A Few Firsts from Around the World

posted by dpm on 04/03/2013

In an attempt to drag out the spirit of April 1st, my favorite internet day of the year, here's a few firsts that happened around the first of the month. This time I can promise that they're all true.


First V15 FA for Carlo Traversi

Carlo has wrapped up his Swiss bouldering trip with a V15 first ascent on the last day of his trip. About a week ago, Carlo ticked off the benchmark V15 The Story of Two Worlds proving that he's definitely in top form. Writing on Facebook, Carlo said:

"Wonderful last day here in Switzerland. Managed to finish off my last major project with the First Ascent of "The Kingdom" in Brione. The longstanding Vecchio left project. Proposing 8C/V15 for the grade. Definitely interested in hearing what others think. This problem perfectly suits my style and could be the hardest 5 moves that I've ever linked together. Subtle, tense, and powerful climbing on perfect rock. Such amazing moves! It was all caught on video for the new film that I have been working on called "Heritage" which documents my experiences and climbs in Swiss over the last 6 months. Should be available in the next few months."

He commented on the grade on 8a.nu: "In regards to the grade, I would put it at the lower end of the 8C grade. And keep in mind that my grade for it is merely a proposal in the first place. Personally, I had a really hard time throwing that number out there. My initial perception of the difficulty put it somewhere in the 8B range, but over time it proved to be much harder. Compared to every short, power boulder that I have climbed, I believe it is substantially harder. Time will tell whether it fits other climbers better or new subtleties to the beta is found. I'm just psyched to have managed the first ascent of this beautiful line."

Carlo Traversi on The Kingdom (V15) in Brione, Switzerland. Photo: Carlo's Facebook


First 5.14d for Nick Duttle

Nick Duttle has had his sights set on 5.14d for a while and finally hit his target last week in the unlikely Central Texas region. The route I, Me, Mine (5.14d) is located at an off-the-beaten-path crag and climbs through bouldery moves out the belly of a characteristic Texas limestone swell. Nick described the route on his 8a scorecard:

"The bouldery, technical, and powerful nature of the limestone is a real treasure that has much to teach and a bit more to give. I have to give honest humbled respect to Rupesh (Chhagan) for completing this climb. REAL DEAL Challenge! I fully understand the name. 2nd ascent! The initial 25 ft of radically overhanging savagery, precise movement and powerful gymnastic climbing is in my opinion slightly harder than Esperanza (V14) but on a rope clipping bolts and then yields a jug followed by solid 5.13 climbing. Very pleased to have put this one together."



First 5.14a for Colette McInerney

Colette McInerney has had a remarkable breakthrough season in Spain. She's been posted up in the Catalunya region for over four months with Joe Kinder and a crew of the world's best climbers. About a month ago, Colette ticked her first 5.13d with Marroncita at Oliana. She kept pushing, and just sent China Crisis (5.14a), also at Oliana and her first of the grade.

Colette McInerney on China Crisis, Oliana, Spain. Photo: Simon Carter. Click here to visit Colette's website for more pictures and stories from Spain.


First 5.14a for Kai Lightner

Kai Lightner is a 13-year-old competition climber from Fayetteville, North Carolina with a record of impressive wins in youth comps. He just sent his first 5.14a, Proper Soul, at the New River Gorge. Not only is this a first for Kai, it's also the first time a 5.14 at the New has been sent by a "kid," something that's become increasingly common at the nearby Red River Gorge. The New is notoriously reachy and offers few intermediate holds making hard climbing especially challenging for small-framed individuals regardless of age. Kai was able to send it on his fourth try despite the final crux being soaked from runoff as it usually is in the spring time. Keep an eye out for video of the ascent. Until then, check out this really nice profile video put together by the Fayetteville Observer as part of black history month.

Click the image for a profile video of Kai Lightner. 

Also check out this newspaper article about Kai with an embedded video that features a Will Ferrell-looking news reporter.