Climbing Big Cracks, Like Life, Is Suffering: Watch This Brutal Climb

In late March, Mari Salvesen — an extremely accomplished climber — became the second person ever to send one of the hardest and most sought-after crack climbs in the world on the first attempt.

Mari Salvesen is a Swiss-British climber and a de factor member of the Wide Boyz crack climbing posse. On March 27, she tied in at the base of “Belly Full of Bad Berries” 5.13b, a world-renowned trad climb in Indian Creek, Utah.

Over the 12-ish minutes that followed, she inched up the overhung crack, skillfully jamming legs, fists, and gear all the way to the anchors.

At that moment, Salvesen became the first woman and second climber overall to flash — or climb perfectly without any practice — “Belly Full of Bad Berries.” Pete Whittaker claimed the route’s only other flash in 2011.

Both Salvesen and Whittaker flashed the route while placing all the trad gear themselves — sending it in the truest form.

Get psyched for Creek Season with this uncut send footage, courtesy of the Wide Boyz and DMM. And scope out the legendary Tom Randall on belay while you’re at it. Not only is he dripping in high dirtbag fashion, but he also pulls off the rarely seen laydown belay method in exceptional style.

(Note: GearJunkie does not endorse laydown belaying — unless you are Tom Randall.)

A Bit About ‘Belly Full of Bad Berries’ 5.13b

  • Route description: parallel and mostly inverted off-width crack starts vertical before curving into an overhung semi-roof that requires inverted climbing. Many climbers choose to lead the overhung portion feet-first.
  • First ascent: Brad Jackson
  • Famous ascents: Alex Honnold (redpoint), Pete Whittaker (flash), Adam Ondra (redpoint), Tom Randall (redpoint)

Runtime: 14.5 minutes

Bonus Content

Adam Ondra famously redpointed “Belly Full of Bad Berries” in 2019. In 2020, the Wide Boyz recorded a move-by-move breakdown of Ondra’s performance, a great chaser to the Salvesen footage.

You can check out Ondra’s send here and the Wide Boyz analysis here.

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Jilli Cluff

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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