Swiss climber Jonas Schild reports about his recent repeat of Gondo Crack, the 8c crack climb at Cippo in Switzerland freed by Barbara Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher in 2017. Schild placed all gear during his ascent
For a long time the unique Gondo Crack at Cippo in Switzerland remained unclimbed, until Barbara Zangerl and Jacopo Larcher freed it in April 2017. First they climbed it with bolts as a sport climb and then, on the same day, they climbed it without the bolts and with a trad rack. Last week I too managed to climb it clean, and this is now my most difficult trad climb.
As a passionate crack climber this line had been on my wishlist for a long time, mainly because it’s one of the most difficult routes of this kind in Europe. Although it has bolts, I always knew that I would not use them on my ascent, because it takes good pro throughout. I also realised this was a great opportunity to combine mental control with climbing at my personal limit.
Gondo Crack is only about 20 meters long and consists of two sections. The lower part provides moderate, sustained climbing to a good rest point, and on this section there are some points where you shouldn’t really fall. Six moves then lead to the crux, where a final cam can be placed. This is followed by a boulder with 8 athletic moves on sideholds and small crimps. The last and most difficult move is about 6 meters above the final piece of gear; if you fall from there, you lob down to just a few meters from the ground. So my joy was understandably great when, after taking a few long falls, I finally stuck the last crimp and sent the route.
by Jonas Schild