Video: Joe Kinder on the First Ascent of Maquina Muerte (5.14+)

posted by dpm on 07/22/2014

Back in March, Joe Kinder sent a project that he'd bolted at Utah's Cathedral. He named it Maquina Muerte, a name that alludes to the Spanish limestone style of climbing on the route. Joe filled us in on the story behind the climb in this interview that we ran after he sent it. Now, he's finally put together the video of the send. Click the image to watch it. 

Click the image for video of Joe Kinder climbing Maquina Muerte (5.14+).


Here's more details on the route from Joe. This interview was originally published back in March.

Q+A: Joe Kinder’s Latest First Ascent

For more than a decade, Joe Kinder has been one of America’s top sport climbers and has traveled the globe seeking out hard sport routes in his home country and abroad. He’s also become one of America’s most dedicated route developers, constantly in search of the next hard route to establish. Joe Kinder FA’s can be found from his home turf of Rumney, New Hampshire, to the Southeast, Northwest, Colorado, and everywhere in between. Over the past few years, he’s spent winters in the St. George, Utah region where he’s established numerous new routes in the Hurricave, VRG, and the Cathedral Cave, the site of his latest addition. Maquina Muerte is a route that Joe bolted two years ago and finally sent this past week. Joe filled us in on the details of Maquina Muerte and why sending it meant so much to him.


DPM: I thought the Cathedral Cave was pretty climbed out. How did you spy this new route and what inspired you to bolt it?

Maquina Muerte is a line I spotted two years ago after returning from Spain.  I have always enjoyed climbing at the Cathedral as it is a tiny piece of European-style limestone.  The line popped out at me and was strange that it never had before.  I cruised up a neighboring route and got a bird’s-eye view to see if there were holds. There WERE! I freaked out and returned the next day to bolt it. I bolted the thing in 3 hours ground up which was something I was so proud of. I immediately started trying it, sorting out beta, and understanding what the thing was all about. The moves are physical, big, and athletic. The style is very Andrada which is awesome because I love that type of climbing. 

I tried it on and off whenever I was in the area but just never sent it. The thing would always prove to be hard, but felt so do-able too. The culmination of moves adds up fast and really becomes the challenge.  Moves off the rope are no problem, but at the end of the route when you are tired everything is 80x's as hard. 


DPM: Is it a link-up or variation to an existing route?

It is not a link up no.  It is a str8 up solitary line.


DPM: How’s it break down?

It starts out with a long 13+ to a HUGE rest in a mouth with a knee and good hand holds. Then you take off to complete the top which is a longs stream of really resistant and steep climbing on underclings, small feet, and huge moves. It is very bicep intensive and relentless. It gets harder as you go up and has this bastard undercling stab. I fell there like a million times until I learned to aim with a different finger.  HA! So goofy. 

The redpoint process is so different for a first ascentionist and I guess that’s something I enjoy but also hate. It is so much easier to repeat a route because it’s obviously possible and do-able, and you can equate it to something else. But when you are pioneering a line it is so much more time consuming and emotional in the process. Maquina Muerte to me is so special in terms of its challenge, difficulty, style, and the fact I saw it from being a possible pathway to a completed pathway up the wall. That's awesome to me.


DPM: After two years of on-and-off effort, how did it finally go down?

The try I sent it I was kind of over it for the day.  I figured why not and just go for it one more time.  The whole time I was just hoping for a hold to break on me, or dry fire off, or just fall off. I just wanted the try the end so I could roll out and go drink beer. I got into the crux and as with every other try I put the game face on and turned the attempt into freight train mentality. BLAST through with intent and confidence. I stuck the bastard undercling move, skipped all the draws and just battled my ass off on every move. My brain was screaming and I could feel myself hyperventilating. It was really intense.  I really wanted to clip something, but just knew that was a ridiculous idea. Folks on the ground were yelling encouragement to me and I couldn't feel my hands, my feet, or anything. I kinda checked out for a second…blacked out. I grabbed the last few holds barely and pulled over the top of the wall. I realized I hadn't fallen! HA!!  I went bonkers… screaming and wailing away. I couldn't believe I was finally there. I leaned out to look down at everyone and I saw smiles and even my boy Tyler who was next to me on a rope filming all happy. I HAD SENT THE FUCKER!! HAHAH!!! 

I lowered and sat on the ground for a bit still tied in. I just had to feel for a little bit. I was overwhelmed and so happy I had done it. At that point in the process I was so tired of the route and less enthused about it. I just had to finalize on it and I did. I could move on, I had added something, and I had completed one of the most special routes I had bolted. Maquina Muerte was truly born.

I love this stuff… damn.  What is wrong with us?


DPM: What’s up next? Any more projects for the season?

Now…. I am eager to try my Life of Villains project in the Hurricave, which is GNARLY hard… completely savage with power-endurance. A trip to Ely to try to complete a massive route in the Mondo Cave and then off to Australia for May and June.  Poor me huh?!  Jeez… Things are a lot better than I deserve that’s all I can say.