Black Diamond athlete Jvan Tresch is always on the global prowl for big walls to free climb (such as Chile's Cerro Capicua: blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/climb/trips/bd-athlete-ivan-tresch-and-fellow-swiss-nab-first-free-ascent-of-valle-cochamos-cerro-capicua-512d-1200-meters), so imagine his surprise when he stumbled upon a primo 700-meter face near his home in Switzerland! Below is his report and sweet little video that does a great job of showing how quickly the weather in the mountains, even in summer, can quickly go from pleasant to brutal. To see photos from the climb, go to: blackdiamondequipment.com/en-us/journal/climb/all/video-bd-athlete-jvan-tresch-attempts-a-700meter-big-wall-in-switzerland

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When my friend Jürgen Bissig (Spiri) showed me for the first time a picture of the Chalchschijen I knew that we needed to climb this nice wall! The Chalchschijen stands at the far end in Maderanertal Kanton Uri, Switzerland—almost in front of our house! The wall seems close but to get there is hardcore! Trackless terrain, where every false step is fatal, but after a seven-hours walk you reach one of the most beautiful places I know.

Spiri and I started this 700-meter high wall in the summer of 2009. We climbed up to 250 meters and reached the super steep central part of the wall. The wall is so steep that you stay dry in the portaledge, even in pouring rain (which we were quite happy a year later!).

In the summer of 2010 the fun started again! We calculated with six days on the wall to reach the summit and this time we there were four of us: Dominik Angehrn, photographer Zvonimir Pisonic, Spiri and me. After the lovely walk with a big fat haulbag on the back and the evil with the bags on the wall, we found ourselves back at the steep section in the wall. Everything ready to climb... the next day the disillusion! Thick fog, rain, and two-degrees celsius... shit! This in the middle of summer! I must also say that the base of the wall is quite high at 2,700 meters.

Despite the rain and fog, we climbed the next three pitches in the overhang until we climbed into the wet. In the middle of the week, the sun finally showed up, but unfortunately only for a few hours! The rest of the days we enjoyed the portaledge with playing chess and shithead. In the last night it went even worse. It snowed 30 centimeters and the whole thing ended pretty ugly. Avalanches fell left and right of us. Snow and icefall above us and we are in the middle! After a snowy rappel we finally made it to the bivy at the base, and except of a snapped tendon in my finger, we were all safely back in town!

To be continued ... 2011!

— Jvan

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