Climber: Nina CaprezRoute: To Bolt or Not to Be (5.14a)FA: Jean-Baptiste Tribout, 1986Location: Dihedrals, Smith Rock State Park, Oregon
For this March 2017 shot of Swiss climber Nina Caprez on America’s first 5.14, To Bolt or Not to Be, Smith Rock local and photographer Mikey Schaefer found a new angle. “I always wanted to shoot the climb, but the top-down, shallow depth of field has been done so much,” Schaefer says. His unique vantage came by rapping from the top of the Dihedrals then pulling himself away from the wall using a second line anchored to a boulder down the hill. By hanging in space diagonally from the climb, he could capture both the 135-foot crimptastic super-slab and the wild volcanic landscape. He then stitched together a few photos to include the Smith Rock Group and eliminate wide-angle-lens distortion. Caprez sent the climb on March 5 in cold spring conditions. “I really wanted to dance this thing,” Caprez says of its 100 moves. “It demands that you’re strong in this style; at the same time, you have to let go and be in the flow.”
Photo: Mikey Schaefer
Climber: Jonathan SiegristRoute: Annihilator (5.14c)FA: Chris Lindner, April 2000Location: Clear Light Cave, Mt. Potosi, Nevada
In March 2017, redpoint superstar Jonathan Siegrist made the third ascent of the 19-bolt Annihilator (5.14c), a route originally bolted by Joe Brooks then freed by Chris Lindner and repeated by François Legrand. During a winter season at the massively roofy Clear Light Cave west of Las Vegas, Siegrist also made the second ascent of Legrand’s Bachelor Party (5.14d). “These routes may be egregiously drilled,” says Siegrist of the Potosi climbs, “but they’re also an interesting piece of American climbing history and sandbagged like most everything from the 1990s.” Siegrist focused his Potosi season on “having fun” at the outdoor desert gym, climbing on its monos and two-finger pockets in a muscly, gymnastic style that’s one of his weaknesses. The strength he built served as a jumping-off point for an incredible April at Oliana, Spain, where he completed three 9a+/5.15a’s in three weeks: Chaxi, Joe Mama, and Pachamama.
Photo: Joe Segreti
Climber: Alex HonnoldRoute: Dreefee (5.13d)Location: Rainbow Wall, Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada
David James Duncan defines “dreefee” in his book The River Why as “food for dreams.” This eight-pitch route, freed in 2013, wanders in and out of Crazy World (5.7 A4), a 1992 Bart Groendyke and Todd Alston line on Rainbow Wall. Alex Honnold made Dreefee’s second ascent in March. Says Honnold, shown here on the 5.13a third pitch, “You feel like you could fall off at any move”—the slabby terrain features insecure, technical climbing on dark sandstone. Using a combination of thin gear, nuts, and bolts, Honnold climbed the route’s five pitches of 5.13 (two 13a, two 13b, and one 13d crux) into the upper, adventurous 5.10 climbing of Emerald City (5.12d) to summit the 1,200-foot formation “The route embodies all that is best about hard Red Rocks multipitch,” Honnold says, providing insight into that which most Vegas traditional climbers can only dream of.
Photo: David Allfrey
Three of the month's best climbing photos: Nina Caprez in Smith Rock, Jonathan Siegrist in the Clear Light Cave, and Alex Honnold in Red Rock.