Jenn Flemming of Boulder, Colorado, recently redpointed the 80-foot Freeline (5.13b R) at Rincon Wall in Eldorado Canyon, achieving the first female ascent of the line, and possibly the hardest trad pitch led by a female in Eldo.
Flemming, 26, has multiple 5.13 sport climbs under her belt, but she has been funneling most of her energy into hard trad lines in the past year, including The Evictor (5.12c R), also at Rincon. [Eldo] is technical, sustained, cryptic, and requires some serious mental stamina, says Flemming. I was so drawn to the style of climbing that I decided I wanted to lead [Freeline], regardless of my lack of trad experience.
The Andover, Massachusetts, native worked the route for about eight days. During her first few lead attempts, Flemming struggled with gear and staying relaxed. The routes sustained long reaches and bad feet continued to sap her strength until perfect conditions boosted her confidence on send day. Confident climbing down low was a key ingredient, says Flemming. The top of the route has an exciting little runout over a number-five stopper, and I powered through that part on sheer desire to not take that fall.
This route is technical, balancey, and intricate; a style that females often excel at, says Flemming. Getting the first female ascent of Freeline, in a place like Boulder where the level of talent in the female climbing population is astronomical, is something I am truly proud of.
Date of ascent: March 18, 2010
Source: Jenn Flemming