The first ascent was in January 1991 by Kurt Albert, Wolfgang Gullich, Bernd Arnold, Norbert Batz and Peter Dittrich. In the past quarter century, there have been only five recorded ascents.
In 2006, Nico and Olivier Favresse, Sean Villanueva Mike Lecomte attempted to free Riders on the Storm. Then in 2009, Nico Favresse and Seán Villanueva with photographer Ben Ditto made the first free ascent of the east face via the South African Route. It was the first free route up the tower.
Papert, Smith-Gobat and Senf spent a number of weeks working on 30-pitch wall and topped out on Feb. 6, nearly 25 years to the day of the completion of the first ascent. The team established new variations and freed previously aided sections up to 5.13, there is still a considerable amount of difficult aid climbing up to A3. For some amazing photos and more on the story, visit Smith-Gobat’s blog here.