5.14's and V14's

posted by dpm on 03/05/2012


While we were tying up the loose ends of issue 19 we overlooked some hard ascents that went down over the past week or so. Here's a bullet point wrap-up of the relentless barrage of hard climbing throughout the world:

Sasha Digiulian landed in Spain for a short trip and got off to a good start with an ascent of Kalea Borroka (5.14a) in Siurana. This was her 14th 5.14 of the past year, a year so saturated with female 5.14 ascents that this one barely made the news. Nice job Sasha!

Also in Spain, Nina Caprez recently sent Aitzol (5.14b) at Margalef. This comes shortly after her second female ascent of Mind Control (5.14c) in Oliana which went down just days after Daila Ojeda's ascent. Video of Nina sending Mind Control can be seen by clicking the image below.   

Nina Caprez on Mind Control (5.14c)

Jonathan Siegrist established a new 5.14a (or b) route called Atonement on the Blasphemy Wall in Arizona's Virgin River Gorge. It's interesting to see a new route go up on a wall that is very popular, very small, and considered some of the best limestone in America. Siegrist explains the reason on his blog:

"What was really next on my list was this forgotten route at the VRG. Not on some obscure cliff off in the distance, but right on the Blasphemy Wall... directly next to Necessary Evil (5.14c). From what I gathered this route was equipped a number of years back, and then pretty severely chipped, and then the chipped holds were filled in with glue, and the routes bolts were stripped. I heard a rumor that hardman Jason Campbell had top roped this line some years after and had done every move. Yet a good two decades after the VRG was developed this amazing line remained without bolts and unclimbed. I went out solo early in the week and rappelled the line, finding holds the entire way up a clean, incredible chunk of stone. Within 2 hours I had brand new hardware in the route and it was ready for climbing."

Photo: Jstarinorbit.com

Mike Foley, who you might remember from his midsummer ascent of Jaws II (5.15a), climbed Silent Menace (5.14c) in Squamish, Canada. The climb was originally established as a 5.14a but in 2007 the starting jug broke off and was caught on film which you can see here at Climberism. They also have a nice interview with Mike at the same link.

In Brazil, Felipe Camargo established the country's hardest route with Premonição (5.14c). UKC reports that the climb is a direct V11/12 start to the established 5.13d Poltergeist.

Paul Robinson put up a new V14 in Albarracin, Spain that he's calling Helicopters and Beaches. Paul wrote on his 27 crags ticklist: "amazing power boulder! 3 days on this boulder with low percentage moves and big swings! psyched! so much more here in albarra!"

Paul Robinson on Helicopters and Beaches (V14). Photo: 27crags

Austrian Guntram Jorg established a new V14 in Cervia, Spain called Awake the Unkind. On his 8a.nu scorecard he wrote: "When I saw this line I was 100% sure to stay until having finished it. Longstanding Project in this area tried by many strong climbers before. In the beginning the climb starts with really hard deadpointer and cross move followed by a huge throw to the left. First two moves are 8a+ (V12) by itself. Really big honor to have that F.A..."

In Hueco Tanks, Texas, just before the Rock Rodeo kicked off, Dave Graham claimed the first ascent of Neon Desert and suggested V14. He commented on his 8a.nu scorecard: " super nice rig climbing out a comp wall, bomber crimps, athletic climbing, and resistant. Felt a solid step the 8b’s I have done here, and took around 6 days to suss out. Maybe there is some beta I didn’t find, but the method I used is challenging, and majestic!  Dave also managed first ascents of two more Hueco V13's that he's calling Where Love Goes to Die and Bastard in a Basket.

Nate Draughn sent his project Tilted World (V13) at the Lilly Boulders which is considered one of the hardest in the southeast.

At the Hueco Rock Rodeo, Sean McColl flashed Nagual (V13) as part of a killer day that included many more hard ascents. He writes about it on his blog here. We'll post more on the Rock Rodeo as info becomes available.