New 5.14 Trad Line Near Boulder

New 5.14 Trad Line Near Boulder

Matt Wilder has done a new trad line in the Flatirons outside of Boulder, CO. ¬†Climbing the North Face of the Devil’s Thumb, Cheating Reality (5.14a R) has sequences as hard as V10 over sometimes marginal all natural gear:

Though the route had some fixed gear, I decided to lead it completely on natural protection. This made the route a bit scarier, but also more clean. The first section (up to the end of the aid route) requires some 5.12a R (maybe R/X) climbing in the first 40ft. Then the gear gets better. The route’s crux move is well protected by two adjacent pieces. After the crux you get some gear before embarking on the headwall but it’s a bit marginal. The final headwall crux (which is about V7) is done with your feet about 5ft above the marginal gear which is about 7ft above the good gear — definitely a bit scary.

Read the rest of the story, and see a few pictures of the route, at Wilder’s blog.

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3 Responses to New 5.14 Trad Line Near Boulder

  1. Mark October 19, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    THESE are the things I like to see. Scary, sporty, futuristic overhanging trad stuff. Sickkk.

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  2. corey October 19, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    I don’t see how not clipping fixed gear that is already stuck on a route makes it more clean. On many routes in the flatirons and eldo clipping fixed pro on the route such as an old pin is necessary as the only gear and doesn’t negate the “purity” of the ascent, anyone who’s taken a ride onto a fixed pin can attest to that. I also don’t see how headpointing a route until you know it like the back of your hand before you lead it counts as a trad climb. In a traditional sense placing bolts and/or pins are a scarce but acceptable option if there is no gear available if they are placed on the lead. Im not trying to bash on Matt Wilder because he is a fiend I just think people should be aware that “trad” doesn’t stand for the type of protection you use

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    • Narc October 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

      Well, since Matt doesn’t actually use the term “trad” explicitly I will take credit for doing that. The topic of what constitutes a trad climb these days has been discussed at length recently, I believe in Rock & Ice among other outlets. You are right in the purest sense of the word, but few people seem to adhere to those principles when it comes to climbing really difficult lines.

      As for the gear, he does state in his post that he would like to remove the fixed gear so I suppose it makes sense that he didn’t use it while freeing the line.

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