• Margo Hayes Sends Biographie/Realization (5.15a)
  • Anak Verhoeven On Making the First Female 5.15a First Ascent
  • Japan Ranks First, U.S. Second at Youth World Championships
  • RECALL: Totem Issues Voluntarily Recall of Basic Cams
  • Adam Ondra – Silence (9c/5.15d) Interview
  • Great. Climbing. Writing. - Editor's Note #245
  • Adam Ondra Sends Project Hard - The World's First 5.15d
  • Slaying a Giant – Gord McArthur Establishes the World’s First D16
  • Hojer and Garnbret Win Final Bouldering World Cup of the Season
  • Jimmy Webb Repeats Creature From The Black Lagoon (V16)
  • Roadworthy! Our Top Gear Picks For Road Trips 2017
  • Evan Hau Establishes Honour and Glory, Canada’s Second 5.15
  • VIDEO: Sasha DiGiulian and Edu Marin Climb Mora Mora (8c/5.14b)
  • DiGiulian and Marin Make Second Free Ascent of Mora Mora (8c/5.14b) in Madagascar
  • U.S.A. Climbing Announces 2017/2018 National Cup Series
  • Garnbret Goes Undefeated and Desgranges Reclaims Gold in Briançon
  • VIDEO: Ryuichi Murai Destroys Magic Wood's Hardest Boulders
  • Ruby Supernova: First Ascent of 520-meter Trad Route in South Africa
  • Cliff Notes - Chris Parker's Songs Inspired by the Climbing Life
  • Mason Earle Sends Squamish Testpiece Cobra Crack (5.14b)
  • Canadians Free New Line On Chacraraju Este in the Cordillera Blanca
  • Results from U.S.A. Climbing Sport and Speed Youth Nationals 2017
  • The First Road Trip, Ever - Editor's Note #244
  • Second Gold for Garnbret and a First for Bombardi at Chamonix World Cup
  • Ondra Establishes Move Hard (5.15b), Makes Progress on "Project Hard"
  • Katie Bono Sets Bar for Women’s Denali Speed Record
  • Garnbret and Desgranges Win First IFSC Lead World Cup of the Season
  • Karakoram: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict, by Steve Swenson
  • Search Called Off for Missing Climbers on Nanga Parbat
  • AAC Announces 2017 Craggin' Classic Series
  • Adam Ondra's Training Video Series (NEW EPISODE)
  • Jonathan Siegrist Sends Three Rifle 5.14d’s in Two Weeks
  • Mike Foley Sends Dreamcatcher (5.14d) in Squamish (with send footage)
  • Seb Bouin Completes 20-Year-Old Open Project in France
  • Shauna Coxsey Secures Bouldering World Cup Title in Navi Mumbai
  • Chris Sharma Establishes Deep Water Solo “Dream Line” in France
  • Q&A: Joe Kinder on Fat Camp (5.14d), Rifle and Route Development
  • Alex Megos Puts Up Clash of the Titans (9a+/5.15a) in Austria
  • Pirmin Bertle Establishes South America’s Third 9a - Ruta de Cobre
  • Quinn Brett Makes Rare Free Ascent of Spaceshot in Zion
  • Alex Megos Repeats Companion of Change (5.15a) In Three Days
  • Coxsey and Chon Victorious at 2017 Vail World Cup
  • VIDEO: First Teaser of Alex Honnold’s El Cap Free Solo
  • Top Climbers At World Cup in Vail, Colorado This Weekend
  • Alex Honnold, Freerider and What It All Means for Climbing
  • Alex Honnold – El Cap Free Solo Interview
  • Big Deal – Alex Honnold Free Solos El Cap
  • Steve McClure, 46, Establishes the U.K.'s First 5.15b, Rainman
  • Jon Cardwell, Sasha DiGiulian and Marcus Garcia Free Yosemite’s Misty Wall
  • Editor's Note: Rock and Ice 243 (July 2017) - Trundling Along
  • European Climbing Trips With Rockbusters: Learn With the Pros
  • Christof Rauch Puts Up Three V15s In Two Weeks
  • Marek Raganowicz Solos Two New Routes on Baffin Island
  • VIDEO: Piedra Blanca - Charlotte Durif Explores Puerto Rico
  • Alex Megos Onsights Second 5.14d!
  • Kai Lightner and Brooke Raboutou Win 2017 Dominion Riverrock
  • The Hillary Step: Gone, Altered, or Simply Hidden?
  • The Push: Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold on the Fitz Traverse
  • VIDEO: Above the Fray - Beth Rodden on Climbing, Kidnap and Motherhood
  • Seventh Time’s the Charm? Kuriki Poised for Everest Summit
  • The New Adaptive Foot: A Step Forward For Adaptive Climbing
  • Hong and Cardwell Establish Stocking Stuffer (5.14d) in Rifle
  • Four Medals for Japan and Gold for Rubtsov and Garnbret in Tokyo
  • Interview: Alex Honnold and the Kenya Expedition
  • American Climbers Crank in Spain This Season
  • Q&A: Jon Cardwell Sends Papichulo (5.15a) in Spain
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Makes First Ascent of One Punch (9a+/5.15a), Italy
  • Coxsey and Watabe Take Gold at 2017 Nanjing World Cup
  • Yoga for Climbers - Video Series
  • Ueli Steck Killed on Nuptse
  • Ethan Pringle Makes FA of Everything Is Karate (5.14+) in Bishop
  • Jonathan Siegrist Interview - Three 5.15s in Three Weeks
  • VIDEO: Jonathan Siegrist and the Art of Projecting - Pachamama (5.15a)
  • Jonathan Siegrist Sends Three 5.15's in Three Weeks
  • Tuck Fest Hosts First Comp on NC's Permanent Deep Water Solo Wall
  • EVENT: Leif Whittaker Comes to Carbondale, Colorado
  • Top Podium Spots for Garnbret and Chon at Chongqing World Cup
  • Adam Ondra Destroys Italy’s Hardest Climbs
  • Klemen Bečan Jumps Aboard the La Rambla Send Train
  • 2017 Piolets d'Or Awarded to British and Russian Teams
  • Jimmy Webb and Dave Graham Send Ill Thrill (8B+/V14) in Magic Wood
  • Trango Recalls New Vergo Belay Device
  • Alizée Dufraisse Sends Estado Critico (5.14d), Siurana, Spain
  • Outrage and Red Cards Mark the First IFSC World Cup of the Season
  • My Old Man and the Mountain, by Leif Whittaker (book excerpt)
  • Alexander Rohr Makes Third Ascent of Chromosome Y (9a/5.14d)
  • Alex Megos Establishes Chile’s First 5.14d, Pasito a Pasito
  • Wild Country Recalls Friends - Sizes 2, 3 and 4
  • Taylor McNeill Repeats Webb's Engine Bloc (V14), Makes V14 First Ascent
  • Margo Hayes – La Rambla (5.15a) Interview
  • Golden Age Climbing Legend Royal Robbins Dies, Aged 82
  • Ashima Shiraishi, Kai Lightner Win 2017 Sport National Championship
  • Hueco Tanks Re-Opens The Five Bimbos to Bouldering
  • Access Fund Announces 2016 Sharp End Awards
  • Nathan Kutcher Establishes Alaska’s Hardest Mixed Line
  • Michaela Kiersch Sends Two 5.14c’s in One Weekend
  • Jeff Lowe Honored with Piolet d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award
  • VIDEO: Stefano Ghisolfi Sends Jungle Boogie (9a+/5.15a)
  • Nina Williams Completes Bishop Highball Trio with Ambrosia (V11)
  • Q&A: Matty Hong Sends La Rambla (5.15a) in Spain
  • Michaela Kiersch Sends "Savage" Twenty Four Karats (5.14c), RRG
  • Fifteen-Year-Old Laura Rogora Sends Joe-Cita (5.14d)
  • Margo Hayes Sends La Rambla (5.15a)!
  • Weekend Whipper: Adam Ondra Whips Off Neanderthal (5.15b)
  • After 20 Years of Waiting "Dreamline" (WI 6+) Comes True
  • Toru Nakajima Makes Fourth Ascent of Lucid Dreaming (V15)
  • Outdoor Gear Innovator Jack Stephenson Passes Away at 84
  • A Trip Across the Pond: Shauna and Leah Train U.S. Style
  • Events at Valdez Ice Festival Canceled Due to Unsafe Conditions
  • 2017 USA Bouldering Youth National Championships Results
  • Puccio, Coleman Take 2017 Bouldering Open National Championship
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Sends Sharma's First Round, First Minute (5.15b)
  • Seb Bouin Repeats Novena Enmienda (5.14d/5.15a) in Spain
  • Roland Pauligk, the Creator of the RP, Dies at Age 79
  • Hardest Female First Ascent Ever for 15-Year Old Laura Rogora?
  • 22nd Annual Ouray Ice Festival Delivers the Stuff
  • Chris Snobeck Sends Saphira (M15-), America’s Hardest Mixed Climb
  • Top 10 Climbing Videos of 2016
  • VIDEO: Jimmy Webb's Next Level Project And A Nasty Finger Injury
  • Jimmy Webb Repeats Kintsugi (V15), Makes V13 FA in Yosemite
  • Training For Climbing with Eric Hörst - Video Series
  • Alexey Dengin, WoonSeon Shin Start Ice World Cup Season with Golds
  • Life After Competition: Mélissa Le Nevé Climbs Her First 8B (V13)
  • Roadworthy - Our Top Travel Gear 2016
  • Good-bye, Indian Creek – Excerpt from Luke Mehall’s Latest Book
  • 2017 Mugs Stump Award Recipients Announced
  • Jongwon Chon Continues Sending Streak with Second New V15
  • Anna Liina Laitinen Sends Southern Smoke (5.14c), RRG
  • Top 10 Weekend Whippers of 2016
  • Ice Climbing World Cup Comes to Durango, Colorado
  • Jongwon Chon Triumphs at La Sportiva Legends Only 2016
  • Jorg Verhoeven - Dihedral Wall Interview
  • El Cap’s Heart Route (5.13b V10) Sees Second Free Ascent
  • Adam Ondra – Dawn Wall Interview
  • Adam Ondra Sends the Dawn Wall!
  • Final Push – Day 6: Ondra Sends Crux Pitches, Reaches Wino Tower
  • Barbara Zangerl, Jacopo Larcher Free El Cap's Zodiac (VI 5.13d)
  • Final Push – Day 4: Adam Ondra Hits First Hurdle
  • Jorg Verhoeven Makes Second Free Ascent of Dihedral Wall (VI 5.14a)
  • Final Push – Day 2: Ondra Completes Pitches 10 Through 13 on Dawn Wall
  • Robbie Phillips Frees El Cap’s 30-Pitch Pre-Muir (5.13d)
  • Michaela Kiersch Sends Golden Ticket (5.14c), Red River Gorge
  • VIDEO: David Lama Attempts Southeast Ridge of Annapurna III
  • Final Push: Adam Ondra Blasts Up First Nine Pitches of the Dawn Wall
  • Wildfire Engulfs Popular East Coast Climbing Area
  • Ashima Shiraishi, Margo Hayes Dominate at 2016 Youth World Championships
  • Dawn Wall Update: Adam Ondra Prepares for Final Push
  • Climbers We Lost in 2016
  • Vandal Destroys Holds on Climbs in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
  • The Gunks' New Hardest Climb: Bro-Zone (5.14b)
  • INTERVIEW: Jernej Kruder On Climbing Sharma’s “King Line” Es Pontas
  • Jernej Kruder Repeats Sharma’s “King Line” Es Pontas
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra Onsights C'est La Vie (8c+/5.14c)
  • Joe Kinder Puts Up Bone Tomahawk (5.14d/5.15a)
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra's First Ascent of Robin Ud (5.15b)
  • Steph Davis, Unpacked: From Desert Towers to Indian Creek Craggin'
  • Dave Graham Nabs Second Ascent of Creature from the Black Lagoon (V16)
  • Michaela Kiersch Sends Lucifer (5.14c), Red River Gorge
  • Nalle Hukkataival Sends World’s First V17
  • Ghisolfi and Garnbret Seize Golds at World Cup in Xiamen, China
  • Neil Gresham, 45, Establishes Sabotage (8c+/5.14c), Malham Cove
  • Dawn Wall Update: Adam Ondra Reaches Pitch 15 and Dyno Crux
  • Adam Ondra Makes Quick Progress on the Dawn Wall
  • Winners of the Rock and Ice / Mammut Photo Contest 2016
  • Dave Graham Establishes Topaz (V15) in Wild Basin, RMNP, Colorado
  • Best Mountaineering Article 2016 Award Goes to Jeff Long
  • El Cap Sees 90-percent Decline In Attempts Following Tom Evans’ Retirement
  • Red Rock Canyon Under Threat From Major Housing Development
  • Magnus Midtbø Finally Sends Thor's Hammer (~5.15a)
  • Chris Sharma Makes Second Ascent of Joe Mama (5.15a)
  • VIDEO: Stefano Carnati Climbing Le Cadre Nouvelle (9a/5.14d), Céüse
  • Matty Hong Sends Shadowboxing (5.14d) and Kryptonite (5.14d)
  • Adam Ondra Climbs New 5.15b, Onsights 5.14c
  • Isabelle Faus Sends Her Second V14, The Wheel of Chaos
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Bags Third Ascent of Jungle Boogie (5.15a)
  • Life and Death in the Karakoram: Climbing Latok I and Ogre II
  • VIDEO: Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker's "Crucifix Project"
  • Wide Boyz Establish World’s Longest Roof Crack - Crown of Thorns (5.14a)
  • Mark Anderson Sends Shadowboxing (5.14d), Rifle, Colorado
  • VIDEO: Kilian Fischhuber Repeats Rätikon's Headless Children (8b/5.13d)
  • Chris Sharma Sends Five-Year 5.15 Deep Water Solo Project
  • Daniel Woods Climbs Black 90 Project at V16
  • Marc-André Leclerc Solos Patagonia’s Torre Egger in Winter
  • Matty Hong Repeats Fat Camp (5.14d) in Rifle, Colorado
  • Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces 2016 Finalists
  • Remembering Kim Schmitz, by John Roskelley
  • Ondra Seizes Lead Championship, American Women Climb High
  • Roger Schaeli Makes Second Ascent of La Vida es Silbar, Eiger North Face
  • Ines Papert Makes Rare Ascent of Alpine Testpiece Scaramouche (5.13b/c)
  • Rob Collister: Gletscherhorn North Face, Swiss Alps
  • 2016 IFSC Climbing World Championships
  • VIDEO: Ryuichi Murai Sends Three V15’s In A Month
  • Ashima Shiraishi on Horizon (V15), Sleepy Rave (V15) & “Young Guns”
  • VIDEO: Chris Sharma Trains With Patxi Usobiaga For ‘Le Blond’ Project
  • Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature 2016 Shortlist
  • VIDEO: Dave Graham Sends Monkey Wedding (V15), Rocklands
  • Search Called Off for Missing Pair in Pakistan
  • (Updated) Weather to Break, Helicopters Expected to Fly in Search for Adamson and Dempster in Karakorum
  • ​Tommy Caldwell Free Climbs Mount Hooker in a Day Car to Car
  • Domen Skofic, Magdalena Röck Victorious at Imst Lead World Cup
  • Alex Megos Flashes The Path (5.14 R) On Gear, Talks Fightclub (5.15b)
  • Coxsey, Narasaki Overall 2016 Bouldering World Cup Champions
  • Dave Graham Sends Old Nemesis, Monkey Wedding (V15)
  • Alex Megos Establishes Fightclub – Canada’s First 5.15
  • Margo Hayes, 18, Breaks the “Boys Club” of Bad Girls Club (5.14d)
  • Jon Cardwell Finishes Fat Camp (5.14d), Rifle First Ascent
  • VIDEO: Man Attempts to Climb Trump Tower, Gets Nabbed
  • Jan Hojer, Michaela Kiersch Win 2016 Psicobloc Masters, Park City
  • Miranda Oakley Breaks Women’s Solo Speed Record on the Nose
  • REEL ROCK 11 Film Tour Lineup
  • Taking Back the Record - The Nose, Yosemite
  • Sean Bailey, 20, Clips Chains on Biographie/Realization (5.15a)
  • Ashima Tops Second V15, Sleepy Rave, Grampians, Australia
  • Tokyo 2020 Olympics Officially Approves Climbing
  • A Win for Tennessee Climbing: Denny Cove Protected
  • Megos Crushes Canada: Seven 5.14b’s in Four Days
  • Toshi Takeuchi, Shawn Raboutou Smash Spray of Light (V15)
  • Drew Ruana, 16, Sends Le Cadre Nouvelle (5.14d) in Céüse
  • VIDEO: Melissa Le Nevé on Training, Comps and Outdoor Projects
  • Dave Di Paolo, Carderock Hammer Killer, Sentenced to 10 Years
  • Climbers Spook Gunman, Allowing Hostages to Flee on Independence Pass
  • Adam Ondra Cranks 5.15a FA in Three Attempts, Onsights Two 5.14c's
  • VIDEO: Alex Megos Sends Ben Moon’s Infamous Hubble (5.14c)
  • Nalle Hukkataival, Vadim Timonov Send Monkey Wedding (V15)
  • Gary Falk, IFMGA Guide, Falls to Death on Grand Teton
  • Janja Garnbret Dominates Lead World Cup, Again
  • Sherpas on Denali: First Nepalese Ascent of the West Rib
  • Mich Kemeter Frees 14-Pitch Voie Petit (8b 5.13d) on Grand Capucin
  • Paul Robinson - South African Boulder Fiend and Visionary
  • Nalle Hukkataival Repeats The Dragon’s Guardian (~V15), South Africa
  • Sean McColl, Janja Garnbret Take Gold At 2016 Villars World Cup
  • Margo Hayes, Brian Huang Win USA Climbing Junior Sport Nationals
  • Seb Bouin Repeats Thor’s Hammer (~5.15a), Suggests Downgrade
  • Inspect Your DMM Climbing Harness
  • Slovenians Victorious at First Lead World Cup of Season
  • Ashima Shiraishi Injured in 45-Foot Ground Fall
  • Weekend Whipper: Climbers vs. Trees
  • Adam Ondra Establishes The Right of Passage (5.14d), Flatanger
  • Sachi Amma Repeats Thor's Hammer (9a+ 5.15a)
  • Paul Robinson Establishes The Dragon’s Guardian (V15), South Africa
  • Three El Cap Routes in a Day for Brad Gobright and Scott Bennett
  • Q&A: Martin Keller, 39, Sends 13-Year Project Highlander (8C V15)
  • American Alpine Club Announces 2016 Craggin’ Classics
  • The Battle for Indian Creek: Bears Ears, Rob Bishop & the Access Fund
  • Jon Cardwell's Biographie (9a+ 5.15a) Training and Projecting Advice
  • Dave Graham Makes Third Ascent of Delirium (V15)
  • Caroline Gleich, World-Famous Ski Mountaineer, is a Trad Addict
  • Virtual Reality: Watch Alex Honnold Solo the Needles in 360-degrees
  • Bouldering Access is Back in Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland
  • Adam Ondra Makes First Ascent of 120 Degrees (5.15a), Flatanger
  • VIDEO: Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll Loves Pain and Dirty, Wet Cracks
  • Klemen Bečan Sends Papichulo (5.15a), Disappointed With Ease
  • Margo Hayes, 18, Sends The Crew (5.14c) in Rifle
  • President Obama Takes Over Yosemite
  • Rustam Gelmanov Makes Second Ascent of Hypnotized Minds (V16)
  • RIP Ken Wilson: Editor of Mountain Magazine, Rabble-Rouser
  • Lena Herrmann, 22, Climbs 5.14c in the Frankenjura
  • The Desert – Excerpt from “American Climber” by Luke Mehall
  • Heather Weidner Sends China Doll (5.14a R) on Gear
  • INTERVIEW: USA Boulderers On the IFSC World Cup in Vail
  • Stefano Carnati Sends Action Directe (5.14d), Frankenjura
  • RIP: Nicholas Clinch, 85, Led Only American First Ascent of an 8000er
  • Jonathan Siegrist's Mission to Rediscover Switzerland's World-Class Sport Climbing
  • Megan Mascarenas Dominates 2016 Vail Bouldering World Cup
  • Mélissa Le Nevé, a Top-Three Boulderer at Vail World Cup, Talks Rock
  • VIDEO: Pump Control and Efficient Resting for Climbing
  • Virginia Sandstone Crag Opened to Climbing
  • Bouldering World Cup Comes to Vail, Colorado This Weekend
  • Alex Megos Sends Hubble (8c+), Northern Lights (9a)
  • INTERVIEW: Melissa Arnot on Climbing Everest Without Supplemental Oxygen
  • Dai Koyamada Establishes Nehanna (V14/15) in Japan
  • VIDEO: Daniel Woods on the Elusive V17 Bouldering Grade
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra Makes Second Ascent of Geocache (9a+/5.15a)
  • Q&A: Jon Cardwell On Climbing Biographie/Realization (9a+/5.15a)
  • Adam Ondra Repeats Geocache (9a+/5.15a) in a Day
  • American Melissa Arnot Claims Mount Everest Record
  • Jon Cardwell Sends Biographie/Realization (5.15a)
  • Coxsey, Chon Win Innsbruck Bouldering World Cup
  • Nathaniel Coleman, Brooke Raboutou Win 2016 Riverrock Boulder Bash
  • Zimmerman, Wright Establish New Route in Alaska’s St. Elias Range
  • Three Dead, Two Missing and Hundreds Summit on Everest
  • Robbie Phillips and Jacob Cook Free El Cap’s 30-Pitch El Niño
  • VIDEO: Chris Sharma On His Santa Linya Project
  • Climbing and Mentorship Come Together at City Rocks
  • Japan Triumphs at Bouldering World Cup in Navi Mumbai
  • Silvio Reffo Sends Goldrake (5.15a), Cornalba, Italy
  • VIDEO: Alex Megos Sends First Round, First Minute (5.15b)
  • Ofer Blutrich Sends Mind Control - First Israeli to Climb 5.14c
  • INTERVIEW: Sonnie Trotter on Freeing "The Prow," 5.14a Multi-pitch
  • Valley Walls: A Memoir of Climbing and Living in Yosemite
  • VIDEO: Adam Ondra Attempts The World's First 5.15a Flash
  • VIDEO: The Width of Life - Tribute to Dave Pegg, Colorado Climbing Legend
  • William Bosi, 17, Climbs Rainshadow (5.14d), Malham Cove
  • Shauna Coxsey Triumphs, Tomoa Narasaki Shocks at Chongqing World Cup
  • Alex Lowe's and David Bridges' Remains Found on Shishapangma
  • Mark Cole, Longtime Leader in SE Climbing, Passes at 58
  • The Greatest Boulderer You’ve Never Heard Of: Ryuichi Murai's on Fire
  • Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation's Khumbu Climbing Center Almost Complete
  • Climbers Remember Nepal on Anniversary of Earthquake
  • Shauna Coxsey Dominates at Kazo World Cup
  • VIDEO: Epic Climber - Sharma, Ondra, Digiulian, and Marin in Spain
  • Adam Ondra On Climbing In The Olympics
  • Crack School with Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker (Video Series)
  • Mary Harlan: Heartiness, Suffering and The Zion Link-Up
  • Chuck Pratt's "The View From Dead Horse Point"
  • VIDEO: Ethan Pringle Sends Meadowlark Lemon (V14), Red Rock
  • Megan Mascarenas Places Third At Meiringen Bouldering World Cup
  • VIDEO: Slow Details - 2016 Meiringen Bouldering World Cup
  • Tyler Armstrong, 12, Denied Permit to Climb Mount Everest
  • Drew Ruana Sends Five 5.14s, Onsights Four 5.13s at the RRG
  • Ryuichi Murai Sends Hydrangea (V15), His Third V15 in a Month
  • Roland Hemetzberger Frees 22-Year-Old Project, Outro (5.15a)
  • Everest's Icefall Doctors Establish 2016 Route Through Khumbu Icefall
  • Black Diamond Recalls Camalots/Camalot Ultralights, Ascenders and Via Ferratas
  • Glen Dawson, Sierra Nevada Climbing Pioneer, Dies at 103
  • Jim Curran, British Climber and Author of "K2, The Story of The Savage Mountain," Dies
  • Stefano Ghisolfi Sends Adam Ondra’s Goldrake (5.15a)
  • Access Fund 2016 Climbing Preservation Grants
  • Michaela Kiersch Sends Pure Imagination (5.14c)
  • Five New Mixed Routes in Pilot Creek, Wyoming
  • Allen Frame Hill, Climber-Filmmaker, Found Dead at Home
  • VIDEO: Profondo Sud - Bouldering in Basilicata, Italy
  • Ryan Vachon Makes Second Ascent of Saphira (M15-)
  • Adam Ondra Claims 5.15a/b and 5.14d First Ascents in One Weekend
  • Brooke Raboutou, Dru Mack Send Southern Smoke (5.14c) at the RRG
  • Durango Climbers Linkup Six Fisher Towers in Under 24 Hours
  • Margo Hayes Sends Pure Imagination (5.14c) at the Red River Gorge
  • VIDEO: Edu Marin Discovers His Limits On Alex Huber's Sansara (8b+/5.14a)
  • Matty Hong Sends Papichulo (5.15a) in Oliana, Spain
  • 2016 Piolets d’Or Award Recipients Announced
  • Jon Cardwell Sends Shadow Boxing (5.14d), Flashes Waka Flocka (5.14b)
  • Interview: Klemen Bečan on the First Ascent of Joe Mama (5.15a)
  • Ashima Shiraishi Sends V15!
  • Stefano Carnati, 17, Makes Quick Work of Goldrake (5.15a) in Italy
  • Margo Hayes, Sean Bailey Win USA Sport Open National Championships
  • Big Crowds, Big Money: Climbers Bring $3.6 Million to the RRG
  • Ethan Pringle and La Reina Mora – The Full Story
  • V15 Send Train by Adam Ondra, Sachi Amma and Jongwon Chon
  • The Bold and Cold: A History of 25 Classic Climbs in the Canadian Rockies
  • The 2015 Sharp End Awards from the Access Fund
  • Alex Puccio on Grade Chasing and Climbing Media
  • Magnus Midtbø Makes Fourth Ascent of Seleccion Anal (9a+/5.15a)
  • Daniel Woods Sends Papichulo (5.15a) in Oliana, Spain
  • Legendary Climber Cal Swoager Dies at 66
  • Klemen Bečan Puts Up New 5.15a in Oliana, Spain
  • Mayan Smith-Gobat and Ines Papert Repeat Riders on the Storm, Patagonia
  • Interview: Marc-Andre Leclerc Solos Three Routes on Stanley Headwall
  • Gaetan Raymond Repeats World's Hardest Dry Tooling Route
  • Nacho Sánchez Sends Catalán Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • First Winter Ascent of Nanga Parbat
  • The Final Frontier – Rumney, NH Land Purchase
  • Scott Cosgrove, Bold Yosemite Climber, Passes Away
  • Highlights from the 2016 Ice Climbing World Youth Championship
  • Felipe Camargo Repeats Catalán Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • Adam Ondra Repeats Sharma’s Stoking the Fire (5.15b)
  • Lucie Hrozová Establishes Hardest Mixed Climb in U.S.
  • ​Snowball Fight on K2: Interview with Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita
  • Drew Ruana, 16, Establishes Smith Rock’s Hardest Route
  • Pasang Lhamu Sherpa Akita Named Nat Geo Adventurer of the Year
  • Jimmy Webb, Charles Albert Repeat Fontainebleau's “Hardest Climb”
  • Alex Puccio, Jakob Schubert Win 2016 Hueco Rock Rodeo
  • Climbing Anchors and the Evolution of the Quad
  • Tom Ballard Establishes World’s Hardest Dry Tooling Route
  • Tim Emmett, Klemen Preml Establish 260-Foot WI 12 at Helmcken Falls
  • Jimmy Webb Sends The Big Island (V15), Toupie Carnivore assis (V14)
  • Kevin Lopata Sends Jour de Chasse (V15), Fontainebleau (with video)
  • Rocasolano Makes Second Ascent of Catalan Witness the Fitness (V15)
  • VIDEO: Jonathan Siegrist Sends Power Inverter (5.15a)
  • Black Diamond Recalls Carabiners, Quickdraws and Slings
  • Jimmy Webb Sends l’Alchemiste In Three Tries – Downgrades
  • Brette Harrington Free Solos Austríaca in Patagonia
  • Nathaniel Coleman, Megan Mascarenas Win 2016 Bouldering Nationals
  • Marianne van der Steen Flashes Kamasutra (D13+)
  • Alex Honnold and Colin Haley Repeat the Torre Traverse in a Day
  • Barefoot Climber First to Repeat Original l’Alchimiste (~V14)
  • Alban Levier Cranks Third Ascent of l’Alchimiste (V15)
  • New Big Wall Route Established on El Diente North Face in Mexico
  • Epic Ascent of Yosemite’s Ephemeral Widow’s Tears
  • Colin Haley on Patagonian Solo Streak
  • VIDEO: Tom Randall Takes Down the Kraken (V13)
  • Ryan Vachon Dominates 2016 Ouray Mixed Climbing Competition
  • Guillaume Glairon-Mondet Puts Up New V16 in Fontainebleau
  • Two Experienced Climbers Killed in the Scottish Highlands
  • Jimmy Webb Sends The Game (V15)
  • Siegrist Sends Power Inverter (5.15a), Flashes Fish Eye (5.14b) in Spain
  • Jakob Schubert Sends La Planta de Shiva (5.15b) in Spain
  • VIDEO: Ueli Steck - Accepting Risk, Reward & Danger (Part 4)
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    Mark Anderson Sends Shadowboxing (5.14d), Rifle, Colorado

    03-Oct-2016
    By Mark Anderson

    This article was previously published on trango.com

    On Friday, September 23rd, I reached my lifetime sport climbing goal of climbing a 5.14d. Actually it’s a bit of a stretch to call it a “lifetime goal,” since for the vast majority of my life I never dreamed I’d be capable of climbing a route so hard. That changed last summer. I was at the International Climbers' Fest in Lander, Wyoming, listening to Ethan Pringle’s inspiring keynote address about his journey to send Jumbo Love. He spent seven years working the route, including 18 days during the Spring 2015 season in which he eventually sent it. I had never spent 18 days on any route ever, even spread over multiple seasons or years.

    Mark Anderson on the third ascent of <em>Shadowboxing</em> (5.14d), Rifle, Colorado. Photo: Mike Anderson.My takeaway from Ethan’s talk was that I didn’t know the first thing about commitment. Not on the scale that sport climbing’s elite practice it. I routinely hear tales of top climbers spending scores of days, over many seasons or years, to send their hardest routes. I had never even tried to do that. I typically picked projects that I already knew I could send, and expected to do in a single season. Never once had I clipped the chains on a hard project and thought “that’s the hardest I can climb; I can’t climb any harder.” Instead I most often felt a deflating “well, that was easy” as I casually finished off my dialed project. Never once had I selected a goal route expecting it would take multiple seasons to send, if I were able to send it at all. If I wanted to find my true limit, some day I would have to try something hard-enough that the outcome would be uncertain. To have any chance of succeeding, I would have to commit to an all-out effort despite the very real possibility that it could culminate in utter failure.

    I had been enjoying life at 5.14c for a few years. While I’m still making gains through training, frankly, the pace is glacial. At 39 years old, it’s unlikely I can count on suddenly becoming a significantly stronger or more powerful climber. If I’m not at my lifetime physical peak, I’m pretty close to it. Furthermore, I have two young kids, and I don’t want to plan my family’s lives around hard sport climbing for much longer. It was the right time to make an all-out effort, to put my 20+ years of hard-earned knowledge and ability to the test. I needed a worthy goal.

    In the American grade scale “5.14d” may not sound much better than 5.14c, perhaps not worth an extra special, once-in-a-lifetime effort. But most of the world uses the French scale, where 5.14c is “8c+”, and 5.14d is “9a”. The Ninth Grade is a magical threshold. Wolfgang Gullich separated himself from the other protagonists of the sport climbing revolution with his ascent of the world’s first 9a, Action Directe. It’s what every top sport climber around the globe aspires to, and clearly worthy of a special effort.

    After several weeks of research and deliberation, I settled on Rifle’s hardest route, Shadowboxing, a phenomenal, slightly overhanging 40-meter wall of underclings, slopers and edges. The route was originally bolted in the 90’s by Nico Favresse, tried by many, but left to collect dust until Jonathan Siegrist arrived in 2011 to bag the first ascent. This attracted more suitors, until a key hold in the crux crumbled, leaving the route’s status in question. Jonathan eventually re-climbed the line to prove it would still go, but despite attempts by most of Rifle’s best climbers, no further ascents came until Jon Cardwell put it together in August 2015.

    <em>Shadowboxing</em> climbs the gently overhanging sweep of porcelain limestone directly across from <em>The Eighth Day</em>.That history provided plenty of unnecessary intimidation for me. I don’t have a great track record at Rifle. I’ve failed there more than at any other crag. I’m best suited for thin, technical lines where I can stand on my feet and use my tediously cultivated finger strength. The burly, upper-arm intensive thuggery of Rifle has sent me slinking out of the canyon with my tail between my legs more often than I care to admit. So I decided to give it four days of reconnaissance, and then re-evaluate. At the end of those four days I was still psyched to continue, and soon after I was hooked.

    I spent 13 days working the route in the Fall of 2015. I made a lot of progress, including many routine “two-hangs” but wasn’t truly close to sending. I did, however, gain some confidence that I could do it, eventually. I returned in May 2016 for another 12 days of frustration stemming from the flu, perpetually wet and seeping rock, broken holds and a tweaked back, ultimately devolving into oppressive heat. Despite my laundry list of excuses, I made significant progress, most notably a handful of one-hang ascents. By mid-June I was failing more often than not about seven hard-but-not-desperate moves from the end of the difficulties. As the summer heat squashed my chances, I could honestly say I was close. But I would need to wait several months for decent conditions to return to the canyon.

    Over the summer I trained, adjusting my program so that I would arrive physically ready to send when I returned in September. It worked. In training I was experiencing the best power of my career simultaneously with the best endurance of my career. Normally those peaks are separated by four to five weeks. On my first go back on the route I matched my previous highpoint. I knew I was physically strong and fit-enough to send, I just needed to re-gain the muscle memory for the route’s 100-plus moves.

    Thursday night we checked into our hotel, with the Friday forecast showing a 40-percent chance of rain, mostly before noon. The next morning it was partly cloudy with a scant few sprinkles, but a sickly dark cloud loomed ahead as we approached the crag. We arrived to a steady rain. Shadowboxing was still dry, except for the last two bolts of 5.10 climbing. But based on the forecast, we expected the rain to stop within a couple hours, so we decided to wait. Four hours of hyper-active pacing later, I was pulling out my hair to climb. The rain seemed to be ebbing, but water streaks had streamed down the top third of the climb, soaking the thin edges and pockets surrounding my previous highpoint. I decided the day would be a loss anyway, so I might as well get started, regardless of the wetness, figuring I could at least rehearse the lower cruxes in preparation for redpoint attempts on Sunday.

    Surprisingly by the time I finished my warmup, the upper panel seemed dry. My first go of the day was solid, resulting in my eighth one-hang, but with some encouraging micro-progress on the “Crimp Crux” that ended the burn (along with the seven previous one-hangs). The fickle move is a long rock right on a slippery foothold to reach a shallow crimp/pocket. While certainly difficult, I realized my troubles with this move were more mental than physical. After failing here so many times, I had trained myself to expect it–to brace for the fall instead of focusing on my execution. After I fell I rehearsed the move a couple times, making a point to move off the hold as soon as I grabbed it, instead of bouncing and adjusting my grip until I had it latched perfectly.

    At the “Crimp Crux”, with my left hand on the “Pinch Plate”, eyeing the shallow crimp/pocket that ended eight redpoint attempts.  Photo: Mike Anderson.I rested about an hour and tied back in for my last attempt of the day. I cruised up the opening slab, over a short roof, then into the business. I flew past a series of crux holds, each one representing the doubts and tribulations I eventually overcame to master them in previous seasons. I was going well, confident I would reach the rest at two-thirds height. Once there, I implored myself to try hard and remain focused at the crimp crux—just keep cranking full speed ahead until you fall off.

    Eventually I went for it, feeling the first wave of pump doubt about ten moves higher. I kept motoring, paddling my hands and feet toward the Crimp Crux. I stepped up to the hovering, thin panel of rippled limestone, and grabbed the sloping and thin “Pinch Plate” with my left hand. This time I completely committed to latching the crimp—I tried hard and focused on doing the move correctly. I hit the shallow crimp—not especially well–but I didn’t care and I didn’t hesitate. Instead I immediately rolled it up, and proceeded, fully expecting to fall on the next move—a sideways slap to an incut slot—but I didn’t. The key piece of beta turned out to be: TRY FUCKING HARD. Don’t give up, and don’t hesitate. If you hit the hold, however badly, just keep going. Assume you have it good enough, until gravity says otherwise. That’s not always the right beta, but it was right on that move, on that day.

    I had finally done the Crimp Crux from the ground, but there were plenty of hard moves remaining. I felt pumped but I kept charging. I stabbed for a shallow three-finger pocket and latched it. As I moved my left foot up to the first of two micro edges, my leg began to shake. I stepped my right foot up to the next micro edge, and it too began to shake. I got my feet on as well as I could despite the vibrations, leaned right, and stabbed left for a half-pad two-finger pocket, again expecting to fall. I latched it and pulled my trembling right foot up. Now I hesitated. The next move was really hard. While I’d never reached it on redpoint before, I’d had plenty of nightmares about falling off here. And now there was no denying–I was absolutely pumped. I took a good look at the target (a four-finger, incut half-pad edge), settled in my stance, and with zero reluctance I slapped for it, putting 100% effort and concentration into the latch. I hit it accurately, but I had a lot of outward momentum to stop. I had it well enough though. I bounced my fingers on, amazed that I stuck it.

    "The key piece of beta turned out to be: TRY FUCKING HARD. Don’t give up, and don’t hesitate."Next I had to high-step my left foot into the incut slot. It felt incredibly hard for a foot move, but I got it on there, somehow. By now my elbows were sticking straight out. I noticed I wasn’t thumb-catching with my right hand like I ought to, but it seemed too late to correct. Now the only thing to do was huck for the jug and pray the friction was sufficient to keep me on the wall. Somehow it worked, but I wasn’t home free yet. I was pumped out of my skull and had one more long throw to do. As I was wiggling my left hand into the best position on the jug, I could feel the lip crumbling under my fingers. Not good! I kept it together despite an evil impulse to give up and jump off (saying take wouldn’t have helped, I was now ten feet above the last draw!). I squeezed a few fingers of my right hand onto the jug so I could adjust my left hand and clear the new formed debris. I pulled up into position for the throw and hesitated for an eternity, fruitlessly kicking my flagging left foot around in hope of some purchase.

    I felt my momentum fizzling and my hips sag. As I imagined my pathetic, sorry-excuse-for-a-climber-carcass hurtling towards the ground after failing to even try a 5.9 dyno, I heard, for the first time, the shouts of encouragement from the gallery of climbers warming up at the Project Wall. At my moment of greatest doubt, although not uttered particularly loud, I heard clearly, as though he were standing next to me, Dave Graham* calmly urge “Allez.” I can’t explain it. It wasn’t the word but the way he said it—like he was talking to himself, and sincerely wanted me to do it. That was the difference, and in that moment I chose to do it. I slapped up and stuck it.

    [*the first American to climb Action Directe, and one of the first three to climb 5.15]

    The end of <em>Shadowboxing’s</em> lower crux section. Photo: Mike Anderson.The desperation of the last sequence and support from below forced an excited “YEAHHH!” out of me once I realized I had the hold. I rested on the jug for a long time, or rather procrastinated, terrified that the 20-feet of climbing remaining, which were exposed to the full fury of the rain, would be wet or covered in silt from the runoff. Although the climbing was only 5.10 in this section, it’s very insecure, balancy climbing on non-positive slopers. In the end it was trivial–the holds were neither wet nor dirty. I methodically worked up towards the anchor, with no drama, clipping the anchor easily, exclaiming “Wooooohoo! You’re my bitch Rifle!”—the last word on an up and down love/hate relationship with Rifle. To have my greatest triumph there, even though it came at an absurd cost, was incredibly satisfying.

    And it was my greatest triumph. Obviously, objectively, it’s the hardest rock climb I’ve done. I spent roughly twice as many days on it (28) as any other project, at the time of my physical peak. But the real challenge was mental. Jonathan named the route “Shadowboxing” as a nod to its lack of shade. But the name took on a different meaning for me, the dictionary definition. It became increasingly clear as the process evolved that I was fighting myself. Physically, I was able, but mentally I was not prepared to accept that I was good enough to climb such a hard route. Overcoming that barrier and sticking with it to the end was the most mentally difficult thing I’ve ever done—harder than the Cassin Ridge, finishing a marathon off the couch, Boot Camp, or the endless drudgery and starvation of high school wrestling. Never have I had to persevere through so much persistent failure, so many setbacks, over so many days and multiple seasons. So many times I could have quit, and I would have been well-justified in doing so. But I kept going. Each off-season, I looked at fat Mark in the mirror and wondered if I’d be able to regain my form in time for the next season. Each time I did. The day of the send was a microcosm of the entire campaign. So many things didn’t go perfectly, so many moments of doubt or indecision crept in to derail my focus. But I kept moving towards the goal, and I was rewarded for it.

    Falling off at the Crimp Crux, "an experience I was all-too familiar with." Photo: Mike Anderson.When I first got to the ground, someone asked how long I’d been working the route, and I said “So long I’m embarrassed to say”. I am slightly ashamed of how long it took. From a performance improvement perspective, I’m skeptical that was the best way to spend an entire year of my climbing life, even though that is precisely the experience I signed up for. Still, despite my excessive sieging, the route never really got any easier. During the process I (or others) broke at least seven holds that I can remember. If anything the route got objectively harder. That difficutly forced me to train far harder, and sacrifice far more than I ever have for a sport climb. As a result, I got significantly better. I stayed focused and determined despite countless setbacks and distractions.

    That’s the great thing about a stretch goal—it forces you to stretch yourself in order to reach it. It wasn’t an experience I enjoyed, but it is was the experience I needed if I wanted to know my limit. As I clipped the chains, I never once thought “well, that was easy.” Instead, I reflected on how hard I worked over the last year, and marveled at how hard I tried in the moment of truth. I’ve never had to try that hard during a redpoint. I’ve never successfully linked so many consecutive 50/50 moves. I doubt I ever will again. That was a special moment, the culmination of a special year. From the admittedly narrow perspective of this one moment in my life, I can truly say, that is the hardest I can climb.

     

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    P.S., I have to thank my wife Kate. If you ever wonder how it’s possible for me to climb so much with two small kids, the answer is Kate. She takes up the ample parenting slack that my climbing creates. This project was particularly burdensome. Kate endured interminable belay sessions, interminable rest days, and my interminable whining over every little setback. I simply could not have done it without her. Thanks also to my brother Mike who constantly pushes me to be better than I ever think I’m capable of (and for the photos and belays). Thanks to Trango for supporting me despite a year of meager results, to Shaun Corpron for the belays, and to all my friends on the Rock Prodigy Forum who shared their wisdom and support with me.

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