The rock climbing world is constantly hearing and seeing incredible accomplishments whether it’s first ascents, speed records, or conquering a bouldering problem a climber has been working on for a while. Here’s a look at four of the latest climbing feats among the ambitious climbers looking to pushing themselves further and raising the bar in rock climbing.
Libby Sauter and Mayan Smith-Gobat have officially beaten their previous El Capitan speed record from September 2013 by over 30 minutes. Last year they did it in 5 hours and 39 minutes. As of yesterday morning, October 28, 2014, Sauter and Smith-Gobat speed climbed El Capitan in 5 hours and 2 minutes with loud cheering breaking out in the meadow below when Sauter snagged the tree at the top, joining Smith-Gobat. They held the female speed record on the Nose before, but now they’ve upped the ante by beating out their previous speed record. Will we see a future pair of females taking on the challenge of beating Sauter and Smith-Gobat? Only time will tell.
Nina Caprez grabbed the second ascent and first female ascent on the blue and white streaked limestone walls of Nartanesi (8c/5.14b) in Cidtibi, Turkey on October 21, 2014. This occurred just two days after the first ascent was climbed by Italian climber Gabriele Moroni during the Petzl RocTrip’s last stop in Turkey. Caprez not only did Nartanesi, but she also onsighted a 5.13c, flashed a 5.13d, completed a 5.14a on her second try, and climbed a multi-pitch route with grades up to 5.14a. Caprez is definitely another powerful female climber that we’ll certainly hear more of in the near future.
Marieta Akalski became the third Canadian woman to send a 5.14b on the route Florida in Rodellar, Spain on October 23, 2014. Akalski describes the crux of the route as 14 powerful moves 125 feet up. The route challenged her mentally more than any other route on her trip, but she gave it everything she had and conquered the route during her extended stay in Rodellar. Akalski has been busy with her climbing sending two 5.14a routes in a week with Geminis and Ixeia, both in Rodellar, in early October. She also made the fourth female ascent of Spray-A-Thon (5.13c) and Tomb Raider (5.13d) in Rifle, Colorado in just five tries.
After spending a total of eight days establishing a route, Sonnie Trotter finished off a project that he deemed the hardest trad route he has ever established with Family Man (5.14b) on October 21, 2014. He was inspired to put on a good show for his wife and 9-month old son, Tatum, and surprised himself by sending the project on his first lead attempt, placing gear on the go, on the impeccable day of October 21. The route was referred to as the 50/50 project by Trotter before a name had been chosen as he stated it is 50 degrees overhanging and 50 feet long, and you have a 50/50 chance of hitting the ground if you blow the last few moves. Now with his new route conquered and named, Trotter can focus on his next challenge: Attempting to properly function while being sleep deprived due to his son teething.
The ladies are really stepping it up and proving that they are just as capable as the men when it comes to doing some of the hardest and grueling routes. At the rate that these ladies and some of the younger female climbers are going, it’s only a matter of time that we’ll hear of them going head-to-head on 5.15c routes with the guys.
For more on each of the stories, visit www.rockandice.com.