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WhippersAndTears

Cerberus 5.11d Squamish - Pendulum Fall

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Cerberus is a 5.11d Squamish mostly-bolted 'sport' route on an amazingly clean wall with incredible small dyke feature. Getting into the main business via the 5.10d Catharsis Crack provides the head crux with 50 meters of tenuous undercling smearing. Great FUN for both leader AND second!

 

 

View more videos at http://WhippersAndTears.com

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Between GoBlos and drones, climbing movies are getting uninspiring and unimpressive.

 

Case in point:

 

[video:vimeo]142431235

 

Underwhelming...

 

 

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As noted by the author, the pendulum fall is not on 'Cerberus' at all, but on Catharsis Crack, which is the first pitch of 'Labyrinth', a mostly independent and still unrepeated free route that crisis crosses over the final pitches of the aid line Wrist Twister. It is a shame that it remains unrepeated as we intentially bolted the line safely to encourage repeats, although the it is more reminiscent of the Verdon in terms of bolt spacing vs say Chek. The direct start that takes the thin crack of Wrist Twister is still a project, likely 5.14- and a bit run at times.

 

The reason for the name Catharsis Crack is that I had initially suggested doing a 'new route' to a girl I was after, you know like an arts and crafts date for big kids who climb. She was stoked on the idea and even put in the first bolt, but a few days later told me things weren't gonna work between us. I was pretty gutted, and knowing that she really wanted to FA the route as badly as I did I went to finish the job alone as a sort of 'getting even'.

 

The thing was that that afternoon it was raining cats and dogs, and being an undercling traverse beneath an overlap the route was quite the running waterfall! As I self belayed out the arch, laden in gore tex, ice climbing boots, ski goggles and a drill on my harness I struggled to hold my breath each time I stuck my face into the torrent to eye up the next cam placement. Eventually one of those cams ripped from the flaring fissure sending me on a pendulum fall that I can assure was quite a lot more exciting than the one in the film, it was large enough to draw a decent quantity of blood from my hands and face. After this I added some extra bolts to prevent such things from happening again, and so that people might actually climb the route as I had clearly demonstrated that the gear was 'insufficient'.

 

Needless to say I went home that evening with much less anger in my heart, and a day or two later the girl let me know that our status had shifted from 'not happening' back to 'maybe'. I asked her if I could finish putting in the bolts, so that we could free the route together the next weekend... She agreed.

 

Being a young impressionable climber who had missed out on the stone master era, I decided that the route ought to be bolted in proper style. And so some funny paper accompanied me on the final push to equip the line. What followed is a bit fuzzy in my memory although I remember getting into A3 terrain before remembering that I was supposed to be placing bolts, and had to back aid to get the bolts where I needed. Later I found myself unable to judge whether the edges I was trying to hook were sloping or incut, no matter how hard I concentrated the damn things kept changing shape! I passed this crux by throwing a sideways dyno out of my etriers to a small tree, which I am sure is a key hold for those who repeat the line still. This was the last time the paper ever came out on a bolting mission, I don't know how Bridwell made that all work back in the day.

 

Anyways, the lovely lady and I freed the route a few days later finishing on Cerberus. The route was such a success that she only dumped me once more before finally deciding I was alright.

 

Labyrinth came a couple weeks later, when my housemate Luke and I spied the dyke leading from Cerberus over to the Wrist Twister proj where the difficulties end on that line. Hopefully someone repeats that soon.

 

It would be fun to write a condensed TR of the things we got up to around Squamish back then. But I have to wait till I'm at least 40 so I don't get fired by my sponsors for being a bad example. Anyways.... Some background on the video at least!

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the entertaining background story Marc, good stuff! I think you have a future in writing if you ever slow down. You'll have more than enough material by then.

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Agree with Jason....you do have a gift for writing to go along with the climbing thing which you seem pretty ok at.

thank for sharing that.

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