posted by dpm on 10/14/2013
It’s been a tough October for rock climbers so far. Usually by mid-October the hard sends around America are coming in fast and furious, but this year it’s been slow. Maybe it’s because so many of our climbing areas are closed due to the government shutdown, or maybe it’s due to global warming (if you believe in that kind of thing) that’s possibly contributed to massive flooding in Colorado and way above average temperatures and humidity in the East.
Kai Lightner on Trebuchet (5.14b). Photo by Tara Reynvaan. Used by permission with the condition that we also report on kittens.
While most of us have been slipping and sliding off our projects here at the New River Gorge in West Virginia, 14-year-old Kai Lightner has proved the resiliency of youth with a send of Trebuchet (5.14b) in the Cirque. This was Kai’s first 5.14b since he skipped the grade and jumped straight from 5.14a to 5.14c with his send of Southern Smoke last spring. (video link) Last month he also sent the Cirque’s Lord Voldemort (5.14a) which is a variation finish to Proper Soul (5.14a). With his send of Trebuchet, Kai has now sent all three 5.14’s in the Cirque.
In other news, two kittens are currently attempting an alpine-style, single-push ascent of Mt. Mapletree. Sir Walter Fluffington and Tabby Paws-a-lot were last seen at a height of 7 feet above lawn level and were hesitant to continue. Early this morning Sir Fluffington expressed his concern via Twitter stating, “We are confident in our ability to move upward but meow we’re beginning to worry about the descent.”