Climber Launches Successful First Ascent Of Jail Wall (5.10c)

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In an incident that makes the Keystone Kops look like hardasses from "The Departed," Swedish police lost their grasp on a mountain-climbing prisoner who scaled a jail wall and escaped over the top before they could say "on belay." Some staff at the prison in Malmö, Sweden knew that the detainee had trained as a mountain climber for five years, but they hadn't passed on the information to his prison guards. Maybe they thought he was just a lowly sport climber or something, instead of the crack free-soloist with a taste for freedom he turned out to be.

I'll tell ya, an outdoor blogger just lives for moments like these. From Sweden's English-language paper The Local:

"Despite being watched over by two prison wardens in the central yard, the man managed to clamber half way up the bars on a window in the main building before he was detected. By then it was too late, Skånska Dagbladet reports.

The prisoner, who had trained as a mountain climber for five years, was able to continue his ascent unhindered. By the time staff managed to react, the fleet-footed intern had already reached the summit and disappeared over the other side of the wall."

Wow. I mean, that's gotta be a first ascent, right? Sadly, the climber's glory didn't last long: He was caught 20 minutes later by prison guards and police dogs. The climber had to be treated for a dog bite during the arrest, while a prison guard required medical attention after he — not even kidding — "injured his hand banging on a staff room window when alerting his colleagues to the escape attempt."

The incident happened back in January (first winter ascent!), but it was only made public after investigators from the Swedish Prison and Probation Service published their criticism of the prison's security precautions.

"It was far too easy and went far too quickly," the investigators wrote in their report.

Maybe they should install a few overhanging finger cracks, or at least an off-width or two. You know, just to make it more of a challenge next time. — Ted Alvarez

Mountain Climbing Prisoner Surmounts Jail Wall (The Local)

Via The Adventurist