For Raboutou, the send follows her ascent of Thug Life (5.13d) at the Red last week, where she clipped the chains and then unclipped them
to take a victory whip.
Raboutou broke the 5.14 threshold in 2012 and she became the youngest American and youngest female to climb 5.14a after her ascent of God’s Own Stone, also
in the Red. She later made the youngest 5.14b ascent at age 11 on Welcome to Tijuana in Rodellar, Spain.
Mack is a Red River Gorge aficionado, well known in the local climbing scene. Over the past three years he has swept up ascents on Omaha Beach, Transworld Depravity, and
God’s Own Stone – all 5.14a’s.
Sending Southern Smoke ends Mack’s yearlong effort on the route and puts the first 5.14c (skipping 5.14b, according to DPM) on his growing ticklist.
“With over a year of effort I’m incredibly excited to do my hardest climb to date,” Mack wrote on Instagram. “It’s crazy how much a silly rock climb
can teach you about life and yourself.”