La Rambla (5.15a)
Break On Through
When the Basque climber Josune Bereziartu redpointed
Bimbaluna (5.14d/15a) in Saint Loup, Switzerland, in May 2005, she set a high bar for women sport climbers—so high, in fact, that it would not be surpassed for another 12 years. On February 26, 2017, Colorado climber Margo Hayes, 19, redpointed La
Rambla, a 45-meter benchmark 5.15a in Siurana, Spain. After checking out the climb and France’s Realization, she settled on La Rambla as her 5.15 project—and became the first woman ever to climb the grade. Hayes’s redpoint took only seven days, but her preparation leading up to it was methodical and substantial: Hayes made sure she was ready by climbing 14 5.14s in her eighteenth year, including an ascent of the 5.14d Bad
Girls Club at Rifle. She also moved to Europe to train and climb, pushing hard to get ready, treading the razor’s edge between success and burnout. While Hayes’s journey was epic, it has cemented her role as one of the best climbers—male or female—in history, with more to come.