posted by dpm on 10/04/2010
This past weekend, Vasya Vorotnikov took a break from his doctoral studies at the University of Delaware to establish a new 5.14 route at the New River Gorge.
After his Friday classes, a 6 hour solo drive to the New and a short nights rest, Vasya sent some hard routes on Saturday and worked out the moves on 'The Prow', a long-standing NRG project. He returned Sunday and dispatched the route after a total of five tries. The route was bolted by Doug Reed in the late 90's and has repelled attempts from some very capable climbers over the years. The entire route is about 60 feet and very steep. A 5.12d section leads to a V10/11 crux and is then followed by a crimpy 13b exit section. Although Vasya logged the ascent as hard 5.14a on 8a.nu he did remark that the crux was harder than any move on Still Life, a 5.14b that he repeated earlier this year.
After sending the project, Vasya hiked over to the Cirque where he became the first to flash the Freedom Tree, a 5.13d established by Jerry Roberts in 1997 that itself took 10 years to see a repeat.
It is interesting to note that these ascents come just shy of the three year anniversary of Vasya's first ascent of Jaws II at Rumney, New Hampshire; one of America's hardest routes. This 5.15a route has turned away all potential repeats for three years though it's been tried by many. Last we heard, Dave Graham and Daniel Woods were swapping burns on it during the Nor'easter event and Daniel had given himself a ten day stay to bag the second ascent. We'll keep you posted...