As Peter and I are hiking through the hardwood forest towards the start of our planned route it almost seems like spring to me. We climb the first 400-meters ropeless, because the difficulties are still manageable. Then the climb gets more challenging, we belay for six pitches until we reach a small bivouac, where we spend our first night.
With our gas stove we melt some water, drink and eat, and then step deep into our sleeping bags and sit ourselves on the little ledge, that we have dug out of the snow. It is freezing cold. I try to keep my feet warm. Grinding, circling, stretching and tightening - foot exercises as recommended on Lufthansa over-sea flights. It all doesn’t work and I almost have to laugh about the spring feelings I had on the approach.
There is nothing left to laugh about as I lead the first pitch the next morning. I can’t feel my fingers any more and looking down I can barley see my last piece of gear. “Just make no mistake”, I think to myself and slowly, very carefully climb my way up to the belay. Peter feels just the same way in the next pitch that he leads - just make no mistake!
After another six pitches the whole thing gets too dangerous. The possibilities to place gear become even rarer, because the rock is extremely blank. Even the belays are getting worse. Some of our pegs are broken from the constant hitting in and pulling out and we decide to do a long traverse to the right into easier terrain.
At dusk we sit on a small ledge. It is smaller than the one on which we bivouacked yesterday. It is freezing cold, snowing and windy, but we have no alternative but to sit here and wait for the morning light.
Shortly before eight o’clock we climb on again. First two pitches in a large corner to the top of a pillar. Then four more pitches to the summit snowfield. The first one hundred meters of it I lead. The rest, up to the peak, Peter is leading and shortly after noon, we are both standing on the summit.
Information on Lama-Ortner:
Peter and I put up the route on the north face of Stena Loska between 25 and 27 February 2012 in alpine style and without bolts. The route is about 1300 m long. The difficulties are around 7 - and M6. The total demand of the route is a lot higher though, due to poor protection. Future ascentonists should take along a large range of pitons. After the first 600m a retreat is hardly possible.