Odyssee on Eiger North Face Repeated: 33 pitches up to 5.13
The duo recently completed the Alpine Trilogy via cycling between north faces
Belgian climbers Nicolas Favresse and Séb Berthe have repeated one of the most difficult big wall alpine climbs in the Alps: Odyssee on the Eiger’s north face. The sent the big route in a single day, all free; it goes at 5.13 over 1,500 metres.
It was first climbed by Roger Schaeli and Robert Jasper and later freed with Simon Gietl in 2015. Favresse and Berthe spent 18 hours to climb the 33 pitches. Favresse had attempted the route a few years ago, but had to bail before mid-route.
We touched base with Favresse earlier this season after his bike and climb link-up of the Alpine Trilogy with Berthe. The well-known climber is perhaps best known in the big wall free climbing world for his musical antics in the mountains with fellow Belgian Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll.
He said this type of fun-loving partnership is very important for challenging objectives. Though Favresse had never climbed with Berthe before the Trilogy, he said they had a naturally complimentary partnership, “He is a little stronger than me and I’m a bit more of a technical climber. It was a good match for us,” Favresse said.
Favresse also admired Berthe’s strong ethical values. Berthe had pitched the idea of being the first to complete the Trilogy without carbon-emitting vehicles, wanting to influence how future climbers would approach their goals. Favresse agreed — he said there is an understated value in visiting beautiful places via human power.
Driving his car would have been too easy, too predictable. Without the bicycle an important element of this adventure would have been lost, while only more air pollution would be gained.
“I really want to do more of this,” Favresse said. “I think it’s time to change how we approach our climbing for the environment’s sake.”
The summer alpine season in the Alps will be wrapping up soon as the autumn mixed season will be starting up high in the next month or so. In the Canadian Rockies, ice climbs on the Icefields Parkway have been spotted forming.
View this post on Instagram
As the🍒 on top of a cake @sebertheclimber and I just finished our bike &dog #zeroco2 climbing journey with a one day free ascent of what has been called the hardest rock route on the Eiger’s north face – “Odyssee” ✅ With the trilogy completed faster than expected, still some power left in our legs and a rare weather window on the Eiger’s North face, Odyssee was an obvious next target 🎯 on our adventure trying to save some CO2. 3 years ago @stephane.hanssens and I had attempted it but had to bail at pitch 13 when the route turned into a waterfall and clouds started to spit on us. At the time I had not fallen on a single pitch while switching lead with @stephane.hanssens and swore I would come back to try this 33 pitches route free in a single day. With the best partner I could have hoped for and a perfect preparation with the trilogy under our belts, we started climbing at 4 am with our headlamps to finally reached the top around 22h completely exhausted and frozen but with the free ascent in our pocket. Not only that, I was really happy to complete a fall free ascent with onsighting or flashing every single pitch of the route 🤙 Odyssee is an amazing route! Congratulations to the @rogerschaeli , @robertjasper_official and @gietlsimon for putting up the route in such a cool and logical style keeping the Eiger’s north face adventure alive ! Thank you to @mario_heller for hosting us in Interlaken with the dogs and all the mess that goes with it and for finding the greatest dogsitter to keep our dogs happy. Cheers to @nilsfavre, @inespapert , @symon9v , @caronorthofficial, @babsizangerl , @jacopolarcher and @damienlargeron who also made a great effort on the wall and contributed to having the best time up there! #actfortheplanet #noplacetoofar #act_for_summits @patagonia @patagoniaeurope @patagonia_climb @scarpaspa @petzl_official @arkose.climbing @julbo_eyewear @lyofood @samaya_equipment @hard.bar @agripp_climbingholds