Southern Smoke (5.14c) FFA By Sasha DiGiulian

Southern Smoke (5.14c) FFA By Sasha DiGiulian

Today at Bob Marley in the Red River Gorge I bore witness to Sasha DiGiulian making an impressive send of Joe Kinder’s Southern Smoke (5.14c) for the route’s first female ascent. More details to come when I’m not typing on an iPhone…

Update: Well, we are back home now.  Being that this was one of the few times I was actually present for a newsworthy send you’d think I’d have a lot to add…but I really don’t.  It was sort of like “oh, there’s Sasha DiGiliuan and Magnus Midtbø climbing on Southern Smoke and Ultra Perm”.  Not wanting to be the stalker type I continued with my day of non-sending when all of a sudden Sasha was lowering to the ground and she had just done Southern Smoke.  No theatrics.  No protracted battle to send.  She just got to the crag, warmed up on a .13d and sent the route.  Pretty amazing really.  She even commented afterwards how she didn’t even get pumped!

Writing on his blog, Magnus Midtbø comments on how it was the “most impressive belay” he’s ever given and notes that Sasha sent the route on her 6th attempt making it look like 7a (5.11d).

For reference here’s a video of the route:

Update #2: DiGiulian went back and climbed on the route yesterday to capture these photos

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17 Responses to Southern Smoke (5.14c) FFA By Sasha DiGiulian

  1. @ginabegin March 20, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    Yes. PLEASE post up more and if you have pictures, we’d (Outdoor Women’s Alliance) love to see them!

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  2. Greg Davis March 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    geeeezus…. its a she-hulk!

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    • Narc March 22, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

      I was actually surprised by how much smaller she looks in person, even
      compared to seeing her at comps a couple of years ago

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      • Mark March 22, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

        I didn’t want to really

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      • Mark March 22, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

        Wow, seems like I messed up the new comment system. Anyway, I didn’t really want to make any comment, but I’ve had a few people that saw her, myself included, say that they agreed that she looked really really thin in comparison to the last time we’ve seen her. Its good to see she’s climbing strong though, not to take away from that, but I hope she’s in good health!

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        • Anonymous March 23, 2011 at 12:21 am #

          Sasha is an amazing talented climber. But I have also noticed that she has lost A lOT of weight compared to past years when I have seen her. I am commenting out of concern for her well being. I also believe it is very important for role models of young girls coming up in the sport to demonstrate the correct way to strong rather than putting their health at jeopardy.

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        • Mark K March 23, 2011 at 1:56 am #

          I’m back, commenting through my Twitter handle. I’m glad someone had the strength to say what I didn’t want to. 8a.nu harps on the issue of BMI more than I’d ever think necessary, but its true, that what I was saying was out of concern for her well being. I hope she is doing well, and its great she’s climbing hard, but its not at all a good thing if it comes at the sake of her well being. This is obviously speculation. She could just be super thin, but she has been getting thinner.

          Sasha, if you read this, I hope you’re not upset. We’re not trying to be critical, just concerned. Keep climbing hard, girl, but take care of yourself!

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        • Al March 24, 2011 at 3:31 am #

          Maybe she’s just a “wizard” like the Dave Graham’s and Adam Ondras…

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  3. David Reifert March 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    5.15 in her future one would think… Unrelated, 2:18 mark in the video, Kinder clips a draw so ridiculously fast I’m still in awe.

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    • Narc March 22, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

      Perhaps. It would have to be of a specific style I would think and also
      keep in mind that Southern Smoke was something like “only” the 3rd 5.14 of
      any grade Sasha has done so there is much more consolidation to be done in
      the 5.14 grade before 5.15 becomes a possibility. Then again, maybe not
      since it didn’t take long for her to get up into the mid-5.14 range.

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    • Doug Lipinski March 27, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

      Pretty sure that clip was sped up. The camera is zooming at the time and the zoom speeds up during the clip. Still impressively fast though.

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  4. Carlos Lugo March 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    You should’ve interviewed her… I doubt she would’ve minded answering a few quick questions.

    As a rule, it’s impossible to be annoyed for the first hour after sending a project.
    It’s true, i read a study once.

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  5. Djones March 25, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    i recently saw Sasha, and I did not think she was looking healthy. She has lost unnecessary weight, and I’m suprised she is climbing as well as she is if she is not eatting. I hope she does not think her weight loss and success are related.

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    • Spro1 March 30, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

      I’m not going to comment on Sasha’s weight, as I think it beyond ridiculous to draw conclusions based on internet images and pictures, and I’ve never seen her in person.

      However, the fact remains that climbing as a sport is heavily dependent on ones strength to weight, and if you can decrease your weight while maintaining your strength, you are going to see performance improvements. There’s a reason why so many of the elite level climbers are skinny and lithe.

      That’s not to say that being underweight, malnurished or otherwise for your body type will always yield better performance. If you want to climb hard, you’ll need to climb often, and sustaining an unhealthy weight is going to exponentially increase your injury proneness, and limit your ability to get stronger. However, if you drop a considerable amount of weight, intelligently, for a short period of time (boxing, wrestling, climbing?), you’re not going to pose a huge health risk for yourself, and you will improve your performance in the short term.

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  6. Mark1279 March 30, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Of course her weight loss and success are related. She climbed hard before and is one of the best, but with less weight is at a new level. She looks much lighter now, and we all know how much being lighter helps.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Back in the days « Confessions of an amateur mountaineer - March 26, 2011

    […] I had a good laugh over this old-school magazine advertisement.  Hard to believe that this used to be the prevalent attitude towards women.  I don’t think I would have lasted long checking out men’s climbing sweaters.  I probably would have swiped the sweater and rope and organized my own climbing trip.  Wonder what the boys back then would have thought about girls today who are climbing hard and kicking ass like Sasha DiGiulian? […]

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    […] particularly hoping that Sasha DiGuilian would be there after I read she recently ascent a 5.14c, Southern Smoke. She is tearing it up. I also missed the high flying antics of Michael […]

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