It’s only the second month into 2015, and we’ve already heard some incredibly amazing feats in the climbing world. From big walls to ice and bouldering, here are some of the climbers and their exciting accomplishments that have started 2015 with a bang and gotten us eager to climb harder.
Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson
If you didn’t hear about the Dawn Wall being freed by Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson, you must’ve been under a rock. It was all over the news and social media as Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson took on the Dawn Wall and finally conquered it after seven years of hard training, dedication and a passionate drive to conquer what was thought to be impossible. The Dawn Wall is an extremely difficult section of El Capitan in Yosemite. Caldwell and Jorgeson were in top form during this attempt, and although Jorgeson struggled on pitch 15, he pushed through the razor-sharp holds and torn up fingers and shared the glory of finishing this long-time project.
Daniel Woods may’ve just taken bouldering to the next level, beyond a V15. Right after hearing the news of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson freeing the Dawn Wall, Woods climbed one of the great undone projects in the Buttermilks of Bishop, California. The problem is known as The Process and is rumored to be a possible V16. If that isn’t impressive enough already, Woods attempted it at night since the line gets hit by the sunlight all day. So with a little help of some friends lighting up the problem with headlamps and lanterns, Woods attacked The Process and sent it.
Will Gadd and Sarah Hueniken
Will Gadd is renowned for his insane ice climbing projects and pushing way beyond the boundaries. Gadd and Sarah Hueniken became the first pair to ascend the world-famous Niagara Falls on January 29, 2015. The pair followed a 30-foot-wide strip of rotten spray ice that formed along the left edge of Horseshoe Falls, which rises up 150 feet, straddling the border between the United States and Canada. Gadd stated, “I’ve traveled the world in search of the most challenging climbs, but Niagara Falls, one of my home country’s most iconic landmarks, has been a lifelong mission that I previously never thought possible.”
Ashima Shiraishi started out 2015 with a goal she set for herself to reach some time this year. It ended up that the 13-year-old sent her goal, The Swarm (V13/14) in California’s Buttermilks, on the first day of the new year. This makes another first female ascent and youngest ascent for Shiraishi. She has more than an impressive tick list at such a young age, and the fact that she sent her first V13 on Hueco’s Crown of Aragorn at the age of 10; it’ll be no surprise if she ends up following suit with Daniel Woods on The Process in the very near future.
After taking a hiatus for a couple of months due to the dreaded A2 pulley rupture in his left ring finger back in November 2014, Jimmy Webb is making quite the comeback going on a first ascent spree in the south. He made a first ascent on Time Stretch (V11/V12), a bouldering problem in Chattanooga, Tennessee on February 3, 2015. Within the next weekend, Webb traveled to Boone, North Carolina and established Yeti (low end V13) along with Wet Willy (V12), and sent the Wave project at the Boulder Gardens that he’s calling Breaking Ground (V11). It looks as if that finger of Webb’s is doing just fine.