1/11/13 - This year began with a flurry of V15 ascents by U.S. and international climbers alike.
On January 5, Daniel Woods made the third ascent of Chris Sharma's 2005 effort Witness the Fitness (V15) in the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas. Fred Nicole made the second ascent the next year, but holds broke, and many thought the line was unclimbable. Woods proved that theory wrong when he sent the 40-foot horizontal roof. More info here.
The same day, Jon Cardwell joined the V15 club with an ascent of The Game in Boulder Canyon, Colorado. Woods established the roadside problem, after 17 days of work spread out over two years, in February 2010; at the time, it was thought to be V16. Carlo Traversi repeated the boulder in 2011, suggesting that V15 felt more appropriate—afterwards, Woods agreed with the downgrade. Cardwell said, "There I was, once again, face to face with the boulder that has consumed my thoughts for the last two years. This time was different. My previous expectations were gone, which allowed everything to piece together. I'm glad to say this long battle has come to an amazing and unexpected end!"
Southwest, in Nevada, Dave Graham made the first repeat of Meadowlark Lemon (V15) in Gateway Canyon, Las Vegas. Paul Robinson established the problem, an extension to a V13, in early 2012. On Facebook, Graham called the line "super proud, aesthetic, tall, and blank looking." It took him six days to work out the crux beta, which includes a right-hand deadpoint to a small crimp, using a reachy left foot and right toe-hook. He sent on his second try of the day.
Last week, Slovenian climber Jernej Kruder also made his first V15 ascent with The Story of Two Worlds in Cresciano, Switzerland. The 23-year-old had climbed a couple of V14s previously, including The Dagger, to which The Story adds a difficult sit start. Graham made the first ascent of The Story in 2005, and the problem sat unrepeated until Robinson grabbed the second ascent in 2011. Japanese climber Dai Koyamada climbed it (except he started a move higher than Graham's start) in 2010, and then made a low-start ascent in early 2012.
Dates of ascents: January 2013
Sources: Facebook, 8a.nu