posted by dpm on 07/29/2014
The ladies have really stolen the show this summer. Alex Puccio has been putting down V13's in the Colorado high-country, Ashima Shiraishi became the 2nd female to climb V14, and days later, Shauna Coxsey became the third. Melissa Le Neve climbed the powerful Bah Bah Blacksheep (5.14b/c) in Ceuse, Josei Hetei climbed 5.14b in Canada, and Paige Claassen pulled off the first female ascent of Smith Rock's Just Do It (5.14c). It's been an impressive run and it's not over yet...
Yesterday, Audrey Sniezek clipped the very high chains of the very long pitch Lost Horizons (5.14b) at Little Si, Washington's world wall one. The route links Psycho Wussy (5.11) into Psychosomatic (5.12d), into Flatliner (5.13c), and finally breaks left off Flatliner to end at the highest point of the 40+-meter wall, finishing with a powerful 20-move crux section.
Audrey lives and works in nearby Seattle and with Little Si as her home crag, this isn't her first hard route there. Two years ago, she climbed her first 5.14a, Dr. Evil, and then three weeks later ticked the harder finish to the same route, Extended Evil (5.14b). That same summer, she almost managed Lost Horizons as well but had to wait for two years due to injury and a busy work schedule. Lost Horizons is her 2nd of the grade.
Audrey has the whole story of her recent send written up on her blog which she somehow manages to keep updated despite a full time job at Microsoft, waking up to climb before a full work day and volunteering time to help the rural communities around the Red River Gorge. You can read the full story of her send and see more photos at her blog.
Two years ago, Audrey took the time to answer some questions for DPM and explain how she's managed to balance her success at climbing and work. Click the image below to read the DPM profile.
Audrey on Dr. Evil (5.14a) at Little Si, Washington. Photo: Brian Moncada
At Rifle, Colorado, Heather Weidner joined the 5.14b club with an ascent of Stockboy's Revenge at the Bauhaus. This time last year, Heather was celebrating her first Rifle 5.14, The Gayness, which was her second 5.14a after Mon Pote Assis at Mt. Potosi near Las Vegas.
This past spring, Heather also racked up for a bold first female ascent of Eldorado Canyon's notorious Musta' Been High (5.13c R). Click the image below to watch a profile video of Heather Weidner.