Matt Wilder: 5.13d Trad First Ascent at NRG

posted by dpm on 04/18/2013


Matt Wilder has wrapped up his trip to the New River Gorge, West Virginia with the first ascent of a 5.13d trad route. His new route, Eye of the Beholder, starts on the Beauty Mountain classic Welcome to Beauty (5.11b) but midway up the route, where the original line moves left, Eye of the Beholder continues straight up through a crux fingertip seam that tapers off to nothing. The route finishes with about 40 feet of 5.12+ face climbing to the top of the wall. Look for video of the ascent soon. 

Matt Wilder just past the crux of Eye of the Beholder (5.13d). Photo: Pat Goodman

Though one of the most impressive ascents in New River history, Eye of the Beholder was viewed almost as a consolation prize for Matt who spent the majority of his six week trip attempting the first ascent of his Rapunzel project, a potentially 5.14+ trad route up a beautiful golden wall. Though he made some impressive efforts on the line, warming conditions and an illness that coincided with the perfect weather window prevented the send. He hopes to return next fall. 

Wilder makes the crux reach on the Rapunzel Project. Photo: Pat Goodman