Swissway to Heaven by Cédric Lachat, fourth stage
After WöGu (in the Rätikon), it’s the second most difficult climb in Switzerland. “This is why I chose to include it in my Swissway to Heaven,” explains Cédric Lachat. We are talking about Fly, a superb route up to the Staldeflue peak in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. “It’s not on a legendary or well-known face, but this 500-meter wall is so imposing and difficult that I decided to tackle it anyway.” The route consists of 19 pitches in increasing difficulty that culminates with the last four pitches of 8b, 7b+, 8c, and 8b+.
A line developed from below between 2006 and 2009 by Roger Schäli, Michel Pitelka, Markus Iff, Bernd Rathmayr, Mäx Grossman, and Stephan Eder and freed in 2014 by Alexander Megos. It took him four days to complete the climb.
When Cédric tackled it, together with Tobias Suter, he found himself struggling with the conditions. The sky was perfectly clear, but around noon the wall would be hit by the sun. “You need the right conditions to manage the friction on these pitches. When the sun beats down, climbing becomes almost impossible.” And it was because of the sun that Cédric Lachat fell, when he’d already completed most of the route. “I couldn’t see anything. I was blinded by the sun. So we decided to wait four hours and then try again, with the benefit of the shade.” The result? The first repetition and first same-day free climb of Fly, one of the most difficult multipitch routes in the world.