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Willow River State Park
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YDS: 5.14c French: 8c+ Ewbanks: 34 UIAA: XI- British: E9 7b

Type:  Sport
Consensus:  YDS: 5.14b/c French: 8c+ Ewbanks: 34 UIAA: XI- British: E9 7b [details]
FA: Andy Raether
Page Views: 3,844
Submitted By: Colin Erskine on Feb 8, 2006
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Joel working on his ultimate project, Cain.
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Formerly "the project," this finaly got sent. Look for two anchor hooks on a large roof towards the "back" (waterfall side). Follow the line of bolts down through big roofs to find the start. First ascent done by Andy Raether.


Bolts. Please do not toprope off of the fixed gear at the top, use your own draws for that. If the biners on the chains look worn or do not work properly, please replace them. It's good karma.

Photos of Cain Slideshow Add Photo
End of the first boulder problem.
End of the first boulder problem.
Comments on Cain Add Comment
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By James M Schroeder
From: Sauk County, WI
Apr 18, 2008

I really think that the hardest route in Wisconsin deserves a better description than this...

By ferrells
From: Minneapolis, MN
May 6, 2008

I agree, it'd be fun to read what someone who's worked it has to say. For a better description, pester Chris Hirsch or Joel Anderson. They both know it really well.

By Dylan Colon
From: Eugene, OR
Feb 15, 2010

I noticed Chris Hirsch listed this route as chipped on 8a.nu. Anyone know anything about the extent of this?

By AntVicino
Feb 21, 2010

Yeah, there is a pretty classic story that goes along with the chipping of Cain. This isn't the place to tell that story, however.

By AntVicino
Sep 20, 2010

SPOILER ALERT: If you want to onsight this route, I would stop reading now, cause you are about to be sprayed down with beta.

The crux of Cain and Abel is definitely the first large roof. The first move is a loooong reach back to a good crimp for the right hand. Get your foot up into the crack and use core tension to reach backwards into the drilled pocket with the left hand. From here huck around the roof to the slot which marks the end of the first boulder problem. Abel continues up through some large holds to meet with Couch Time right before the crux of Couch Time. The line for Cain, however, is a little more deceptive since new link up bolts have been added. The next section of Cain can be quite difficult as you tick tack your way just above the lip of the roof on crimps. Keep heading right until you get to where the tan rock meets the black rock. Once you are into the black rock you head up the same as Dry Lightning. Here you will encounter the redpoint crux revolving around a decent left hand gaston and a stab to a bad crimp/pinch followed by a bump into a good pocket. Crank up into a jug and then finish the same as Couch Time. For the full value send you must continue past the anchors of Couch Time and finish at the very top of the amphitheater.

Daniel Woods just missed out on the 3rd ascent of this line when there was some confusion on which line of bolts to follow. Instead, he gave us a new line affectionately referred to as Cable. Which includes the roof crux and crimp lip traverse, but avoids the redpoint crux of Cain by heading up before meeting with Dry Lightning.

I hope this casts some light on the hardest sport route in the Midwest.