Stefan Lavender: 5.14a at age 14

posted by dpm on 07/04/2011


During his week-long 4th of July trip to Ten Sleep, Wyoming, Stefan added two more hard routes to the impressive ticklist he started on his last trip.  First up was He Biggum (5.13d) at the Superratic, a stout line of continuously big moves up a perfect gold streak. 


Stefan holds the rope for Billy from Alabama on He Biggum (5.13d).  All photos: DPM


After that, Stefan set his sights on the super classic 5.13d Sky PilotSky Pilot is located at the French Cattle Ranch, a beautiful blue wall just steeper than vertical and littered with perfect, small pockets.  The route starts with a V8/9 boulder problem that leads directly into 5.13- climbing.  Continuing past the anchor of Sky Pilot adds another 30 feet of climbing and one more hard boulder problem.  The full line is called Galactic Emperor and checks in at 5.14a.


Stefan on the send of Galactic Emperor (5.14a).


After working the moves on Sky Pilot, Stefan battled his way to the anchor and clipped the chain.  The crowd below cheered and screamed, "Keep going!"  Stefan cast off into the unknown trying to decipher the cryptic, yet ironclad, beta that was spraying up from DPM ground control below.  He sketched through the boulder problem with the determination of a hardened sport climbing veteran, then nervously kept it together through the 5.11 finish asking, "What do I do?!" and receiving the response, "Keep going!!!"  Stefan got a few high fives back on earth but it seemed like just another day at the crag and the first of many 5.14s that will be climbed in the future.  Nice job, Stefan.  


Working out the moves for next time on F'd in the A (5.14a).     


Just after the send, Stefan celebrates with Nemo (the mini dog).