Claassen Dispatches Grand Ol' Opry at Monastery

Claassen at the Monastery. Photo courtesy of

Claassen at the Monastery. Photo courtesy of

9/29/10 - On September 27, Paige Claassen grabbed the fourth—and first female—ascent of Tommy Caldwell's Grand Ol' Opry at the Monastery in Estes Park, Colorado, after 13 days of effort.

Caldwell suggested a 5.14a rating for this notoriously difficult line when he climbed it in 1999, but Andy Raether suggested an upgrade to 5.14c after his 2007 second ascent. Jonathan Siegrist, who took down the third ascent in 2008, says on his blog that it's "unquestionably the most difficult 8c (5.14b) I've ever been on... it could definitely be 8c+ (5.14c)."

Grand Ol' Opry is "hyper-technical, relentlessly long, and [has] shouldery moves," blogs Siegrist, who belayed Claassen on her attempts. "It requires accurate footwork, very thick skin, and even a touch of compression in the crux."

Date of ascent: September 27, 2010