A key principle of the Karpos philosophy is to live in harmony with the land and preserve it so that it will provide unique and exceptional experiences for all those who come after us. So it was natural that our path would converge with Silvan’s and that we would decide to move forward together. Even if we’re geographically on different sides, the mountains bring people together all over the world. They are bridges between cultures that share common values. That’s the foundation for our collaboration with new Karpos ambassador Silvan Schüpbach.
Biotechnologist and climbing instructor by profession, Silvan is a well-rounded mountaineer with a preference for clean and mixed climbing. His various expeditions include several trips to Greenland, Pakistan, and Patagonia. He is involved with the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) in sport climbing and the development of the youth sector. Silvan Schüpbach is also co-author of the climbing guide C(H)lean!, published by the SAC in 2019, which represents an important contribution to sustainable climbing in Switzerland.
Silvan is considered one of the strongest climbers on the Swiss clean climbing scene, and his achievements include countless walls climbed without leaving a trace: “I like to discover pristine walls and mountains, but it’s obvious that unblemished terrain isn’t an unlimited resource. So I’m committed to reducing the traces of my presence, and I avoid placing fixed gear on routes to make them accessible to the masses. By leaving a place as I found it, I allow other people to relive my same unique experience.”
Curiosity is his driving force. Silvan is inspired by the golden age of mountaineering and exploration, and his heroes are the explorers and mountaineers who made history: “As a child I wanted to become a scientist, and before I started climbing and mountaineering, I spent most of my time exploring caves and looking for minerals. Shortly after I started climbing, I discovered the lure of searching for unspoiled places — including in the Alps. Creating new routes is the perfect distillation of exploration, and — if you respect certain ethics — it helps you grow as a person. In selecting my projects, I choose authenticity, remote places, creativity, and the experience.”
In the summer of 2021, Silvan will set off again for Greenland together with his mountaineer friend Matteo della Bordella for a kayak expedition and the creation of a new climbing route. His next objectives also include an expedition to Pakistan to try to free-climb the Norwegian Pillar on the Great Trango Tower, and an expedition to Patagonia “off track — by fair means.” In the Alps he has some first-ascent projects in the works, featuring alpine and mixed climbing.