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Rands Leads Grit Testpiece

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American Lisa Rands has climbed an E7 on British gritstone — only the second woman ever to lead a grit route of this grade, which equates to 5.13 with poor protection. Rands headpointed White Lines (E7 6b/c) at Curbar Edge, established by the legendary Johnny Dawes, after toproping it four times over two days. The route starts with a 30-foot unprotected wall that ends with a balancey high-step. After a rest (and the first protection), more hard and insecure moves lead to a four-foot overhang protected by dubious small cams. Rands led the climb with no crash pads to protect the initial “boulder problem.” “It’s a really good feeling when it all clicks and you just climb and feel more solid than you do on a toprope,” Rands said. Rands, who is known primarily as a world-class boulderer, led numerous other E4 and E5 gritstone climbs during a three-week visit to Britain this fall. The only other woman to climb an E7 on grit was Airlie Anderson, who led Master’s Edge nearly 10 years ago.