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Cody Roth’s Epic 5.14b

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Who says sport climbing isn’t scary? American Cody Roth, now living in Innsbruck, Austria, climbed his second 5.14b in December, and the climb nearly punched his lights out before he sent it. Roth had been working on Talk is Cheap at Misja Pec, Slovenia, since the fall. “The route came at a price much higher than any other sport route I’ve tried,” the 20-year-old said. “I decked twice from a throw that comes 15 feet off the deck, and on an earlier visit I went face-first into a stalactite on another out-of-control fall. All and all, though, I’d have to say it was worth it.” Less costly were the back-to-back 5.14a routes Missing Drink and Missing Link, also at Misja Pec, which Roth sent on January 1 and 2. One of the few Americans who competes regularly in Europe, Roth made the finals of one World Cup last year and finished 26th overall for the season. After a trip home to New Mexico and Hueco Tanks with a band of Austrian friends in February, he will begin building his endurance for the spring competitions. “Last year’s World Cup was better than I ever could have imagined, and I hope the progression continues this year,” he said. “There are so many people over here motivating me and inspiring me.”