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6/7/12 – Cody Roth made the first trad ascent of Mainliner (5.14a/b), one of the hardest trad climbs in North America, at Las Conchas in his native New Mexico in late April. The line was bolted and redpointed by Jean De Lataillde in 1995 and rated 5.13c. In March, Roth bolted a variation to Mainliner called La Femme de Zinc Zipper (5.14a). “As I cleaned my draws, it dawned on me that Mainliner could go on gear,” he said.
Roth spent five days headpointing Mainliner, which he upgraded to 5.14a in spring 2011 after he made the first sport repeat of the 100-foot route. Despite challenges such as sacrificing handholds to place gear and a key hold in the crux breaking off, Roth made the trad ascent, placing all gear on lead, before departing to Europe and Africa for four months.
Mainliner’s cruxes are reasonably well protected, according to Roth, however, there are a few sections of climbing in the 5.12c range where a fall would be best avoided.
“I’ve opted to not chop the bolts because I don’t feel like the line is a travesty as a sport route, and because they don’t interfere with one’s gear placements or free climbing.” Roth said. “However, I do hope that my ascent will be an example of new school creative trad climbing, and that it will encourage others to consider climbing in this low impact style, and to think twice before sinking bolts.”
Mainliner will be featured in a Chuck Fryberger Films 2013 release.
Date of ascent: April 2012
Source: Cody Roth