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Filip Babicz Sends Oświecenie, First M16 in Europe

Italian climber Filip Babicz has made the first ascent of Oświecenie in the Tatra Mountain of Poland.

He’s proposing the grade of M16, the first of its kind in Europe and the second ever.

Canadian Gord McArthur made the first ascent of Storm Giant in 2017 and graded it D16. The steep route is in a cave near Cranbrook, B.C.

Top mixed climber Jeff Mercier attempted it this past winter but given timing couldn’t stay to project or climb it.

Babicz is a climber in the Italian military section of the High Mountains Sports Division (SMAM – Sezione Militare Alta Montagna).

“It is an elite unit, with only eight of the best Italian sport climbers and alpinists,” said Babicz.

The new Oświecenie (pol: „Enlightenment”) is in the cave called Dziura (pol: “Hole”), where drytooling has been booming over the years.

The following is Babicz’s description of his new route: “I spent one-and-a-half months there in the beginning of the year. At the time of my arrival the hardest route was Bafomet D14+, the most difficult drytooling route in Poland at the time.

“I completed Bafomet, only to make another successful ascent of the Blair Witch Project with the grade D15 right after.

“In the meantime, the idea of the “Non Plus Ultra” line was born in my head: incomparably longer (the M16 climbing route has the overall length of 62 metres, compared with other routes at 30 metres and much more difficult than the previously existing routes as well.

I am so proud to can announced than Blair Witch Project is not more a project!! This evening accompanied by the father of this crazy line @marcin_gasienica_kotelnicki I did the first ascent of the hardest route bolted in this spot, a probably D15 in pure DTS style, after 18 minutes of big concentration and fight!! What amazing felling was between me and him, connected by a rope. My each mov, my each breath and my each thought, was shared with Marcin. Normaly he cheers me a lot while i climb, and i shout a lot too when I fight, this ascent was almost in silence, only big concentration at each end of rope. He moved hold by hold with me, it was something really special, it was our fight and our victory. Marcin, thank you for this beautiful line spiced with some crazy jumps and also thank you for this special, almost "mistic" experience this evening sharing with you. #dry #drytooling #climbing #D15 #zakopane #crux #fight #amuerte #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #crazyidea

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“Oświecenie begins with D11, moves through the Blair Witch route of D15, only to concur another 30 metres about M13.

“In the final part there were some ice holds and snow at the exit, so I decided to grade it M not D.

“The route overcomes the entire cave roof, with the ascent starting at the very bottom of the cave at it’s deepest point and, as the only one, completes on the outside.”

Babicz said he’s hoping to visit McArthur’s Storm Giant in Canada to attempt a send.

I did it! I did it! I DID IT!! I am so so happy!!!! 4 days before leaving my native Zakopane and going back to Italy I did first ascent of Oświecenie (Enlightment), my drytooling project in Zakopane's Dryland. 1 hour and 8 minutes after leaving the ground in the deepest point of the cave I sat down in the snow in the forest outside, up over the hole. What a journey this was, 62 meters of the biggest fight in my life. It was really incredible… I experienced new level of exhaustion unknown to me until this climb. At some point about 40 meters from the start, I didn't know anymore I still had any control of my body. I just had to trust and advance. And now I am really fulfilled. After previously doing the hardest route here – Bafomet D14 at the end of 2017 and setting the hardest project, Blair Witch D15, 2 weeks ago, I created this line which I wanted to be "non plus ultra" for this spot. It is the longest and the hardest logical possible line here, incomparably harder from previous ones, and the hardest climb I’ve ever done. Prior to this ascent I held twenty sessions here in the last 1,5 month all of which plus twenty years of climbing experience, inhumane motivation and training were relevant to this success. It is just a perfect culmination of my activity in this location. Last but not least I want to say big THANK YOU to two people: my father @krzysztof_babicz_przewodnik who helped me to bolt this project and who supported me until the last moment and another "quiet hero" of this ascent @grzegorzbargiel.pl . After created this project, he was the only person who helped me try it and succeed. He was the only person who was able to sacrifice his time to come here with me and belay. Without you both this dream moment wasn't possible. Thank You also everyone who lend me equipment neccessery for realized this project. #zakopane #drytooling #climbing #climb #dry #beautifulmoment #senseoflife

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