west face by Stephan Siegrist, Julian Zanker, and Thomas Huber on October 14th, 2017.

Route name: „Har Har Mahadev“ from Hindu mythology meaning no less than: “Increase your moral values so you can overcome your fear to master dangerous situations!”

Grades: VII, A3+,6b, M6, 80°

First part: 400 meters ice and mixed

Second part: 600 meters rock and mixed, 24 pitches

Belays partially equipped with bolts

Drill holes in the pitches: 8 Bathooks and 7 rivets

Material used: 15 Bird Beaks in different sizes, 4 Baby Angels, 6 Lost Arrows, 4 knifeblades, stoppers, double set of Cams up to Nr.4

Portaledge necessary

Descent: Rappell over the route


Jeff Lowes
Metanoia

Thomas Huber, Roger
Schäli & Stephan Siegrist
gelingt die zweite
Begehung

Thomas Huber, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist score the second ascent of Jeff Lowe’s legendary climbing route “Metanoia” on the north face of the Eiger, Switzerland.

In December 2016 professional alpinists Thomas Huber (GER), Stephan Siegrist (SUI) and Roger Schaeli (SUI) made their way to climb one of the most bold and legendary routes in the Alps. Huber, who was fascinated by the unique history behind the climb, was quick to get Siegrist on the team to climb “Metanoia.” Schaeli was also on board immediately.

The three pro-climbers began their first attempt in the week before Christmas. They had to abort their effort about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge after their bivvy due to increasingly bad weather conditions. A second attempt on December 28th, 2016 had to be interrupted shortly after a storm set in. They commenced their climb on “Metanoia” on December 29th, 2016. They set their bivvy about 70 meters left of the Central Ledge again and continued onward the next day. The three alpinists reached the top-out of “Metanoia” in the evening of December 30th, 2016. They are the first to successfully repeat the route.

“Metanoia” was established in 1991 by the exceptional American alpinist Jeff Lowe in the winter in a solo effort. Lowe is known, amongst others, for his solo ascent of the south face of Ama Dablam in 1979. He also still holds the record for reaching the highpoint of Latok I. Lowe has ticked more than 1000 first ascents worldwide. He was involved in the development of the first ice screw as well as first cam. He also invented the globally recognized difficulty scale for ice and mixed climbs. He brought the Sport Climbing Championships to the USA and opened the legendary and well- visited Ouray Ice Park in Colorado, USA.

1991 was a tough year for Lowe personally. When he began his attempt to open a new, direct line though the north face of the Eiger. Lowe wanted to create a tribute to the pioneers of extreme alpinism who approached the greatest alpine walls with primitive equipment and techniques, without using bolts. Lowe says: “ So I also climbed with no bolts, hoping that Metanoia might serve as an example of what can be accomplished without them.”
Nine days later Lowe appears at the summit of the Eiger, defying adverse conditions. He braved severe storms and proved his mastery of climbing and his power of
endurance. In the life of Jeff Lowe this climb was somewhat a path to enlightenment.

He climbed out of the north face of Eiger with a whole new view on life. He named his route “Metanoia” which is Greek and means as much as “fundamental change of view, transformative change of heart.” Lowe says: ““Metanoia” rewarded me with a deeper understanding of my self and how life operates. As a result I have become more compassionate and connected to my family, friends, the climbing tribe, humanity, the planet and the universe.” In his route Lowe found his attitude towards life that still holds true today: to approach everything with courage and love. He hasn’t lost this attitude even after being diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disorder 16 years ago that has tied him to a wheelchair.



 

Jeff Lowe was excited about the first repeat of his “Metanoia”: “Thomas Huber called us to share the good news that he, Roger Schaeli and Stephan Siegrist succeeded on “Metanoia”. I’m happy and gratified that they found the route to be hard, bold, beautiful and ‘visionary.’ Their confirmation of the quality of Metanoia is very gratifying and quite humbling. Best of all, Thomas understands what I was doing with the climb; which was trying to create an example of how alpinists can progress in an environmentally conscious way that honors the spirit of extreme alpinism.”

Thomas Huber Lowe’s ascent of “Metanoia”: “He was alone, he had never been in the wall before, he could only rely on himself. I tried to imagine myself in his place after every hard passage that lay behind me. His fight passed in front of my inner eye like a movie. What he accomplished is really just madness.”

Huber goes on saying: “With Metanoia Jeff was able to prove that you can accomplish impossible challenges just with your heart. He set new standards in alpinism with his ascent. This Metanoia, the new way of seeing the world and this new mind-set on life help Jeff today to approach his battle with his illness with cheerfulness, courage and love. This attitude is what inspires me in my life. We, Steff, Roger and I, are thankful to be able to live Metanoia.”
Stephan Siegrist is also impressed by Lowe’s achievement. He says: “He climbed that route in this hard wall alone with the gear they had back then! You can only survive that kind of hardship if you’re in a deep crisis.” The route itself is something special for Siegrist, too: “When I climbed the north face of the Eiger for the first time with about 20 years of age Lowe had already climbed “Metanoia.” The spectacular ascent and following stories in the media have followed me and have left me in awe ever since.” Climbing the route himself was something special for Siegrist: “After 37 ascents and three first ascents in the north face of the Eiger the “Metanoia” definitely put the crown on it all. For me personally this is one of the highlights of my 37 ascents on the Eiger.”

Roger Schaeli adds: “Climbing “Metanoia” was my biggest adventure on the Eiger with the coolest team with which I was allowed to climb on the north face! The route inspired me to find more alpine challenges. My highest respect goes to Jeff Lowe. “Metanoia” is really bad ass!”

Lowe climbed “Metanoia” in 1991 without bolts. Huber, Siegrist and Schaeli installed an 8mm bolt at a belay since they wanted to avoid the risk of the entire rope team falling. In addition they used a 10mm bolt in a pitch before the Hinterstoisser Traverse. It was probably drilled to support the film team of the documentary “Metanoia.”

Facts

Route: Metanoia, 7, A4, M6
Berg: Eiger north face, Switzerland
First ascent 1991: Jeff Lowe (USA), solo
First repeat 2016: Huber, Siegrist, Schaeli with 8mm bolt and cliff (belay), 10 mm bolt (from film production “Metanoia” documentary 2013)
Website Jeff Lowe: jeffloweclimber.com
notextile.

Tupendeo

One mountain,
Two stories

Film Trailer



Film Premiere

The Tupendeo film premiere will take place on November 19th at the Kendal Mountain Festival (UK).



Film Description

Leaving a trail is not a uniquely human activity. All animals do, from thin sheep tracks to the chemical trail left by a line of ants. Whether we wish to or not, we leave our mark wherever we go.

As the world’s population increases, and travel becomes easier, we must journey further, or look more closely, to find untrodden ground or an unclimbed peak. We seek the opposite of the trail’s logical purpose: instead of getting from one place to another as simply as possible, we break trail for no other reason than to find somewhere new and to feed our hunger for adventure.

When Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf and Dres Abegglen set off towards Tupendeo in 2015, they have no clue that the peak already has its own story to tell. The locals warn them that tragedy had struck many years ago. As the trio climb up the face, they come across an old rope still hanging along with a rappel device, causing many questions to arise. Who left it hanging there? What happened?

They all know far too well how close success and defeat can be on a mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they decide to bring the rappel device back with them and search for traces. They want to know whose story the Tupendeo was hiding.


KASHMIR 2015

Climbing Virgin Summits
in Kashmir

In September and October 2015 Andreas Abegglen, Thomas Senf and Stephan Siegrist made the first ascents of Bhala 5900m, Tupendeo 5700m and Maha Dev Phobrang 5900m and its famous Te tower, three hitherto unclimbed mountains in the Kashmir region of India’s Himalaya.

A year after visiting the Kishtwar region in Northern India, Swiss alpinists Dres Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned to the Himalaya this September and October where we pulled off another three notable first ascents.

Our trio had seen a photo of a 5900m high summit called Bhala that strikingly resembled the world-famous Matterhorn and the call of this beautiful mountain was simply too strong to ignore. Located to the south of the Kishtwar area in the Kashmir region, Bhala had previously been off-limits due to the territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and was therefore unclimbed.

Maps of the area are famously imprecise, but thanks to excellent local connections we managed to reach the town of Kaban and then quickly establish base camp at the foot of Bhala, which means Spear and was named as such by a previous expedition to the region due to its form. Weather conditions played in our favor and after biviing on the East Col on 12 September, the next morning we climbed an obvious ramp line up the 700m high North-East Face. Despite its beauty the rock quality on Bhala was extremely poor and we negotiated loose and dangerous rock to summit at 15:00 that day. We descended to the col where we bivied for a second time, and returned to Base Camp on the 14th of September.

Despite the now unstable weather with regular spills in the afternoon we set our sights on another “perfect” peak nearby called Tupendeo. In the early afternoon of the 18th of September we reached a bivy point at the base of the mountain, fixed a couple of pitches and then snuggled up for the night. The next morning we climbed an 800m line and summited at 13:30, before returning to base camp at 21:30 that same day. In stark comparison to Bhala, on Tupendeo we dealt with some of the best rock climbing we had ever had ever encountered at altitude.



 

Poor weather set in and pinned our team down in Base Camp for a week, after which we then climbed another peak in the same valley: Maha Dev Phobrang. A characteristic 200m crystal tower called Te (Crystal) juts out above 5500m and we opted for the more difficult, but certainly more beautiful line that took them straight to the top of this feature. After bivying on the ridge on 1 October, the next day we climbed 4 pitches with difficulties up to 6a/b and topped out on this pre-summit at 14:00. With time to spare we then abseiled off and continued on to the mountain’s main summit which was reached at 15:30 before returning safely to BC at 21:00. The biggest superlatives don’t even begin to explain the conditions we had on this mountain: quite simply unique.

It is interesting to note that while the Indian military maps mark Bhala as 6100m and Te as 6163m, according to the recent GPS readings both mountains are 5900m high.

Facts

Bhala (Spear) 5900m, NE Face | Route: Copa-Kaban
Start: 12/09/2015
Summit: 13/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 14/09/2015
Difficulty: mid-grade alpine climbing, loose rock

Tupendeo 5700m, SE Pillar | Route: Deokhal
Start: 18/09/2015
Summit: 19/09/2015, Base Camp Return: 19/09/2015
Difficulty: 6a/b, 21 pitches, 800m
Notes: on some maps marked as Tupendo 1 or Druid

Te (Kristall) 5900m | Route: Chaprasi
Start: 01/10/2015
Summit: 02/10/2015, Base Camp Return: 02/10/2015
Difficulty: 5c/6a, 4 pitches, 200m, excellent rock quality
Notes: alpine climbing 60° to main summit

Read on: Preparations for our Kashmir Expedition


KASHMIR 2015

In Search of
Forgotten Summits

An Adventure Begins

When the plane touches down in Delhi the real adventure begins: The heat, familiar smells from past visits, the sounds, colours and faces that all mark the beginning of an expedition to me. Sensory overload – I love it!

I’ve passed through this bustling city so many times – ironically the gateway to one of the most peaceful and preserved landscapes still left on this planet, the Kashmiri Himalayas.

Our last visit to the region got off to an adventurous start after late monsoon rains slammed the area causing the worst flooding seen in years. This year things look dryer for Thomas, Dres and I! Our project, a beautiful spear head shaped peak that caught our eye on our last visit.

The Peak

Like many other things in this hidden region, the mountain leaves a lot to be discovered. There is very little information available about the peak; not even sure how high it is, but we are guessing between 6000 and 6200 meters above sea level.

The mountain is beautiful and appears to be quite technical, exactly what we are looking for. We’ve brought everything we think we may need and are ready to take advantage of what this hidden gem has to offer!

Tobias Hatje will join our team up to basecamp and from there Thomas, Dres and myself will make our way to to the mountain. Our plan is to be back home in late October with lots of great photos and stories to retell.

Our Expedition Team: Stephan Siegrist, Thomas Senf, Dres Abegglen, Tobias Hatje (to base camp)

Talk to you then…


 


Experience
Stephan Siegrist

Individual presentations for organizations
and companies.

NEW - View Film about Stephan Siegrist
Corporate Presentations

In his multimedia presentations, professional mountain climber Stephan Siegrist, born in 1972, from the Bernese Oberland takes his audience on a journey into the world of climbing adventures and presents the highlights of his career as a climber and adventurist. Siegrist, considered one of the best alpinists of our time for many years now, tours not only through his native country of Switzerland but also lectures regularly abroad.

Whether in the Himalayas, the Andes or Antarctica, high quality images and exciting videos coloring the presentations allow the spectator to lose themselves in far away worlds and bold adventures. Siegrist never portrays himself as a hero; he speaks about his remote expeditions with a large share of humor, self-irony and modesty.

Business lectures help establish synergies in the corporate world. Siegrist’s idea is to not only to motivate the employees of a company but also to inspire the management by sharing his leadership skills and experience.

Successfully implementing vision and ideas calls for clever strategy and planning in order to reach a goal and tap into the full potential available. Commitment and activity help launch a dream. Endurance and confidence help gain strength, even from failure. Knowledge and experience cultivate trust in your instinct: there are times when you have to be able to turn back.

Through his many years of expedition and team climbing, Siegrist is able to create synergies between the mountaineering and the corporate worlds and confers his know-how in the latter; minor errors can have major consequences. Optimal risk management is indispensable, whether on a mountain or within an enterprise.

Stephan Siegrist motivates and encourages reflection through his talks. His action is driven by a passion to discover and explore unknown territory. Every goal, once targeted, is pursued with enthusiasm and commitment.

Testimonials

“We booked Stephan Siegrist as a keynote speaker for our Sales Team. He combined his grasping style of performance with impressive pictures and movies and managed to illustrate the parallels between mountaineering and sales hence motivating and captivating our sales team.”

Andreas Hungerbühler, Director of Marketing & Business Development,
Bisnode D&B Schweiz AG

“Dear Stefan, thank you so much for your valuable contribution to our congress. The presentation about your highline projects brought us a conference room brimming with enthusiastic participants. The additional organization of slacklines on the hotel complex added activity to the program and rounded off the event perfectly. The participants were able get a taste of the challenges posed by a highline on alpine peaks for themselves in a more laid-back atmosphere. We are all looking forward to the follow-up event next year.”

“Exciting and captivating, focused and attuned to our guests, professional and friendly.”

Highline presentation as part of our Medi Sportortho Congress 2013, Mallorca, Frank Thelemann, Medi 

“We have invited Stephan as a speaker to our events on several occasions: whether it be speaking about motivation, concentration and dedication to juniors at a golf club or dissertating over team spirit and risk management to private bankers and hedge fund specialist’s. All were mesmerized by Stephan’s inspiring words and breathtaking pictures. Very professional.”

PAMP

Meeting Challenges

While on expedition and throughout his exploits, Stephan Siegrist is faced by numerous challenges and tasks. These can demands can be transferred to the expectations and targets found in the management setting.

Developing and implementing vision, understanding the dynamics of team building, gauging ones strengths and weaknesses, as well as the importance of self-assessment, are some of many relevant themes.

In the area of mental training, Stephan Siegrist works together with Psychologist Thomas Theurillat.

Individual Presentations

Stephan Siegrist often draws parallels to his own background and sheds light on how he pushes the limits to make the impossible possible.

These presentations can be tailored individually to your specific needs. Various theme possibilities, presentation length and number of participants can all be catered for upon request.

Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime for further information and a personalized proposal: info@stephan-siegrist.ch.

KISHTWAR TRIO

Stephan Siegrist, Thomas
Senf and Dres Abegglen

In early October Andreas “Dres” Abegglen, Thomas Senf and I returned home after an amazing and successful trip to the Kishtwar region in northern India. A magical and remote region I first visited in 2011, we had the privilege of making first ascents on two unclimbed, and unnamed 5000m peaks before making the second ascent of the impressive Kishtwar Shivling.

We left Switzerland at the start of September and were greeted in Kashmir by late and heavy monsoon rains. With a lot of luck and determination we reached our first base camp on September 13, despite the mass flooding and terrible road conditions. Eager to make up for lost time, we climbed a line up the South face of the previously unclimbed Shiepra, bivying at 5100m. We reached the 5885m high summit on September 16 and graded the route as follows: difficulties up to WI3, IV, 75° ice.

Our descent took us over the exposed West ridge, via a series of abseils followed by a 50° ice slope. The new route is called Maaji, which in Hindi means mother. The honor of naming the peak was left to our Liaisons Officer Ran Jan, who named the mountain Shiepra after the Hindi God Shiva’s wife.

The weather at this point was ideal and conditions looked promising, so we set off to make an attempt on another unclimbed peak nearby. Below the ridge leading to the peak is a very visible rock structure which looks like the renowned ‘playboy bunny’. Coming up with a good name for the peak was pretty easy, we named it Kharagosa, which in Hindi means rabbit. Thomas, Dres and I bivied at 4800m below the North East face, we continued across the glacier to the base of the East face and then ascended 1000m over tricky, mixed terrain.

Three demanding UIAA grade V pitches led to the South East face, bringing us over much easier ground and to the 5840m high summit which we reached on September 21. The new route, Pinky, is named after the most beautiful woman in the nearby village of Sumcham.
After our ascent on Kharagosa we still had time so we packed up and moved our base camp to the base of Kishtwar Shivling which we reached on September 29.



 

The North face of the technical and impressive mountain was first climbed in 1983 by Britain’s Stephen Venables and Dick Renshaw over a stretch of seven days. Political tension between Pakistan and India has resulted in this area being more or less off-limits for almost two decades. Foreign alpinists have only recently begun to return and explore the area.

Intent on making the second ascent of this magnificent peak we climbed a line up the East pillar, the target of previous expeditions, and made a first bivy on the glacier at 4700m before following a 50° ramp to the saddle at 5400m. We set our second bivy up at this point, and then climbed 10 demanding pitches past 90° WI5 ice, through a hidden couloir, bringing back memories of the famous Super Canaleta on Patagonia’s Fitz Roy, then past tricky mixed terrain which led to the foot of the enormous summit cornices.

On October 1, the gods were smiling upon us: Dres, Tomas and I were unbelievably lucky to stumble across a hole in the cornice which was big enough to climb through, leading us to the 5895m East summit. 14 abseils later we arrived back on the saddle where our tents we waiting for us. The following morning we made our descent back down to base camp. The new route is called Challo, which means let’s go in Hindi.

A successful ascent on a complex and beautiful mountain like Kistwar Shivling was a real reward for me. Kashmir is a place I am free to climb for the pure joy of the mountain and a region I cherish with deep appreciation and respect. Having all come home safely, with our backpacks full of great memories, unforgettable climbs and a lot of laughs together, has only strengthened my bond to this unbelievable and breathtaking region.

Report by Stephan Siegrist; Photos by Thomas Senf | visualimpact.ch


Kashmir
2014

New Adventure
Lies Ahead in Kashmir!

In the isolated area bordering Pakistan and North India, a beautiful unnamed, unclimbed mountain awaits us! The aesthetic 6000er is remote and hidden away from civilization – exactly what I like!

In the upcoming days, Thomas Senf and Dres (Andreas) Abegglen and I hope to get started on our project. The journey will take us back to the same valley in the Kashmir Himalayas I visited in 2011 with another team when we summited the Cerro Kishtwar.

From Zurich we’ve flown to Delhi and have now arrived in the city of Jammu. The plan from here; a 2 day Jeep ride to the town of Atholi where we begin our 5 day trek to our base camp at 4000 meters above sea level. That was the plan…

Expeditions are known for two things, amongst others; the adventure and not going according to plan!

Over the past few days Northern India, Pakistan and Kashmir have been inundated by a late monsoon. Heavy rains have caused massive flooding, landslides and destruction in cities, towns and above all the rural areas.

 

Roads have been washed away, destroyed by landslides and access has been cut off by flooding rivers and damaged bridges. The area has not seen this intensity of rain fall during post monsoon season in over 2 decades.

In short, getting to base camp is going to be more complicated than we ever imagined!

On a positive note, the weather forecast for the coming week looks better; dry weather is meant to be on its way. For the moment we are concentrating on the urgency of the situation here.

We’ll be in touch once we know more. Over the next 5 weeks we will try to send some news home twice via satellite phone to keep you updated on our progress.

For the time being I wish everyone at home a beautiful and hopefully dry autumn!


All the best from Jammu, Stephan Siegrist.
Photos taken by Thomas Senf.


News
Update

Fall 2014

CHASING RAINBOWS

This summer was definitely a good one for rainbows, just not the one I was chasing. Persistant rain, wet conditions and even snow all contributed to a frustrating summer season here in Switzerland.

Despite the continuos onslaught of rain, I was able to devote a few days of preparation to the project, but nothing close to what I was hoping for. So for this year, I’ve cut my loses and put this project on the shelf until next year!

In the mean time, I’ve turned my focus to my upcoming expedition in September.


MAE PROJECT, KASHMIR

In 2011 Denis, Burdet, David Lama and I set out to Kashmir for what would end up being one of the most memorable expeditions I have been on. In the good company of my old friend cameraman Rob Frost and photographer Stefan Schlumpf, we had the privilege of entering this area that had been primarily inaccessible to foreigners and climbers due to political instability.

I returned home from this expedition not only having successfully opened a new route on Cerro Kishtwar and on White Saphire, an unclimbed, unnamed mountain hidden in the valley, but also with inspiration for a future project!

Surrounded by a horizon of pristine and unclimbed summits, one mountain in particular caught my eye. And so, three years later, motivated and full of anticipation, I am returning to Kashmir with Dres Abegglen and photographer Thomas Senf in hopes of opening a route on this rare gem!

More info to come in September.

Weblinks:

facebook.com/stephansiegristalpinist
givengain.com
facebook.com/projectmae