Weekend Whipper: Fall of the Century on “Crime of the Century”

In trying to pull off the "Crime of the Century," a classic 5.11c finger crack in Squamish, this climber gets caught red handed and takes a big fall.

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Crime of the Century is a classic 5.11c finger crack in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. Earlier this winter, while going for the redpoint after a couple of tries sussing out the beta, Evan Beatty found things “going much better than expected,” he told Climbing.

“I managed to squeak through the first crux sequence, and then the second,” he said. “My protection felt good, my confidence was feeling decent. I was in a disbelief flow state that I might reach a new trad grade highpoint of 5.11c, compared to a handful of 5.11bs just a few months earlier.”

But in trying to pull off the Crime of the Century, he got caught red handed.

“As I neared the top, the pump was setting in,” he said. “I rehearsed the gear beta in the previous attempts.  I knew to put one last #0.3 in a pod just before the crack runs out, and switches to a different seam.  I checked the piece and it looked bomber, so I carried on to complete the last sequence.  Climbed higher up the first crack, bumped over to the second.  I was getting overly excited that the climb was almost over, that I started climbing sloppy.  The last piece of protection is over a meter from the final ledge.  With desperation, I threw to the  ledge.  My left hand grazed the final hold, but I wasn’t high enough, and my left foot slipped.”

His belayer, Maria Berno, gave him a good solid catch. “The catch was actually great, even though I got smacked against the wall,” said Evan, who didn’t even have a bruise.

Evan added one final comment: “Note to self, wear a helmet.”

Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!


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