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23.11.2011

Cat Walk, 8b+ First ascent in Ticino

I grab my daisy-chain and clip myself into the belay of the fourth pitch. I already climbed this passage with my second try today and now I’m sure that I can make it. The next pitch is still somewhere between 8a and 8b, but the difficulties are just short and powerful. I can give quite many tries without really getting tired and I’ll stick to my guns until I succeed, that’s for sure!

Some years ago Swiss‘ Pesche Wüthrich bolted a route on the wall above Cevio/Ticino. It was his dream to set up a route, where he could go to his limits – he wanted a project…

And the route did keep it’s project-status for some years. The Swiss climbed the first of the two crux pitches, but he had no time to try the remaining ones. And so, while my visit in spring 2011, Pesche drawed my attention to the route. I tried it together with my friend Klemens Holzleitner, but I couldn’t climb any of the difficult pitches.

On November 17th I‘m back in the Ticino again. Pesche joins me and shortly before 10 a.m. we climb in the route.

In spite of the good weather, the first pitch is still a little wet, but it’s just a 6a. To warm up a little bit, I‘m checking out the moves of the second pitch. I have my difficulties and need quite a while to remember how to climb all the passages. With my second try, I redpoint it.

Pesche rated the third pitch with 8b+, when he climbed it. I can recall the moves jolly good and don’t need much time for checking them out. Pesche lowers me and I take a few minutes-rest with him at the belay before I start again.

I get over with the first crux safely. The second difficult passage is a little dyno followed by a tough boulder. When I was checking out this sequence, the jump always worked out, but now I‘m a bit nervous. Mistakes aren’t allowed. I bend my knees a little and push myself upwards. With my right hand I’m reaching for the hold I set my sights on and get it just in position. I’m a little pumped, but save myself the last metres to the belay.

The fourth pitch is a diagonal fissure. It’s extremely strength-sapping, as you only have very small feet and almost all your body weight is hanging on your arms. Equal to the prior pitches I try all oft he moves at first. With the following shot I’m reaching my limit, but I climb the pitch.  I grab my daisy-chain and hang into the belay.

The fifth pitch is the last difficult one. I need three tries to crack it. I take the last pitch, a 6b, to come down a little bit. Pesche follows me on the 6b, then we rappel and look back on a brilliant and successful climbing-day.

Infos: The route is located in the climbing area Cevio in Ticino. The first pitch is from „Vamos a la playa“. Afterwards it’s always running slightly to the right. The difficulties of the single pitches are: 6a, 8a+, 8b+, 8b+, 8a+, 6b

Many thanks to Pesche for the brilliant route and his great support and to Rainer Eder for the pictures!



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