posted by dpm on 10/07/2013
Paige Claassen is still on track toward her goal of sending a hard route at every area she visits during her year-long round-the-world trip. Most recently, she's been in Val Masino, Italy where she ticked the 2nd ascent of Art Attack, an 8c (5.14) put up by Simone Pedeferri in 2004. It's no wonder the route hadn't been repeated as it's one of the most difficult slabs in the world and one which even Simone noted his distaste for.
Paige had to put in a month of work on the heinously thin, technical, and relentless route and barely came away with a send on the last day of her stay in Italy. She's got a great blog write-up about it in which she calls the send a miracle, then goes on to say:
After 30-40 failed attempts over a month long period, my confidence was at an all time low. Two weeks of high humidity did not bode well for granite slab climbing. With only two days left in Italy, I had given up. It’s not just that I was close to giving up, I had actually given up. I only tied back in and left the ground for one reason – in two days, when I was sitting on the plane between Italy and Japan, I didn’t want to have any excuses or regrets. I would have given myself every possible chance. But in reality, I knew that I didn’t have a chance.
Somehow, I must have climbed through the pre crux thumbdercling section about 2/3 of the way up the route. I must have made the clip and desperate move off the index-finger-only crystal, must have spanned the iron cross and pulled my foot up, made the rainbow cross match and down campused my feet. I must not have botched the final bolt of climbing that I was worried about messing up on the go. Because I was clipping the chains. I have no idea how.
If it weren't for confirmation from Jon Glassberg who was filming the ascent, it seems Paige may not have believed she actually sent it. Look for that footage soon and check out Paige's blog for more photos.