posted by dpm on 04/18/2014
14-year-old Kai Lightner has achieved his goal of climbing Lucifer (5.14c) during a week-long trip to the Red River Gorge, Kentucky. This route stands as Lightner's hardest yet, though he's climbed multiple 5.14's at both the Red and New River Gorges. Kai sent his first 5.14, Omaha Beach (5.14a) in March of last year and quickly followed it up with others like Transworld Depravity and Proper Soul (both 5.14a), as well as his first 5.14c, Southern Smoke, a month later.
Kai Lightner on Lucifer (5.14c). Photos: Elodie Saracco/ elodiesaraccophotographic
Lucifer is a notoriously difficult route first climbed by Canadian Mike Doyle after a season-long battle in the fall of 2006. At the time, it was the Red's most difficult route and the first to get the 5.14c grade. Since then, it's been repeated numerous times but has held its reputation as a benchmark test piece for RRG climbers. Ashima Shiraishi was the first young whippersnapper to climb the route when she sent it in the fall of 2012 at the age of 11.