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Siegrist Grabs Second Ascent of Colorado 5.14

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11/29/12 – Jonathan Siegrist gave Climbing a few more details on why he felt solid 5.14 was a suitable grade for the climb Mission Impossible in Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado:

“Originally I compared it to the two outstanding Front Range testpieces Vogue (5.14b) and Grand Ol’ Opry (5.14b), which are each very different in style, but which represent a stout and honest standard for hard sport climbing around here. I think that Mission is slightly harder than these, and therefore, sure, it is likely fair at 5.14c.

“On the broader topic of grades, I only get more confused, more surprised, and uninspired the more I think about it all. In the last year or so, I’ve started to care much less. I’m looking for a challenge, and after traveling and climbing quite a few hard routes of a wide variety of style and rock type, I’ve more or less concluded that grades mean very little. Every person is different, every style and area has its own demands, and climate, your personal fitness level at any given time, even what you ate for breakfast can make things feel easy or hard. I will continue to make my own grade suggestions, but I’m just searching for something to inspire me and challenge m,e and I know that could mean 5.14d in one place, or 5.13+ in another, or 5.11 somewhere else. It’s very hard, if not impossible, to capture the level of physical/mental/emotional effort involved, for all types of people, with just one grade. It’s not a perfect system. We should shoot for a good estimate as a guideline, based on previous experience… I think that’s about the best we can do”

11/28/12 – After spending more than a month working on the infamous Dawn Wall project on El Capitan in Yosemite, Colorado native Jonathan Siegrist returned home to complete the second ascent of Mission Impossible. Daniel Woods made the first ascent in May 2012.

Woods assessed the climb as a high-end 5.14 or potentially 5.15a. After finishing the climb last Sunday, he suggested 5.14c or “wicked hard” 5.14b might be more accurate. Mission Impossible is characterized by two difficult boulder problem sections, with mantels, heel-hooks, crimps, slopers, and terrible feet. Siegrist, who’d attempted the route back in April, called it one of the best hard lines in Clear Creek.

“It’s a unique style; very tension-based, yet also lower angled,” Siegrist said in an email. “I think sussing the beta is a big part of the battle—it’s not very straightforward.”

Siegrist noted that the Yosemite Valley’s slabby granite likely helped with his footwork. He details his ascent further on his blog, encouraging more climbers to give the route a try.

“The best beta I can offer is to wear a stiff pair of shoes and attack it on a cool day or in the shade only!” he said. “Conditions definitely matter.”

Date of ascent: November 25, 2012

Source: Jonathan Siegrist/