10/23/12 - The season is here! The Red River Gorge is seeing major action these days, by U.S. and international climbers alike.
Ashima Shiraishi is proving to be more than just a bouldering prodigy. The 11-year-old has flashed Omaha Beach (5.14a) at the Madness Cave in the Motherlode. This steep, 130-foot route was upgraded from 5.13d when several holds broke sometime after Bill Ramsey's first ascent in 1999. Notably, Katie Brown onsighted the original route, and then Sashia DiGiulian made an onsight in March 2011.
The day before sending Omaha Beach, Shiraishi climbed God's Own Stone (5.14a), a 70-foot route at the Gold Coast wall. These ascents make Shiraishi one of, but not the youngest climbers ever to redpoint 5.14; in April 2012, Brooke Raboutou, 10, also climbedGod's Own Stone.
On his first trip to the Red, Jon Cardwell climbed 50 Words for Pump (5.14c) after three attempts, calling the route "soft" on his 8a.nu scorecard. Since arriving in early October, he's climbed 23 5.13s and harder, with 18 of them onsights. Daniel Woods also made his way to the Red, and has pulled off an ascent of Joe Kinder's Southern Smoke (5.14c). 50 Words for Pump and Southern Smoke are located at the Bob Marley crag in the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve.
Over at the Chocolate Factory, Swiss climber Cédric Lachat has managed to climb Jonathan Siegrist's Pure Imagination (5.14d) "first go." This means he started counting attempts after his onsight or flash attempt, as is the tradition in France. He also climbed The Golden Ticket (5.14d) after five attempts, and flashed Omaha Beach.
Dates of ascents: October 2012