Katherine Choong sends "Deep Blue Sea" (7b +) on Eiger north face "onsight"

Photos: (c) Nicolas Zambetti  

The Swiss Katherine Choong climbed the route “Deep Blue Sea” (7b+) on the Eiger north face on the “Genfer Pfeiler” Onsight. Katherine Choong is a member of the Swiss national team and was able to climb a 9a route last year with “Cabane au Canada”. In the current year, the 27-year-old concentrated not only on competitions, but also on alpine climbing. Due to the competitions, Katherine unfortunately did not have enough time to project a longer multi pitch route. So she had to climb “Deep Blue Sea” Onsight ;-).

“This year, I have finally decided to take time to do more multipitch routes. When I asked my friends which route would be good to climb, most of them advised me to go for a ride on Deep Blue See. But this summer, between the competitions, other projects and the weather, I couldn’t go. Then I went to Montserrat to try a hard multipitch route, which gave me a good shape and lot of motivation for multipitches. One day after my return from Spain, a beautiful sunny day was coming. I was still a bit tired but it was the opportunity or never this year to go to the Eiger ! So I contacted a friend Nicolas Zambetti who was immediately very motivated. I was incredibly lucky because he really came just to belay me, encourage me and take care of all the logistics so that I could really focus on climbing and lead every pitches. Arriving in the morning with the first train, we didn’t have to drag it out in order to get on the last train. So we quickly made the first lengths which are in a style that suits me perfectly. Crimps on a slight overhang. The first 7b+ went very well but I had some difficulty in the pitch 5 7a because of a long movement on a wet hold. We continued our journey without too many problems until the last difficult length which is 7b+. Tired, it was clearly a battle for me to send this pitch much more bouldery than the others to finally reach the anchors in the sun, what a relief !

Many thanks again to Nicolas for all his support and for the great day spent in the mountain! It was definitely one of the best route I’ve climbed so far.”

Facts:

Difficulty: (7b+, 7a obl.) – 9 pitches,
Length: 320m
First Ascent: Ruhstaller/Rathmayr 2001/2002
First Free Base Solo: Dean Potter 2008
First Winter Red Point: Dani Arnold 27. Dezember 2015
Material: 12 Express, Camalots 0.3-1 evtl. 2.

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