posted by dpm on 12/16/2013
Paige Claassen has managed to send another of the world’s most beautiful and classic lines during her Lead Now tour around the world. Most recently Paige traveled to India with the goal of claiming the first female ascent of Ganesh (5.14a). The route was bolted in 2009 by Frenchman Alex Chabot but didn’t see an ascent until two years later when another Frenchman, Gerome Pouvreau, sent the project. Ganesh is currently the hardest sport climb in India and has earned a reputation for being one of the best in the world.
Paige Claassen on Ganesh at Badami, India. Photo: Jon Glassberg/Paige's blog
With only two weeks to send the route, Paige began projecting Ganesh with her travel partner/videographer Jon Glassberg and Indian climbers Tuhin and Sandeep. In a blog post about the route, Paige recounts the process.
“I realized that nearly every move was a jump, and the jumps weren’t small. I had flown to a location for one specific route, a route that so blinded me with its perfection that I didn’t care to take into account whether it might be feasible. And I only had two weeks to make it happen.
For three days, I watched Jon and our two Indian friends Tuhin and Sandeep power through the initial crux while I floundered and toppled with each attempt. Thankfully, I’m endowed with long arms. Unthankfully, I’m not an explosive climber. The opening move required my full 5’11” arm span. A series of powerful left hand moves between sandstone bulges also separated the opening crux from the anchors. With a daily temperature of 85 degrees and a south facing route that roasts all day, our group of four attacked from 6-7:30am, at which time the wall became too hot to reasonably climb.”
After five days of effort, Paige was the first of their group to clip the chains, with Tuhin following suit the next day. Read more on Paige’s blog.