Footage from Ben Ditto, Nicolas Favresse, Olivier Favresse and Sean Villanueva’s Piolet d’Or-winning adventure on the big walls and fjords of Greenland.
Mark Allen and Graham Zimmerman opened a new route up the SE buttress of Mount Bradley on April 5, 2010. The 4600 feet of sustained climbing over varied terrain was named Vitalogy (Alaska Grade 5, 5.9R A1 WI5 M6+) and consists of 29 pitches, 19 of which were M5 or WI4 or harder. The ascent took 66 hours, much longer than anticipated, leaving them without food for the 33 hour tricky descent to base camp.
The drill has served me well for a full active climbing season. It has completely replaced my entire rack. On most of my climbs I now rely completely on the drill for all of my placements. At first it was a bit awkward drilling on lead. The weight of the drill can be difficult to manage one handed and beginners might be advised to carry a single wide range cam to rest on while drilling. However much of the weight lies in the external battery pack that you clip to your harness and after some practice I have been able to drill single handily with my stronger arm while hanging on my left. Also knowing that you can always rely on your last bolt it is possible to go further between protection than traditionally without compromising safety.