11/12/12 - Mason Earle has climbed a new 5.13+ thin crack at Mill Creek, located in the La Sal Mountains near Moab, Utah.
Earle found and began working the route, Real Talk, in spring 2011, but wasn't able to unlock all of the moves. "At first, I was stumped," he says. "I literally couldn't get off the ground." He returned in spring 2012 and worked out all the sequences. Last week, he put it all together and fired the first ascent on his first attempt of the day—after five or six lead attempts and five days of toproping overall.
The route starts in a 60-foot thin seam then traverses left to finish on a 5.11 corner, on a "steep wall of impeccable, salmon-colored sandstone." Here's Earle's colorful description of the 80-foot route: "I do a V7 crimpy boulder problem off the deck, and then slam in a jingus slider nut, and run it out another 10 feet. I then place three of the smallest [Black Diamond] C3s and bust out the circuitous crux, risking some scary air. From a cuticle-crunching tips-lock mid-crux, I kamikaze-blast a purple C3 in from the hip and then thrutch through two more similar tips-locks to a green camalot pod 'rest.' Some more 5.12+ [moves] and a final sloper boulder problem over a red C3 leads into 20 feet of 5.11 corner climbing."
Earle says the route wasn't his style and felt hard, leading to a difficult grading decision, "as it is with most hard trad climbing." He's settled on 5.13+. The climb sits just over two miles down-canyon from the Wicked Crag.
Some of Earle's other accomplishments include Hot Pork Sunday (5.13+), a two-pitch route culminating in a left-trending, splitter finger crack, and a 21-pitch 5.13a A3 route on a Venezuela tepui called Kids with Guns.
Source: Kinloch Mason Earle, masonearle.blogspot.com
Date of ascent: October 30, 2012