Home > Video

Crack Baby is a Classic 11-Pitch WI6

Thirty years after the first ascent, two climbing legends rope up to repeat the epic 350-metre ice climb

Veteran alpinist Stephan Siegrist leads an expedition to retrace the steps of the climbers who first topped the classic Swiss ice route Crack Baby IV WI6.

On Feb. 15 1993, Swiss climbers Xaver Bongard and Michael Gruber made the first ascent of Crack Baby, an 11-pitch ice climb near Kandersteg in Switzerland. The 350-metre line has since become one of the most iconic ice climbs in Europe. Just one year after opening the route, Bongard was killed in a BASE jumping accident in Lauterbrunnen. Among the many admirers he left behind was Seigrist, who looked up to the 30-year-old as a friend and mentor.

In his new film, Siegrist takes Gruber back to the Breitwangflue to pay tribute to Bongard. For Gruber’s first attempt at the route since opening it 30 years ago, the pair dust off some of the original gear to get the job done in style.

Crack Baby