posted by dpm on 04/08/2011
Recent Vegas area transplant Jonathan Siegrist has completed the third ascent of Joe Kinder’s Golden Direct at the Cathedral in southern Utah. After his recent send of Necessary Evil in the Virgin River Gorge, J-Star headed up to the nearby Cathedral Cave to try his hand on the area’s hardest route.
Golden Direct (5.14d) Photo: Jstarinorbit.com
The original line Golden (5.14b) was a Todd Perkins project first climbed by Chris Sharma. The route started with relatively moderate climbing to a no-hands rest in an alcove before transitioning to bouldery, sustained movement on the upper headwall. In 2008, Joe Kinder got the first ascent of Golden Direct. The direct variation begins on a golden pillar of perfect limestone, adds a section of 5.13b at the start, and eliminates the no-hands rest. Joe originally graded the line 5.14c but, after trying a few more hard routes for comparison, decided to upgrade the route to 5.14d a few months later.
Joe Kinder on Golden Direct (5.14d) Screen image from video
J-Star remarked on his blog that his success on Golden Direct, “came before I ever had an opportunity to get stressed or anxious about it. It was more physically exhausting (ed. referencing Necessary Evil), but mentally it came as something of a gift... and I'll happily take it after how hard I worked to succeed at the VRG. It's a golden truth (no pun intended) that sometimes victory is almost handed to us, and other times we have battle for it... ahhhh don't you just LOVE rock climbing!?”
The route took him a total of nine or ten tries leaving us to wonder if he can sneak in another hard ascent before the Vegas heat becomes unbearable.
Click the image of Joe Kinder for a bit of video of Golden Direct.