Possible 5.15a in New Hampshire

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Vasya Vorotnikov attempting Jaws II. Photo by Kurt Oian / Courtesy of vasya-vorotnikov.blogspot.com

Possible 5.15a in New Hampshire

Vasya Vorotnikov has re-redpointed Jaws at Rumney, New Hampshire, after several key holds broke, giving it a new name and a whopping big grade: 5.15a. Vorotnikov spent about 35 days over a year and a half working on Jaws II (or Broken Jaws—Vorotnikov hasn’t settled on a new name).

First climbed by Dave Graham in the late 1990s, Jaws takes on Rumney’s sweeping Waimea Wall, left of China Beach and Livin’ Astro. It originally was given 5.14b, but Graham later suggested it might be harder.

Then, Vorotnikov said, “someone broke a hold off the top, making a second crux (former V8) more like a V11ish, low-percentage move. Then someone else started trying it and broke holds off the first crux (former V10), making it V12/V13ish. So, basically, the two hard boulder problems are what make this thing hard. And it's fairly long—not the Euro-endurance stuff, but the American power-endurance fest.”

Vorotnikov, 20, is a Russian-born climber who moved to New Hampshire with his family about six years ago. He is an engineering student at the University of New Hampshire. Vorotnikov’s previous hardest redpoint was Livin’ Astroglide (5.14c) at Rumney, and so he’s not surprised when people question his 5.15a rating for the new Jaws.

He explains that he has done all the moves on The Fly (5.14d) at Rumney and that Jaws II has harder boulder-problem moves. “And so, something as long as Livin’ Astro, with no jug rest, with some moves harder than those on The Fly, it’s got to be harder. Hence the 5.15a.”

Vorotnikov adds: “Hard grades are an invitation for the strongest climbers to come show what they can do. So, the ‘9a+’ is an open invitation to anyone who is looking for something really hard.”

Date of Ascent: October 14, 2007

Sources: Vasya Vorotnikov, 8a.nu, Khadejha.com