New 5.12 on Longs Peak

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Roger Briggs and Chip Chace have free-climbed The Invisible Wall, a 1965 Layton Kor aid route on Longs Peak in Colorado. The five-pitch route diagonals across the lower left side of Chasm View Wall (below the Diamond but still mostly above 12,500 feet), with two crux pitches: a well-protected 5.12- and a run-out 5.11+. Chace had tried Invisible Wall rope-solo many years ago, and for the free attempt this summer he recruited Briggs, who first climbed Longs Peak four decades ago. On July 12, they freed through three pitches, including Briggs’ near onsight of the 5.12a pitch, the Hanging Crescent, but the following lead required cleaning to locate protection and Chace aided most of it. However, Briggs managed to follow it free, and so they laid plans to return. On July 18, they redpointed the entire route, with Chace leading the run-out former A4 section. “There is nothing fixed on the entire climb, and we hope it stays that way,” said Briggs. “This is a trad testpiece that should become popular because of its stellar quality, easy approach and easy rappel descent,” he added.