Altitude Climbing Gym’s Hubert Catimel has enjoyed what has become his best climbing trip to date. The Kanata-based routesetter is one of Canada’s lesser known crushers. He has made great advancements in his outdoor bouldering over these last two years.
Catimel is one of the few climbers to have put a lot of work into Yves Gravelle’s latest problems. The progressively strengthening climber ticked off some of Gravelle’s easier boulders two years ago. He climbed both High Tension V11 and Green Dolphin Street V12 in Kanata-Tremblant. That same fall, Catimel broke into the V13 range. He achieved a rare repeat of Gravelle’s Stigmata, a thin V13 in Quebec’s Morin-Heights.
He also completed two other Gravelle V13 boulder problems months later. These lines, Finnish Stylz and Zatoichi helped cement Catimel as one of Canada’s strongest thin-hold boulderers. Over the last four weeks, Catimel has worked to push his limits in Bishop, California. The month of January is Bishop season for many strong climbers, and Catimel is no exception.
Over the course of his stay, he climbed numerous easier double-digit boulder problems including Bubba Gump V10, Chizam Sit V11, Center Direct V10, and The Mandala V12. Each of these climbs offered unique styles from one another, but the purpose of his trip was best summed in two of his harder ascents.
Catimel originally went down with the goal of climbing The Swarm, a perfect crimp line made famous by many professional climbers over the last 10 years. The infamously thin climb appeared well within the Canadian’s reach. Catimel climbed through the thin first moves on his first attempt. Although weather and skin became an issue and Catimel was unable to finish the problem on his first day, he set his sights on returning when the conditions were a little better.
In the meanwhile, he began to explore an often-repeated V13 called Direction. The thin edge test-piece is a brutal example of finger strength and shares the starting moves of Direct North, a V14 recently taken down by Katie Lamb.
Although Catimel left Bishop without an ascent of Direct North, he returned to The Swarm in his final week in California. After numerous attempts plagued by dry fires, Catimel maintained through the crux and the end of the problem. He ultimately earned his way through to the end of the climb.