Drew Ruana tore through the Red River Gorge, Kentucky and made five 5.14 ascents—one an onsight, one a
flash—and five 5.13 onsights or flashes in only five and a half days of climbing.
“This trip has been amazing. Although it was a week, I wish I could've stayed for a month,” he posted on Facebook. “World-class routes here!”
The sixteen-year-old, from Redmond, Washington, sent Lucifer (5.14c) in four tries, Southern Smoke (5.14c) in six tries, Thanatopsis (5.14a/b)
in three tries—an hour and a half after sending Southern Smoke—flashed Transworld Depravity (5.14a) and onsighted Omaha Beach (5.14a).
He onsighted White Man's Shuffle (5.13d), Last of BOHICANS (5.13d), Pushin' up Daisies (5.13c) and The Madness (5.13c);
flashed Kaleidoscope (5.13c) and redpointed Ultra Perm (5.13d), among various 5.11 to 5.12 “warm ups.”
Yet despite accruing a ticklist more decorated than most climbers can make in a lifetime, in less than six days, Ruana’s highlight of the trip was spending
time with friends.
“Hanging out with the people, local and friends, made the trip better and more exciting than it would've been,” he wrote. He ended the post with a long
list of thanks.
“Trips like these always leave lasting marks,” he wrote. “These past six days have been amazing here at the Red River Gorge. I'm bummed to be leaving tomorrow
after a short morning session... Oh well. Life goes on... I'll be back soon for a longer time!
“All the rest of the routes I didn't get to try will be waiting when I come back. Soon!!”
After Ruana onsighted Last of BOHICANS (5.13d) and flashed Transworld Depravity (5.14a), he had a go on Jonathan Siegrist’s famed Pure Imagination (5.14c). “…but my skin was too sore to really make progress,” he wrote.
Earlier this year, Ruana established what might be Smith Rock’s hardest route—Assassin (5.14d) at the Aggro Gully.
Follow Drew Ruana (@drewruana) and photographer Savannah Cummins (@sav.cummins) on Instagram.
Watch Jonathan Siegrist Climb Lucifer (5.14c):
Drew Ruana, 16, Establishes Smith Rock’s Hardest Route
Drew Ruana, 15, Sends an American Classic - Just Do It (5.14c)
13-Year-Old Drew Ruana Climbs To Bolt or Not to Be (5.14a)