Five Things Friday – Climbing news round up – 1st Feb

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Your gear is all packed and ready to go, the weekend beckons, the crag is calling. All that stands between you and the proj is your boss’s mood. Fill that time wisely with our weekly climbing news round up – starting with a big repeat of a Beth Rodden Yosemite classic! Lots of video today, pop in the headphones are look like you’re concentrating.

1 – Carlo Traversi repeats Meltdown

In 2008 Beth Rodden put up the now legendary Meltdown – a 5.14c / 8c+ traditionally protected (no bolts) tiny crack line. The beautiful route is in a hidden bit of Yosemite next to a freezing cold waterfall. The belayer stands in a rising pool of cold water while the route goes up a super thin crack that takes tips and finger locks.

The route has gone unrepeated for 10 years. Yes, a route in Yosemite that doesn’t have a queue and hasn’t even seen a single other person complete it. The video of the repeat has just been put out though it was climbed last year.

The route is to this day the hardest single pitch trad climb put up by a woman and still one of, if not the hardest trad climbs in the world. It stands as a testament to Beth Rodden’s climbing ability and perseverance – named after the breakdowns she had while putting up the route.

Carlo Traversi started trying the problem in 2013 and came back every season since – that’s six years of attempts – first getting it on top rope in only 2015 and completing it in November 2018. It’s an incredible problem and a massive tick for Carlo, a Boulder resident sponsored by Black Diamond and Adidas.

2 – Alex Honnold recreates the boulder problem from Freerider in a gym

VauxWall climbing gym in London got a new route setter when Alex Honnold remade the boulder problem from the Free Solo film in plastic form. The route is the boulder problem from Freerider on El Capitan, and the part Honnold was most tested by on his infamous ropeless ascent. Countdown to a comparison of the two side by side.

3 – Upper body only – Beastmaker International Footless Festival

Beastmaker make the multi-hold hangboards you see in gyms and inside vans worldwide. The Climbing Works gym in Sheffield hosted the annual feet-free competition that has one ridiculous rule and a large amount of elbow injuries. Some big names in UK climbing like Shauna Coxsey and young Olympics hopeful Molly Thompson-Smith attended. The video is hosted by Niall Grimes, host of the very good Jam Crack podcast. You may also remember him from the history section of Hard Grit.

4 – Bouldering Open National Qualifiers LIVE on ESPN3

For the first time you’ll be able to watch climbing live on ESPN3 today! Support your favourite climber and pick a favourite for the 2020 Olympics now as we see some of the future big names compete.

The USA Climbing Bouldering Open National Championships will be going through the qualifying rounds today with the Men’s Qualifiers starting at 12:30pm and Women’s Qualifiers at 4:30pm – Check the schedule here or watch live on ESPN3 here.

5 – Please wear a helmet

Inspired by this great article that you should go read now by Kathy from For the Love of Climbing podcast. You probably have a helmet, please just wear it – a personal plea from me.

It’s as simple as this: We’ve all slipped and taken a fall when we thought we were fine and had no warning. We’ve also all stepped over and had a foot on the wrong side of the rope for just one second when we were “fine”. It just takes both of these at the same time for your head to become the part of you with the most momentum, flying against a rock.

Think of it positively. One day you might take a big whipper, smash a helmet, and get a cool story and a nice wall decoration to go with it!

Stay safe :)

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