Trip Report
Katharsis (Troll Wall, January-February 2015). The last wall of the Big Wall Alpine Trilogy
Tuesday January 12, 2016 5:54am
When we went to Baffin Island, in 2012, couldn’t find a third person for our team.

On the way to Great Trango Tower, in 2013, The Third resigned just before the departure.

In 2014, when Yeti and I were developing plans for the Troll Wall mission, we didn’t seek for another person. We found ourselves as a team of two, transformed by a series of big wall visions.

First was Polar Sun Spire, Superbalance !
Aspiration number two became Great Trango Tower, Bushido !
Touching those walls bestowed a sense of the supernatural.
We could then only have a restless vision, alpine big wall spellbound.
A winter climb on Troll Wall became Katharsis !

This is a trip report about Katharsis, Superbalance Team and some haiku by Matuso Basho.
Credit: Regan

Tuesday, 20.01.2015, the base of the Troll Wall, good weather and good snow conditions.
Yeti and I walked up to the base of the Troll Wall inspired to climb in a single push, decided not to fix ropes. We packed judiciously, carried what we thought was needed. We left behind the complexities of replenishing supplies and equipment, and the possibility of rest days back in the hotel. With a simple consciousness we embarked.
Credit: Regan

I remembered a quote from Joseph Campbell, “If the path before you is clear, you are probably on someone else’s.”
Credit: Regan

In this climb we were looking for something arduous, something beyond our normal limits. Aiding on Troll Wall in winter was not disappointing. We were truly challenged.
Credit: Regan

Hauling day was like a rest day.
Credit: Regan

The frozen winds of spindrift were upon us, like guardians of the big wall. Defiantly, I yelled out “Yee Haw,” and the spindrift kept trying to muffle me, so I yelled again, and again. This was an environment far departed from a sunny October climb on El Capitan.
Credit: Regan

Thursday, 29.01.2015, above Camp II
After a few days we found ourselves synchronizing with the intrinsic rhythm of the big wall, and realizing our smallness. Yeti accidentally dropped his Gore-Tex storm jacket, and said, “We’ll be fine.” Later that day, Yeti and I did not exactly coordinate the pouring of boiling water into my cup, my hand was burned. OK, maybe I had my cup tilted. Aside from the occasional disturbance, we practiced everyday routine, with the extraordinary wall on one side and a great space on the other.
Credit: Regan

Each time we hand drilled bolts or rivets, we felt the cold bit also pierced our hearts.
Credit: Regan

When losing hope, we hammered beaks.
Credit: Regan

Because of a last-minute online buy, and a mistake in delivery, we had a one-person fly for a two-person portaledge. We improvised.
Credit: Regan

Life on the wall was accompanied by the sound of crampons crunching against the rock, the hammering of beaks, the work of hauling pigs. All was permeated by the joy of climbing.
Credit: Regan


Yeti on the first meters of A4.
Credit: Regan

At the bottom, it turned out the handle of the hammer cracked and broke in two, a souvenir remains.
Credit: Regan

When we returned to Andalsness, a small town near about 10 km from Toll Wall, we celebrated our success with Bjarte Bo, who has climbed walls including Polar Sun Spire or Great Trango Tower. Bjarte asked what was the hardest to do on the wall. The hardest thing was to get our asses out of the portaledge every morning, in order to honor the rule: Climb every day.

Daily freeze-thaw cycles effectively soaked our gear so we were either wet or frozen. Staying warm in these conditions and maintaining high mojo was one of our challenges.
This is basically my corner in the portaledge, or to be more precise, this was my pillow. The white stuff, yes, it’s snow.
Credit: Regan

During cooking, a rain of condensed steam was dripping on us from the fly. I regularly burned my sleeping bag. We were then suffering from fume inhalation. Making an attempt to breathe fresh air, and avoid vomiting, we stretched our necks to get our noses outside the rain fly. It might have looked weird, if anyone was there to see a portaledge on Troll Wall with two heads popping out.
Credit: Regan

Emerging every morning was a measure of mojo levels. We weren’t always up for yelling “Yee Haw”, but even when we couldn’t scream we went out, and up.
Credit: Regan

On Wednesday, 4th of February, we received a text message warning that Hurricane Ole was approaching, which included winds of up to 160 km/hr and temperatures feeling like minus 32 C. The weather forecast gave us three climbable days.
Credit: Regan

After Yeti dropped his jacket, we had to ask ourselves whether it’s possible to climb Troll Wall without a storm shell. The answer was “yes” at least for Yeti. Again he earned his nickname.
Credit: Regan

Troll Wall is a cold wall.
Credit: Regan

Troll Wall is a steep wall.
Credit: Regan

Friday, 06.02.2015. That day, we knew the text message warning of Hurricane Ole was accurate. The day before Ole, conditions turned into madness, but because we managed to get the top of ropes, we carried on climbing.
Climb every day and yell, “Yee Haw!”
Credit: Regan

If you would like to test your determination, drop your Gore-Tex storm jacket off of Troll Wall in winter. Yeti said, “We’ll be fine,”
Credit: Regan

I had my storm shell, so that was an easy day for me.
Credit: Regan

“We’ll be fine.”
Credit: Regan

Hurricane Ole came on time so that was perfect for two days of reading and relaxing.
Credit: Regan

After the “rest” we continued and climbed nonstop straight to the top.
Credit: Regan

Monday, 9.02.2015, 15:13
Credit: Regan

The next morning, we had high mojo even though at night we were awakened by the sound of avalanches.
Credit: Regan

We rappelled quickly.
Credit: Regan

We hoped all of the avalanches have already come down…
Credit: Regan

We wanted to be in the forest at the base of the Troll Wall already.
Credit: Regan

Share the mojo…
Credit: Regan

The wall was behind us.
Katharsis (VI, A4, M7) Troll Wall (1100m/3609ft), Romsdal, Norway. 27 pitches, 19 belay bolts, 9 rivets.
Single push with no fixed ropes. 22.01 – 09.02.2015, 18 days including two rest days during Hurricane Ole.
Credit: Regan

A memory taken from the peak.
[Click to View YouTube Video]

When the trip report of the first ascent of Superbalance on Polar Sun Spire, was published on SuperTopo, a comment was added by Neil: “How can you possibly live a normal life now? Was it even possible to return to civilization without some sort of massive culture shock?”

The evening following our descent from Troll Wall, Bjarte stopped by our hotel in Andalsness. Over a bottle of good wine, Yeti and I discussed and shared with him the joy of Katharsis. The next morning we were on our way back home chatting about Troll Wall and our Trilogy.
We remembered Pete Takeda has said, “Conquering big walls strengthens character, and besides, it’s so wonderfully nonsensical.”
Credit: Regan

If I were a poet, I would write a haiku, inspired by Matuso Basho. Perhaps I would start with these few words: “From the walls, learn of the walls.”
What have we learned from our Big Wall Trilogy? We are still trying to figure it out and we have realized that it may be a long process. Now, we can share some of the principles we discussed on the way home. They worked, and we will try them again like a big wall mantra…

1. Climb in a team of two with no support, no trekkers groups, no photographers or filmmakers. The Superbalance Team works as a team of two.
2. Climb in a single push with no fixed ropes. Once you’ve left the ground, go to the top.
3. A beautiful line is worthy of a hard climb and a big effort. Discover and rejoice in the beauty of the route, it is already written and waiting for us.
4. Climb every day. (Hunker down during hurricanes.)
5. Climb with total commitment and partnership
6. Respect the wall and avoid or minimize drilling. We can always do better.
7. Share the mojo. Share a story, topo and help others to climb. When inspired or when needing inspiration, yell out in the best voice, “Yee Haw.”


Remaining trip reports of the Big Wall Trilogy:
Superbalance, Polar Solar Spire, Baffin Island:
Superbalance TR
Bushido, Great Trango Tower, Karakorum:
Bushido TR
A story by David Allfrey about missing the Great Trango Tower:
The Third

We are very grateful to wonderful people and companies for their support and encouragement, they are essential to our projects. You rock guys!

Thanks very much to Patagonia, Zamberlan and MBC Ltd., from Regan Facebook
Thanks very much to Millet, Camp and Zamberlan, from Yeti Facebook

Special thanks for help in editing to Earl.

See you in the Valley, guys
Regan

  Trip Report Views: 8,033
Regan
About the Author
Regan is a big wall climber from Poland.

Comments
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Jan 12, 2016 - 06:05am PT
Hard
Core
Mother
Ruckers
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
  Jan 12, 2016 - 06:26am PT
Wow. Continuing in the tradition of Polish badazz mofos. Thanks for sharing! You've done some mind bending ascents. Congrats.

BAd
overwatch

climber
Arizona
  Jan 12, 2016 - 06:56am PT
you guys are a little crazy...especially Yeti. I'm turning up the heat.
snakefoot

climber
Nor Cal
  Jan 12, 2016 - 07:18am PT
bump for the sickness, way to get after it. insane experience i bet
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Jan 12, 2016 - 07:42am PT
Wowzer!! That defines "epic!"
johntp

Trad climber
Punter, Little Rock
  Jan 12, 2016 - 07:54am PT
You guys are just sick!

Nice TR
Ojai Bird

Mountain climber
Ojai, California
  Jan 12, 2016 - 07:57am PT
Wow ! Regan and Yeti, you are the badest hard rockers of the frozen type. You make this look like fun, only different. Thanks greatly for inspiring me and so many with your Superbalance. Cheers, Earl Bates
Chugach

Trad climber
Vermont
  Jan 12, 2016 - 08:24am PT
SUPER BAD ASS
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jan 12, 2016 - 08:26am PT
Holy Frozen Kiwis Batman!!

Fuk me Alex, I got cold just looking at that!!

Thanks for showing us all what weaklings we are!!!!!!
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
  Jan 12, 2016 - 08:41am PT
Hardcore climbing, flexible minds...
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
  Jan 12, 2016 - 08:43am PT
Mind bending. Thanks for sharing.

Looks like I'll have to come up with some other excuses to psych myself out... haha.

Stay warm,

-Paul
NutAgain!

Trad climber
https://nutagain.org
  Jan 12, 2016 - 12:33pm PT
Ho man, just read the thread title and hoped it was a Regan/Yeti epic, and got a little giggly when I clicked it open! But alas I have to run, just saving my spot for a later comment when I have time to read it! Already have a smile on my face for the day though.

Edit: Alright, had time to read it, and ALL JOY!!! Such a blast of awesomeness you share with the world. Thanks for getting out there and facing the raw world with panache, aplomb, and life-loving spirit.
david wilson

Trad climber
berkeley, ca
  Jan 12, 2016 - 08:51am PT
badass
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
sawatch choss
  Jan 12, 2016 - 09:57am PT
[jaw still hanging open]
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
  Jan 12, 2016 - 10:34am PT
We're not worthy! (well most of us)

The worst epic I ever had does not equal your trip to the 1st bivy.
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
  Jan 12, 2016 - 10:35am PT
This makes me feel like a sissy.

Yeti indeed, you're both nuts and I'm happy you took the time to share the great story and pictures!
Ed H

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
  Jan 12, 2016 - 10:42am PT
and I was going to post a ski tour TR...
phylp

Trad climber
Upland, CA
  Jan 12, 2016 - 11:03am PT
The first impulse is to write " Wow, congratulations", but I think that would diminish the profoundness of your accomplishment and your experience. It seems to me from the depth of your writing that you and your partner do not require the admiration of strangers.

Still I must say how much I admire your journey and the way it was lived. Awesome is the right word. I am blown away. Thank you so much for sharing the story.

John Mac

Trad climber
Breckenridge, CO
  Jan 12, 2016 - 12:06pm PT
Words can't express how impressed I'm with your skills and willingness to suffer. Thanks for sharing. A great accomplishment. What's next?
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Jan 12, 2016 - 12:21pm PT
Masters.

Absolutely remarkable.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jan 12, 2016 - 01:36pm PT
Impressive work and marvelous trip report. Doing a first ascent on that wall in winter and waiting out a 2-day hurricane adds a whole new dimension to my understanding of bad-assedness. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your fine effort.

John
roy

Social climber
NZ -> SB,CA -> Zurich
  Jan 12, 2016 - 01:42pm PT
Ok - that was amazing. You are definitely pushing the boundaries and having a great time doing it.

Cheers, Roy
cavemonkey

Ice climber
ak
  Jan 12, 2016 - 02:24pm PT
bump for world class suffering while smiling!
thebravecowboy

climber
The Good Places
  Jan 12, 2016 - 02:45pm PT
hard. as. nails.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jan 12, 2016 - 03:04pm PT
Really cool report, like the rest of your reports! You really know how to go BIG!
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Jan 12, 2016 - 03:31pm PT
Baaaadddd Assssssss

Thanks for sharing always enjoy your super sized TR's
nah000

climber
now/here
  Jan 12, 2016 - 03:58pm PT
Touching those walls bestowed a sense of the supernatural.

thank you for periodically returning to st to share some of your experience and stoke with us... without question, your guys' trs are, for me, some of the most compelling reads i've had on this site over the years.

so thanks for getting after it. thanks for surviving. and thanks for coming back to share a bit of what you experienced.
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Jan 12, 2016 - 05:18pm PT
Those conditions look and are horrendous...well done lads...Thanks for sharing your adventure.....

Stevo
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jan 12, 2016 - 06:11pm PT
Commitment !
Respect!
Thank you!
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
  Jan 12, 2016 - 11:40pm PT
Regan and Yeti, you make me feel way light.
dhayan

climber
culver city, ca
  Jan 12, 2016 - 07:00pm PT
Unbelievable! The best. Thanks for the tiny window into your world.
this just in

climber
Justin Ross from North Fork
  Jan 12, 2016 - 07:40pm PT
I thought I was a climber until reading this. Hardcore.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
  Jan 12, 2016 - 08:05pm PT
Thanks Regan and Yeti for showing us what it means to dig deep and transcend our self imposed limitations of the mind.
limpingcrab

Gym climber
Minkler, CA
  Jan 12, 2016 - 09:03pm PT
I wonder what it feels like to be at the pinnacle of what humans can do in the mountains?
Yinzer

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Jan 12, 2016 - 10:07pm PT
Congratulations guys. What a wonderful journey. this is the best TR i've ever read. (and I love me some TR's)
Regan

Big Wall climber
Poland/Scotland
Author's Reply  Jan 12, 2016 - 10:46pm PT
Hi Folks,
Thanks for reading and all your comments.
Sorry that I did not put the story straight after the trip, but this time I needed more time to share the mojo...
r
Heisenberg

Trad climber
RV, middle of Nowehere
  Jan 13, 2016 - 04:42am PT
I think we all should chip in and buy you 2 a wallet that says "Bad Motherf*#ker" on it
You both are inspiring to a level of suffering seen by few.

Very honorable and respectable the level to have taken it.
smith curry

climber
nashville,TN
  Jan 13, 2016 - 10:58am PT
Beautiful... You guys are unbelievable beasts yet keep it fun too.
WBraun

climber
  Jan 13, 2016 - 07:30am PT
The sons of Burt Bronson go climbing ......
johntp

Trad climber
Punter, Little Rock
  Jan 13, 2016 - 07:41am PT
The sons of Burt Bronson go climbing ......

Yee Haw!
Da-Veed

Big Wall climber
Bigfork
  Jan 13, 2016 - 07:43am PT
Wow, you guys continue to inspire. Nice work.
Stewart Johnson

Gym climber
top lake
  Jan 13, 2016 - 10:42am PT
bump for proper climbing content! awesome.
johntp

Trad climber
Punter, Little Rock
  Jan 13, 2016 - 06:28pm PT
Back to the front page
Grippa

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Jan 13, 2016 - 06:47pm PT
YEE HAW!!!
Fuzzywuzzy

climber
suspendedhappynation
  Jan 13, 2016 - 07:29pm PT
What a concept. A higher standard. YEE HA!!!
ecdh

climber
the east
  Jan 13, 2016 - 09:33pm PT
the term 'hardcore' is way over used nowadays. but fits this.
stupendous effort and result.

lets hope this 'trilogy' becomes a qualogy, or whatever comes after that.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
  Jan 14, 2016 - 08:18am PT
True Cold Grit! Inspiration to start this new year! Getting out of the comfort zone extreme! Whenever I see one of your TRs I know that it is going to be something great with fabulous pics and story. Nice to see it as the 'Third Person'. Thank You Regan and Yeti and Congratulations!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jan 14, 2016 - 08:34am PT
Uh, wow. Mr Regan, would you consider running for President of the World?

For what it is worth the Troll Wall is the most ominous place I've been - nearly
constant rockfall.
handsome B

Gym climber
SL,UT
  Jan 14, 2016 - 09:21am PT
Incredibly impressive grit you have shown. I checked out your route in the summer of 2008, but didn't have the time to stop and finish it.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jan 14, 2016 - 09:58am PT
With a simple consciousness we embarked.
A beautiful and simple way to start an adventure.




Regan you and Yeti are animals. In every sense of the word. Thanks for the time and effort you put into these trip reports. I'm cold now after that read. I'm gonna go put on another top layer right now just because I can.
curt wohlgemuth

Social climber
Bay Area, California
  Jan 14, 2016 - 11:52am PT
Just thinking about the *rappel descent* made me want to cry. Amazing.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Jan 17, 2016 - 09:39am PT
Thnx for THIS ! - The very good stuff !
OlympicMtnBoy

climber
Seattle
  Jan 14, 2016 - 08:55pm PT
That was awesome! While some small part of me might contemplate doing such a thing, even that small part wouldn't have gone up without the correct portaledge fly! What a great trip and great report!!
Larry Nelson

Social climber
  Jan 16, 2016 - 04:15am PT
Whoa, that is some serious climbing. Great job all around.
Thanks for the TR
Crag Q

Trad climber
Louisville, Colorado
  Jan 16, 2016 - 07:14am PT
Serious gnar!
Reeotch

climber
4 Corners Area
  Jan 16, 2016 - 09:26pm PT
Wow, sounds like you guys are a solid team.
chill

climber
The fat part of the bell-curve
  Jan 17, 2016 - 07:05am PT
Thanks for making me feel like a pussy.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
  Jan 17, 2016 - 02:50pm PT
An impressive climb, and great report.

2015 was the 50th anniversary of the first ascents of Trollveggen (the Troll Wall), by Norwegian and English teams? (The Norwegians started and finished a day or two before the English, but despite news media nonsense, none of them felt they were in a competition, and indeed they became good friends.) The Norwegians of course climbed the Norwegian Route, and the English the Rimmon Route, much of which was destroyed by rockfall in and since 1998.

Norway: Leif Norman Petterson, Odd Eliassen, Jon Teigland, Ole Daniel Enersen
England: Tony Howard, John Amatt, Bill Tweedale

The 50th anniversary was celebrated at the Norwegian Mountain Festival (Norsk Fjellfestival) in Åndalsnes last June, and in Klatring #127 and #130.

The first winter ascent of Trollveggen was in 1974, by Wojciech Kurtyka, Marek Kęsicki, Ryszard Kowalewski, and Tadeusz Piotrowski.
smith curry

climber
nashville,TN
  Jan 17, 2016 - 05:17pm PT
These three walls, and their trip reports, are some of the most inspiring climbing and writing I've come across. You two are true heroes, and like true badasses, you guys keep it light and fun despite the unbelievably brutal climbing and conditions... Thanks so much!
EdwardT

Trad climber
Retired
  Jan 18, 2016 - 02:14pm PT
Regan is the real deal.

Awesome Climb. Great trip report.Thanks for sharing.
melski

Trad climber
bytheriver
  Feb 5, 2016 - 03:06pm PT
beyond the obvious ,,the minimal machoness,is a beautiful thing,,makes it all very cool indeed,,cheers and chow,,
overwatch

climber
Arizona
  Jun 13, 2016 - 12:25pm PT
Just thought I would bump this again because these guys are awesome and there is enough BS on the front page
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Jun 13, 2016 - 01:16pm PT
Unbelievable trifecta. Thanks so much for posting.-lars
pyrosis

Boulder climber
Bishop, CA
  Jun 13, 2016 - 04:34pm PT
This right here is the real deal.
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
  Jun 14, 2016 - 11:08am PT
Wow!, these guys probably wouldn't even back off of Snake Dike because of a little rain. :-)
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