posted by dpm on 07/01/2011
The Raboutou family’s summer climbing trip to France is going well, with 10-year-old Brooke climbing her second hardest route ever and first 8a+ (5.13c) with Bad Attitude and 12-year-old Shawn and their mother Robyn (46) both doing Quick n’ Toast 8b+ (5.14a). (In March Brooke climbed an 8b (5.13d) when she did Swingline at the Red River Gorge in only 5 tries. Shawn and Robyn have both climbed 5.14a before.
Brooke on Bad Attitude (5.13c) Photo: Adam Brink
Quick n’ Toast is Robyn’s fourth 14a and Shawn’s second. Shawn climbed his first 5.14a last summer at the age of 11 when he did Attention Vous Regard. He almost did the climb the summer before when he was only 10, but heartbreakingly fell from the top on the last day of the trip. Quick n’ Toast came much faster—he sent on his first redpoint attempt after several days of figuring out the moves. Earlier in the trip Shawn also sent Persifleur 8b (5.13d).
Shawn and Brooke. Photo: Robyn Raboutou
Robyn climbed her first two 14a routes—Silence and Attention Vous Regard—in 1993, becoming the third woman in the world to climb the grade. Fifteen years later she decided to try another, and, at the age of 45, sent the full line of her husband Didier’s route Bad Attitude. This summer she’s keeping pace with Quick n’ Toast, and she’s set her sights on climbing even harder!
Last but far from least, 10-year-old Brooke is one of the top two climbers her age that the world has ever seen. Her sends of the 13c first pitch of Bad Attitude and her March ascent of Swingline (13d) when she was still just 9 years old put her on par with the only other kid crushing this hard—Italian Tito Traversa. Tito is just 13 days younger than Brooke and has climbed two 13d (8b) and two 13c (8a+) routes. He set a new youngest/hardest record when he did his first 8b, Je Est Un Autre, in Castillon in January of 2011. (The previous youngest/hardest that we know of was Adam Ondra’s 8b at age 11.) Brooke owns the female youngest/hardest record and so far is just behind Tito on the overall youngest/hardest scale. It will be interesting to see which of them hits the big 8b+ first.
Bad Attitude, Persifleur, and Quick n’ Toast are all located at the cliff Supermanjocarn at St. Antoin Noble Val, and Silence is near Troubat—all are in the south of France.
The Raboutou Family staying fit! Photo: Robyn Raboutou