Swissway to heaven
Support Cédric Lachat and his team on their climbing project around Switzerland
Swissway to heaven
Project : Showcase a country and spectacular places, as well as present to a greater audience the history of climbing, its values and its evolution through 26 minutes of footage.
Over time, thanks to technological advances, route development techniques evolved rapidly. Free climbing came to life, and a race to establishing the most beautiful, impressive and difficult routes began.
In 2019, Cédric Lachat and his climbing partners plan to climb and film the ascents of Switzerland’s most difficult multipitch routes.
Using historical images and interviews of route developers such as Beat Kammerlander, Claude Remy, Michel Piola and plenty others, the project will present the evolution of modern climbing as well as tell the story of a human and sport adventure—all the while exposing the huge potential of Swiss climbing.
Cédric Lachat and his friends want to tackle the challenge of climbing 5 of the most difficult multipitch rock climbs in the world in a year. While doing even just one is in itself a great feat, they will seek to ascend all of them in that time. The project is a colossal challenge from a climbing perspective, and would represent an extraordinary achievement.
Switzerland is a little paradise for climbers: it offers some exceptional rock faces. Why always just travel across the globe for climbing, when one’s birthplace hosts some magnificent lines ? As a Swiss, Cédric wants to expose to a greater audience these climbing locations and the personal adventure that they represent. He called upon the best climbers in Europe to accompany him in this exploit.
The three pillars of this project :
Begin with the history of alpinism and mountaineering to disclose the essence of free climbing. Tell the tale of its exciting evolution using images, to demonstrate the ways in which the difficulty of these routes surpassed both the imagination and the expectations of the original route developers.
Accomplish the technical and physical feat of ascending the five climbs in one year.
Show that Switzerland is just as much a paradise for beginner climbers as it is for the more experienced. Few people know that the great Swiss walls are brimming with climbs accessible to all.
Map of the Massifs
Ascent of « Odyssee », 1400m, 8a+ with Tobias Suster
From the fist Eiger ascent to establishing the rock climb Odyssee
In 1858 the Swiss mountain guides Christian Almer and Peter Bohren, together with Irish Charles Barrington, accomplished the first ascent of the Eiger. At this time, the only thing that counted was reaching the summit: alpinists chose the easiest itinerary they could find to climb mountains. Later, alpinists started being attracted by increasingly difficult, dangerous and spectacular itineraries; the elegance of the line justifying the additional difficulty and risks. It was the beginning of a new dimension in alpinism, which remains often uncomprehended by the greater public. Why risk your life to climb a mountain by a specific itinerary when there is an easier one on the other face? Thanks to technological advances and the use of pitons, hangers and hand drills, it became possible to access the steeper faces. A new set of lines to climb revealed itself to the “conquerors of the useless’. The first ascent of the Eiger north face was made between the 21st and 24th of July 1938 by an Austrian and German team composed of Heinrich Harrer, Anderl Heckmair, Fritz Kasparek and Ludwig Vörg. Starting in 1983, the Swiss alpinist Michel Piola developed multiple rock climbs on the Eiger North Face. Between 2009 and 2013, the transalpine trio composed of the German Robert Jasper, the Swiss Roger Schäli, and the Italian Simon Gieti, established “Odyssee” on the north face of the Eiger (Switzerland), the most difficult climb on the face.
Ascent of « the Fly », 550m, 8c with Tobias Suter
The Lauterbrunnen valley is known and reputed for the Staldeflue, a limestone face of 550m. In addition to drawing climbers from all over the world, it is also renowned in the world of BASE-jumping. Between 2006 and 2009, Roger Schäli, Michel Pitelka, Markus Iff, Bernd Rathmayr, Mäx Grossman and Stephan Eder established the face’s hardest climb and named it “The Fly” in the honor of BASE-jumpers. From the 4th to the 8th of June 2014, the German climber Alex Megos teamed up with Roger Schäli, Frank Kretschmann and David Hefti to make its first free ascent.
Ascent of « Yeah Man », 330m, 8b+ with Melissa le Nevé
Francois Studemann and Guy Scherrer developed the route “Yeah Man”, 8c in 1998. It’s the hardest climb on the North Face of Grand Pfadflue (Switzerland). On August 1st 2010 Giovanni Quirici, made its first free ascent. Giovanni, who was a good friend of Cédric, died tragically in the summer of 2012 in the climb “Le chant du cygnet” on the Eiger North Face. Repeating “Yeah Man” will therefore be a way for Cedric to render homage to his friend.
Ascent of « Zahir », 300m, 8b+ with Fabian Dugit
The south face of the Wendenstöke is one of great magnitude, arising between the Titlis and Tallistock mountains. Starting in 1959, alpinists began developing rock climbs on the Titlis and Tällistock, being easier to climb than the Wendenstöke. It took 70 years before developers dared to launch themselves onto the vertiginous walls of the Wendenstöke. New routes were rare and predominantly artificial. When free climbing exploded in the 80s, the first rock climbs with bolts were developed. From this moment on, new routes which were harder and harder to free started making their appearance. In 1992 the legendary route developer Beat Kammerlander, who was really active in the Rätikon at the time, came to the Wendenstöke and made the first free ascents in the 8th degree—pushing even further the limits of maximum climbing difficulty. Between 1996 and 2004 the climb « Zahir » was bolted by Günther Habersatter. It remains to date the hardest climb of the massif.
Ascent of « déjà vu », 250m 8c+ (projet) with Fabian Bühl
From the 80s on, the Rätikon became globally known for its “modern-style” rock climbing routes. The walls of the Kirchlispitzen, Drusenfluh, Sulzfluh and Schijenfluh, offer a great number of climbs of all difficulties. The Rätikon was Beat Kammerlander’s favorite play-ground. He forged and ascended climbs such as «New Age», «Die unendliche Geschichte», «Silbergeier» and «Wögu». These climbs went down in the history of climbing as legendary lines that embody a great freedom of spirit as well as the notion of climbing in its free form—where rock is a playground that allows one to be confronted with oneself in honesty and fair-play.
Cédric has been playing with verticality since the age of 10. One day he followed his big brother’s steps and took to climbing in its different forms: bouldering, sport climbing and multipitch climbing. His specialty is exactly this—polyvalence in all types of climbing. Between 2002 and 2011, Cédric found himself on the podium of almost all of the highest level climbing competitions; often winning first place in the climbing world championships and world cups both in difficulty and bouldering. What he learnt during all these years, is that he must climb with heart and with the will to get to the top. He is always looking to be different and for ways to innovate. His main source of inspiration is day to day discovery. His passion compels him to bring together pleasure and difficulty. Today, he is drawn by freeing great rock faces in the mountains whose access is long, difficult and demanding. He loves to share what he experiences through original and innovative films that allow him to convey his passion and his love for climbing.
Tobias discovered climbing at the age of 9 and it quickly became a passion: he turned it into his lifestyle, joined the Swiss national climbing team and participated in international climbing and ice climbing competitions. Later, the call of nature and mountains steered him into a different direction. He put an end to his competition career and turned towards the worlds’ great rock faces, such as the renown Cerro Torre in Patagonia.
Originally from Savoie, France, the now 34 year-old Fabien has always performed mountain sports. He grew up with the culture of sport, ski and alpinism due to his father being a mountain guide. In his youth, he mostly focused on competition climbing and was French bouldering champion in 2007 and French lead champion in 2008. The call of the mountains returned to him and he went back to alpinism, completing training to become a mountain guide. He maintained some great friendships from the competition years, notably the one with Cédric, that were woven around the passion for climbing. Since then, the two have shared multiple adventures, such as climbing on “El Capitan” in Yosemite and freeing the route “Balade au clair de Lune” at the Aiguille du Fou—which is without a doubt the most exposed climb that he has done. He has been working for the PGHM (Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne) in Chamonix for 5 years now, and feels fulfilled working at the service of alpinists in distress.
Melissa le Nevé
Mélissa Le Nevé sees climbing as language and as a means of expression. She nourished her competitiveness through climbing competitions and landed on the highest steps of international podiums. She also likes to express herself in a natural environment and is inspired by the esthetic beauty of lines—all the more if they represent a challenge. She has sent up to 8B+ in bouldering, 8c+ in sport climbing and 8B+ in multipitch climbing: full-on polyvalence. Mélissa loves to share her climbing experience with genuine people, those with whom she can build a deep and sincere relationship like the one she has with Cédric.
Fabian grew up in the Allgäu mountains. In 2006, he put alpine skiing aside and dove into climbing and spending time in the mountains. Climbing became a huge part of his life. After some years of bouldering at the highest level, he discovered multipitch climbing and established “Ganesha” 8c+ in Löfen, Austria, which he freed in self-belayed solo.
Julien Nadiras, Specialized cameraman/ operator
Originally from the Paris region, Julien discovered climbing at a really young age on the sandstone boulders in the Fontainebleau forest. He climbed around the world for several years, and pursued studies in the audiovisual domain, specializing in outdoor sports. In 2008, having only recently moved to Grenoble, he met Vladimir Cellier and founded Baraka Films. He currently continues to work as a cameraman for various clients such as Petzl, Arcteryx, Universal, Casio, Flying Frenchies, Redbull, Salomon, Illustroscope, etc...
Guillaume Broust, Filmmaker
Guillaume Broust is a filmmaker whose films have premiered in multiple film festivals. He has 20 years of experience in outdoor filmmaking, special event management and making documentaries in the most remote and extreme regions of the world. With more than 200 films made about the world of climbing, paragliding, alpinism and of skiing, Guillaume established his distinct filming style that is easily recognizable as “The Style of Guillaume Broust”. Guillaume shot the majority of Ozone paragliding films and Red Bull Vertigo films. He has been in charge of Petzl audiovisuals for 16 years, and has produced or directed the majority of the brand’s videos, in particular the renown “Petzl RocTrip” films. Guillaume is as of now a director of independent films and produces films on his own account. http://www.guillaumebroust.com
Jan Novak, The project’s photographer
Jan has had a passion for adventure sports since childhood. He left the Czech Republic to settle and work in France. Climbing photography being his greatest passion, he turned it into his job four years ago. For him, photos are a way to immortalize moments that are rich in emotions. Other than being an excellent photographer, Jan is an artist filled with humor and good spirits. Thanks to his training as a rope access technician, he is able to access the most challenging locations and works with all the main climbing brands. He makes photo reports for the most renown extreme sport magazines.
The route developers appearing in the project
Beat Kammerlander, a living legend of climbing and alpinism, began to be spoken of at the beginning of the 80s following his winter ascent of the Eiger North face. He then became famed through the extremely difficult lines that he established on the Rätikon faces, such as the legendary climb “Silbergeier”. In 1997, Beat forged the most difficult climb in the Rätikon: “Wögu”.
Michel Piola, born in 1958, is a Swiss climber and alpinist. He is one of the most respected and prolific route developers of our time. He developed more than 1500 routes in the world and more than a hundred in the Mont-Blanc Massif. He received the Piolet d’Or in 1993 and established the line Directissime Ghilini/Piola in the Eiger North Face.
Gérald Buchs, born in 1958, is a Swiss climber and alpinist. He spent ten summers during his childhood in Jaun in the mountain pasture at the foot of the Gastlosen. He started climbing at the age of 20 on various spots in the British Isles. Upon returning to Switzerland, he developed around 40 multipitch routes and countless sport climbs in the Gastlosen. He also made some first ascents in the Hoggar mountains, Algeria, and in Greece.
Roger Schäli, is a 40-year-old professional alpinist. He almost knows the Eiger North face better than his own apartment. He has climbed it more than 35 times in multiple different itineraries. In 2013 he was part of the team that established the hardest climb of the face, the route “Odyssee”. He has an impressive climbing motivation: he is always seen at the foot of a hard climb.
Filming will take place from Mach 2019 to October 2019. Editing will be completed by November 2020. If weather conditions do not allow to film all the necessary sequences, the film release date could be postponed.
Previous films with Cédric Lachat
«Silbergeier», 26min, directors : Vladimir Celier and Julien Nadiras, 2012
«Rock in Cuba», 26 min, directors : Vladimir Celier and Julien Nadiras, 2013
«Exploration à la grotte FJS», 27 min, directors : Halsundbeinbruch and Diego defila, 2013
«Orbayu», 26 min, directors : Mathieu Rivoire and Julien Nadiras, 2014
«Wara Kalap», 26 min, directors : Mathieu Rivoire and Cédric Lachat, 2014
«Le rocher Crespin», 15 min, directors : Mathieu Rivoire and Julien Nadiras, 2017
Topo of projet
Allocation of funds
This crowdfund will be used to fund the project. We are looking for funds to realize this increadible adventure.
Total Budget :
Various material : 2000 €
Purchase of soundtracks/music : 3000 €
Purchase of images and film archives : 2000 €
Cameraman : 14000 €
Film editing : 15000 €
Miscellaneous : 2000€
Total : 38000 €
Our sponsors commits with a budget of : 26 200 euros
They support us with a lot of different gear. We do count on you to help us fund a part of this budget.
The counterpart is a gift and should not be considered as an exchange of services nor payed benefits. Counterparts exceeding 300€ should be planned in advanced and the dates could vary according to the weather conditions and other unexpected factors.