Climbing - - CONTENTS -

This Novem­ber, the REEL ROCK Film Tour re­turns bet­ter and bolder than ever, with four new films cel­e­brat­ing the best of our climb­ing com­mu­nity. From the ir­re­press­ible trad­ster and soloist Brad Go­bright go­ing for it madly, to par­a­climber Mau­reen Beck push­ing 5.12, to Chris Sharma’s hard­est deep- wa­ter solo yet, to Margo Hayes’s as­cent of 5.15, RR12 has it all. Check out reel­rock­ for the show­ing near­est you.

CLIMBER Brad Go­bright

ROUTE Crime of the Cen­tury (5.11b/c)

LO­CA­TION Squamish, Bri­tish Columbia

FILM Safety Third

With con­fec­tioner’s sugar from his morn­ing donut cov­er­ing his face, 29-year-old Brad Go­bright seems like an un­likely hero. The ab­sent­minded Go­bright for­gets his shorts, so he climbs Musta’ Been

High, a 5.13c R in El­do­rado Canyon, in his box­ers. Liv­ing out of his Civic and work­ing as a bus­boy in Boul­der, Colorado, Go­bright spends his men­tal and phys­i­cal en­ergy push­ing hard, dan­ger­ous climb­ing, of­ten un­roped. After sur­viv­ing a back-break­ing ground fall on Viceroy, a 5.14a R in Boul­der Canyon, Go­bright asks him­self if he’s will­ing to keep putting it on the line with his free solo­ing in El­do­rado—feats like 25 so­los of the Naked Edge (5.11); or the Doub-Grif­fith (5.11c/d), a thin, hy­per-ex­posed face/ arête—or if he’ll hang up his solo­ing shoes be­fore the stakes get too high.


CLIMBER Mau­reen Beck

ROUTE Reefer Mad­ness (5.11a)

LO­CA­TION Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado

FILM Stumped

Be­fore she climbs, Mau­reen Beck tapes up the soft skin of her left fore­arm. Born miss­ing her left hand, Beck tapes up to avoid a bloody mess when com­pet­ing in the adap­tive cat­e­gory at the IFSC World Climb­ing Cham­pi­onships, at the Vail GoPro Moun­tain Games, and at the USA Par­a­climb­ing World Cup. A New Eng­land na­tive, she has climbed multi-pitch routes on Poke-O-Moon­shine in the Adiron­dacks, Plumb Line (5.9+) at Vedau­woo, and the Cave Route (5.10+) in In­dian Creek. Her stump fits cracks down to .75, but she’s un­sure how wide she can jam, which she might in­ves­ti­gate after she ticks her lat­est goal: 5.12. After clock­ing out of her job for El­do­rado Climb­ing Walls, Beck heads to the sport crags of Clear Creek Canyon, where she’s hop­ing to be­come the first woman with one arm to climb the grade, chang­ing the way peo­ple per­ceive climbers with dis­abil­i­ties. “I don’t want to just be a good one-armed climber,” says Beck. “I want to be a good climber.”


CLIMBER Chris Sharma

ROUTE Alasha (un­rated)

LO­CA­TION Mal­lorca, Spain

FILM Above the Sea

Eleven years have passed since Chris Sharma showed how hard climbers could push it above the waves with his FA of the Mal­lorca sea arch Es Pon­tas (5.15a). Post– Es Pon­tas, Sharma set out to find the next big deep-wa­ter solo (DWS) on Mal­lorca. He’d swim along the north­west coast, scop­ing clif­fline. One day, he swam out to where the wa­ter was deep and dark, into an “omi­nous place” where a tanand-or­ange face tilted over the deep. This be­came his DWS pro­ject Alasha, com­pleted in Septem­ber 2016. Fun, flow­ing 5.12 leads to the crux 55 feet up, where the wall tips out. Work­ing up into a slop­ing un­der­cling rail and then pimp­ing for mi­cros, Sharma fi­nally pulled through “12 moves of su­per-gnarly boul­der­ing” (an es­ti­mated V13). It was a route he’d tried on and off for years. “There re­ally is noth­ing like be­ing on a huge wall just with your climb­ing shoes, your chalk­bag, and dan­gling by your fin­ger­tips,” says Sharma.


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