Swissway to Heaven by Cédric Lachat, fifth stage
A large limestone chain on the border between Switzerland and Austria. “The most famous massif in Switzerland for multipitch climbing,” explains Cédric Lachat. “I wanted to end the Swissway to Heaven journey with the best.” So here we are at the foot of the Rätikon, together with Cédric and his climbing partner Nina Caprez, ready to take on the hardest route in Switzerland, WoGü. 350 meters, with a maximum difficulty of 8c+.
A line established by Beat Kammerlander in 1997 and then freed by Adam Ondra in 2008. Seven pitches, always sustained, to be climbed “starting from the bottom, without falling, in one day.” WoGü is certainly one of Cédric’s most difficult projects. It’s a route in a location that’s challenging to manage — where it rains often and the rock is often wet, where if it’s too hot you don’t move. “I took a lot of hits on WoGü,” Cédric says with a laugh, remembering the countless falls. But after a day of rest, he was back on the route with Nina. “We started late because of the sun. I didn’t have much time to manage the climb.” It wasn’t easy at all, but as luck would have it everything came together flawlessly, giving the Frenchman the perfect ending. “I managed to conquer it in four hours, with Nina belaying me pitch after pitch, with that instinctive understanding, where one look was enough.” An almost entirely mental journey in which the body pushed itself to the limit, in which concentration was maximized to complete every move and create the uplifting feeling of perfection.