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Olympic silver medalist Miho Nonaka has jumped one and a half number grades with her redpoint of Mr. Hyde (8c+/ 5.14c) in Céüse, France.
Though Nonaka certainly could have climbed the grade sooner, or redpointed harder in the interim, she has been preoccupied with competing at a world class level. After nabbing second place in this summer’s Olympics, Nonaka spent time off of plastic and dedicated herself to climbing Céüse’s iconic blue and grey streaked limestone. While there, she realized that her last time redpointing hard outside was when she was 14 years old, in Rifle, CO, when she climbed her first 5.13a.
Climbing caught up with Nonaka, now 24, via email to learn more about her ascent.
Climbing: Can you describe Mr. Hyde?
Nonaka: Mr. Hyde is made up of three boulders with a good rest in between. Even though there are good rests you build a lot of pump getting into the final boulder which revolves around two powerful moves going from a small edge to a sharp, but good, pocket.
What was your process on Mr. Hyde like? How did it feel at first?
Most of the moves felt very hard at first. I felt that I was way far from sending so I never thought I would send the route while on this trip. But the more I tried to understand the route, the better I became at climbing rocks. Soon I was able to find the right flow. The process I made wasn’t as difficult as I expected so I was a little confused but excited at the same time. So the whole thing went quite smooth and I ended up sending it in about seven days total.
What was the most difficult part of the projecting process for you?
I’m lacking endurance and resistance so it felt hard for me to recover while climbing and to climb on long walls.
What, for you, is the biggest difference between outdoor and indoor climbing?
Outdoors, you can create your own ways to solve problems that requires more puzzle-solving skills, while indoor climbing requires more special techniques or physical strength.
Did you find translating your indoor strengths and skills onto real rock difficult?
No. My climbing style and body strength I gained through my years of indoor experience definitely helped me climb on some bouldery routes like Mr. Hyde.
What’s next for you? More rock? More competitions?
I’ve gotten so much motivation for both but I want to send V15 and V16 boulder.
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