The Hallmark – REFLECTIONS OF A SOLO CLIMBER - by Marek Raganowicz

Published on 17/08/20

Is the soloist in the big wall alone? Yes and no.

Of course, there is no partner, but before leaving, he packs equipment, that he chooses with care, as other choose a climbing partner. No wonder, that on the wall, he often personifies carabiners, ice axes and crampons. It is similar with me and I must admit, that I even talk with my gear sometimes. Of course, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the biners speak to me, although sometimes, I get the impression they listen and with silent, steel patience.

During the autumn climbs on El Capitan, expeditions to Baffin Island, Trango Tower and Troll Wall, but also in the local Scottish Mountains, I have been accompanied by Grivel equipment for almost 10 years. Ice axes, crampons, carabiners and pitons are like arms, legs, hands and feet adapted for climbing.

Well, I admit that every season I look for some new products, innovations and inspirations. The development of equipment allows for creative expansion of possibilities, facilitation of wall life and taking on new challenges in climbing. Of course, I do not expect that the biners from the new Grivel collection will start to talk to me, but I can give one of many example of how innovation affects a climbing style: the Vlad biner makes easier to build a natural belay, which allows me to avoid drilling, which in turn will solve a painful problem in terms of a climbing ethic. This is the thing I expect from a hardware brand with climbing spirit and I get it from Grivel.

I've been trying to climb without drilling for years. Each of us climbs in our own chosen style, which is a specific kind of a hallmark, a signature of our individuality. We leave traces in mountains and on walls, where someday others will come and get to know us through our routes and climbs. The climbing I chose is: solo, alpine big wall and mixt winter. The mountains and walls I have visited and love to climb are: Yosemite, Baffin Island, Karakorum (Great Trango Tower), Romsdal (Troll Wall), Scottish Mountains, Tatra Mountains. Climbing with a Grivel gear, I left behind some hallmarks named: Superbalance (Polar Sun Spire), Bushido (Great Trango Tower), Katharsis (Troll Wall), MantraMandala (Ship’s Prow), Secret of Silence (ship’s Prow) and the list is not closed… I hope the virus will go away and we all be back on our climbing path soon.

In the meantime, the last days news: I built a climbing wall in my garden and just ordered a new Grivel Trend Crash Pad😊

My favorite Grivel equipment:

Ice Axes:

Tech Machine

Double Spring



G22 Plus

Crampon Safe

Ice Protection:



Biners, Draws and Slings:

Alpha K1S – Perfect oval profile for aid climbing,

Mega K6G,

Lambda K6G,

Mega K6N,

Delta K5N,

Grivel Daisy Chain Evo,

Grivel Belay Chain Evo,

All-Round Alpha.

Climbing Devices:

Master Pro


Rock Protection:

Sabre 705

Rocket 70

Stiletto 503



Packs, Bags and Pads:

Haul Bag

Climbing Chalk Bag

Crash Pad

Marek Raganowicz

As a climber, I was born in Polish Tatra Mountains, then I grew up in Alps and Himalayas. My true love is solo and big wall climbing, which I started to do in Yosemite. I do not just climb big walls, I move and live there, breathing in the rhythm of walls. Climbing fascinates me; the intensity of experience, the variety of nature on the mountainside, the challenges, the loneliness, the friendships, and the way that people can be overcome by their climbing passion and adventures.