Didier Berthod climbs his destiny line Cobra Crack

In the Canadian climbing area of ​​Squamish, Didier Berthod repeats the Cobra Crack trad line (8b+). 19 years after his first attempts, the Swiss crack specialist was finally able to score this crack line that shaped his life in a drastic way.

«I could (finally) do it Cobra Crack climb. After so many attempts and doubts of all kinds, yesterday was the day, and this day will forever remain anchored in my history," he said Didier berthod. Defeating the Cobra Crack test piece is an impressive feat in itself. But when the line is so closely linked to your own life story, as is the case with the Swiss crack specialist, climbing through is even more impressive and inspiring.

I don't know if it's a chapter that's closing or a chapter that's opening.
What is certain, however, is that what I experienced yesterday will represent an important turning point in my life.

Didier berthod
19 years after his first attempts in Cobra Crack, Didier Berthod can finally enter the unconventional ascent list. Image: @rach4thesky
19 years after his first attempts in Cobra Crack, Didier Berthod can finally enter the unconventional ascent list. Picture: @rach4thesky

Race for the first ascent of Cobra Crack

The year was 2005. In the early and equally rainy summer of that year, Didier Berthod, who at that time was one of the absolute world leaders in crack climbing, spent a few months in Squamish to climb the then virgin Cobra Crack.

A film crew from Big Movie Production accompanied his race with Sonnie Trotter for the first ascent of Cobra Crack (see video below). The time in Squamish was a cool experience overall, Berthod wrote years later, if it hadn't been for the rain, the immense pressure from the film project and the numerous good but unsuccessful attempts.

When a knee injury ended this project by the exceptional climber from Valais in 2006, he practically disappeared from the scene overnight.

Leading figure of crack climbing disappears and returns

For the next 12+ years, Didier Berthod swapped his climbing harness for a monk's habit. He finds a retreat in a Franciscan brotherhood. Even though his knee had long since recovered, he no longer climbed. The search for God now fills his days. Olivier Christe wrote down what he found an extremely worthwhile article tried to find out.

The big surprise will follow in autumn 2020: Didi is back. Within a short time, Didier Berthod fought his way back to his old form and was surprisingly quickly back in the guild of the best crack climbers. In 2023 he will succeed in Squamish First ascent of Crack of Destiny (8c).

Just a few weeks later he tried the Cobra Crack again. And once again his line of fate gave him an abrasion: Didier Berthod left the rock with a broken wrist after a bad fall.

After his further failure, the Swiss climber gave the all-clear not to go to the monastery again: “I agree that this is hard to believe. It's so crazy. Even a little too much. I will no longer engage in mystical interpretations using terms like "angels pushing me down" or "curse" or anything else (and, to reassure some of you, I will not go to a monastery again)."

At this point, Didier Berthod leaves it open whether he will return to Cobra Crack again. Fortunately, as we know today, he tried again and provided inspiration with his climb, his will and his personality.

Never stop dreaming big.
Against all odds

Didier berthod

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Credits: Cover picture @pim.shaitosa

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