16 months ago Sasha DiGiulian was a well-regarded competition climber who had redpointed routes as hard as 5.13d. Then something happened. What, I don’t know. But whatever it is I’d like to be able to bottle it up and sell it.
In August of 2010 DiGiulian did more 5.14s in Rodellar, Spain, and this past March she redpointed two 5.14c’s and onsighted a 5.13d during a short trip to the Red River Gorge. Moving through the summer of 2011 she won overall gold in Arco, ticked off another 5.14c and made quick work of several “easy” 5.14s.
This past week DiGiulian returned to the Red River Gorge where she took things to the next level by doing the 3rd ascent of Jonathan Siegrist’s Pure Imagination (5.14d)1. Here’s what she said about the send on her 8a scorecard:
Wow, really psyched Amazing route, totally on edge climbing up a beautiful line! 6th try, 3rd day on it- seems to be my redpoint trend! Video and Photo footage coming by Keith Ladzinski and Andy Mann. Thanks for this awesome route, Jonathan!
This is the first 5.14d ever done by an American woman, and based on the fact that it only took her 6 tries, it would seem like the ceiling on DiGiulian’s talent has yet to be reached.
Correction: Well, I dabbed pretty bad on that first paragraph. DiGiulian actually did her first 5.14a back in 2009 although the pace has obviously picked up in the last year or so.