12/7/10 - UPDATED: More females are making headlines these days with their 5.14 ascents. Paige Claassen, 20, of Boulder, Colorado, recently redpointed God's Own Stone (5.14a) at the Gold Coast in the Red River Gorge, Kentucky, after spending about seven days on the line. She fired it Thanksgiving day.
This is Claassen's fourth of the grade: In 2009, she sent Zulu (5.14-) in Rifle Mountain Park, Colorado, followed by Motley Crux (5.14a) in June 2010 at Deep Creek, Washington, and Grand Ol' Opry (5.14hard) in the Monastery, Colorado. Her first female ascent of Grand was only its fourth overall; this Tommy Caldwell testpiece is considered to be 5.14b/c.
"It kind of suited my strengths," Claassen says of Stone, "because it's pretty crimpy and requires a lot of finger strength. It's unique because it's not as steep and a bit shorter, so it's a different style [than most at the Red]."
Also in November, Austrian Angela Eiter managed to send her first 5.14b/c, Ingravids extension, during a trip to the Santa Linya cave in Catalunya, Spain. She also climbed Rollito Sharma (5.14a).
In Oliana, Spain, Daila Ojeda dispatched Full Equip (5.14b) on December 2, a route equipped by Victor Fernandez. This is her third 5.14, including Aitzol in Margalef and Fish Eye in Oliana. "I liked this line from the first time I tried it," Ojeda says on her blog. "The style of climbing, the kind of holds, and that I was able to work out all the moves quite quickly."
The send was not without struggle, however: The holds were so sharp that Ojeda had to tape her tips on attempts, which was "not the best thing for trying hard routes!" she says. "Instead of crimping the small, sharp holds, I tried my best to open-hand them as much as possible."
Look for a profile on Claassen in Climbing No. 292, set to hit stands in January.
Dates of ascents: November 25, 2010; December 2, 2010