Monday, 22 September 2014

Opening Zaghouan's biggest alpine route: The Green Mile

It has been a while ago (June 2014), but nevertheless quite a milestone in my personal climbing "career" as well as a milestone in the development of climbing in the limestone crags of Zaghouan. The opening of a new alpine route called "The Green Mile". Together with Michael Pfau it needed several sessions of exploring, putting in bolts at crux positions and some clearing. We have had help with developing the route from Mourad Attia, the head of the local climbing club Escalade Attitude. 5 pitches takes you from the bottom of the massif (503m) to the top (680m) of the plateau on the northwest side of the massif. The route name The Green Mile has been chosen for it's many trees and shrub along the route, the length and keeping in line with naming all the big new routes after movie titles.

Taking on the start of the route

Despite the green character of the route, we have managed to find a pretty clean line on solid limestone, with an occasional fight with some shrub (especially at the start of the second pitch). While developing the route (first from bottom up and the last two pitches from top down), we mistook a connection with between the third and fourth pitch. Two ledges, some 80 metres from one another looked so alike that we accidentally bolted a line that did not connect. That's why a via ferrata between the two fourth pitches is planned.

Minna Dederer topping out the 4th pitch on the inauguration of the route

Although crux sections (usually F5B and harder) and sections with no possibilities for trad placements are bolted it's vital that anyone trying this routes should have a full rack of traditional climbing equipment and the experience to use it. For more information about the route you can drop me an email:

Michael preparing the abseil down from the top of The Green Mile

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