UPDATED: 10/4/11 - Right after climbing what he thought was a new 5.14d in Rifle, Colorado, Jonathan Siegrist found a new method involving a kneebar that he believes downgrades Shadowboxing to 5.14c.
"I found a kneebar mid-crux," he said in an email. "A little bummed, no doubt. I think it'll definitely warrant a downgrade at some point, plus I was a little unsure about 5.14d status to begin with, so I decided to just go for it."
Visit his blog to read more about his reasons for the downgrade.
10/3/11 - This weekend, right before leaving for an extended trip to the Red River Gorge, Jonathan Siegrist completed a first ascent in Rifle, Colorado: Shadowboxing (5.14d).
Siegrist had climbed most of Rifle's hardest routes so far, including the new Bad Girls Club (5.14d, second ascent), and after getting shut down on Tommy Caldwell's Tomfoolery (5.14b) in the Bauhaus, he noticed quickdraws hanging on an undone line. Bolted by visiting Belgian Nico Favresse about 10 years ago, Sam Elias had been working the line for a while. The line also saw attempts by Dave Graham, Caldwell, and Andy Raether. After figuring out a sequence on his third attempt, Siegrist dubbed it the "Shadowboxing" project.
He utilized the line's "sea of underclings up a stunning 45-meter wall. The difficult seemed to just stack together—there's very little opportunity to rest anywhere," he said. "An ultra-powerful, dull undercling with poor feet characterizes the burly crux of this route; a one-handed rest gives you a brief, strenuous pause just before you enter a total style change: the finishing crux on small, sloping edges and tiny pockets reminiscent of Ten Sleep."
Siegrist almost grabbed the first ascent on Friday, even making it past the final bolt, but a hold broke at the top before he reached the chains, sending him airborne. Then on Saturday, fully motivated by his departure to the Red River Gorge in just a few days, he finished Shadowboxing.
Siegrist says the route's style is abnormal for Rifle, making it difficult to compare to the canyon's other testpieces like Bad Girls Club and Girl Talk. "Originally, I thought that it could be an entirely new level for Rifle climbing, but after making such quick progress, I've come to think it is more likely just a touch above the standard," he said. So the grade settles as 5.14d for now.
This ascent comes on the heels of an impressive Rifle season. Matty Hong nabbed the first ascent of Bad Girls Club in late August, and Jen Vennon made the first female ascent of Stockboy's Revenge earlier this month.
Date of ascent: October 1, 2011
Source: Jonathan Siegrist, jstarinorbit.com