Mayan Smith-Gobat secures Riders on the Storm ascent (7c+)
Together with athlete Ines Papert, this is the first known women's ascent of Riders on the Storm
Herzogenaurach, 2 March 2016 – Ines Papert and Mayan Smith-Gobat summited Torres Central, in Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, via the east face. This is the first female as well as the fifth known ascent of Riders on the Storm, exactly 25 years after the first ascent of this historic route.
This stunning line on the sheer 1300m east face of Torres Central was first climbed by Wolfgang Guellich, Kurt Albert, Bern Arnold, Peter Dittrich and Norbert Baetz in January 1991 in fifteen days of climbing over a six week period.
"Riders on the storm pushed me to new limits. I felt like I had to pull together every scrap of my previous climbing experience, from bouldering to big wall and to scrape together my minimal alpine experience, to be able to succeed climb this route. It took absolutely everything I had both physically and mentally", says Mayan Smith-Gobat. "Finally reaching the highest point was like a dream come true. After living on the wall, only ever seeing one side of the landscape for weeks, it was incredible to reach the summit, with not a cloud in sight and suddenly have a 360 degree view of Patagonia stretching out below us. Endless peaks, stunning untouched walls, glaciers and lakes stretched out as far as the eye could see".
The climbing on Riders on the storm is varied, from delicate face climbing with poor protection to off widths entirely filled with ice. Though they didn't succeed in freeing the entire route Ines and Mayan did have an extremely successful trip, resulting in a rare repeat of Riders on the storm on the 25th anniversary of its first ascent. In addition, they have found a variation to the original line which, though likely to be very difficult, they both believe will definitely go free. Mayan is motivated to attempt the route again next summer.
Route: Riders on the storm
· Location: Torre Central, east face, 2800m, Torres del Paine national park, Patagonia, Chile
· 38 pitches - with the new free variant, 1300m route length.
· Grade 7c+, 2 pitches which haven't been free climbed yet
· Ines and Mayan free climbed all but 4 pitches of the entire route.
· Climbing days: 15
· Summited at 12:48 on the February 6th 2016
· Fifth known ascent of Riders on the Storm