Siegrist Conquers Kryptonite, America's first 5.14d

Jonathan Siegrist after his ascent of Kryptonite. Photo courtesy of
The Fortress of Solitude in western Colorado. Photo courtesy of

The Fortress of Solitude in western Colorado. Photo courtesy of

9/14/10 - On Sunday, September 12, Jonathan Siegrist realized a longtime dream: an ascent of Kryptonite (5.14d) at the Fortress of Solitude in western Colorado. Not far from Rifle Mountain Park, Tommy Caldwell put up Kryptonite in 1999, then (and still) considered one of America's hardest sport climbs.

After five days of work on the route (no easy feat considering the 45-minute to hour-long approach to the Fortress), Siegrist sent first try after warming up on the route's lower portion. "It went just like I wanted it to – perfectly," he says on his blog. "Every movement, rest sequence, foot placement and clip was executed in the very same way that I had been dreaming about... A whisper of a goal from years ago, became realistic, and then was accomplished. I could not be more stoked!!"

Kryptonite has seen only a scattering of repeats, by Yuji Hirayama, Adam Stack, and Joe Kinder. "Kryptonite contains a very long stretch of consistently powerful climbing," blogs Siegrist. "It's one of the better climbs I've done, and it's certainly the hardest."

Last fall, Siegrist—in less than a two-week span—dispatched almost every major testpiece at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. His ticklist includes Lucifer, Southern Smoke, and Fifty Words for Pump (all 5.14c); three 5.14a flashes; three 5.13c onsights; 10 onsights of 5.13 and 5.13b; and numerous other flashes and redpoints.

Date of ascent: 9/12/10