2/24/12 - Jonathan Siegrist has made the first ascent of what he calls the hardest route of his life with La Reve in Arrow Canyon, about 45 minutes out of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Siegrist has been climbing in Arrow Canyon for about six weeks; he began cleaning La Reve in January, and has spent more than a dozen days working out the sequences. The line follows a 20- to 45-degree overhanging wall for almost 100 feet with only one good rest. Siegrist says this is the hardest route he's ever climbed, that La Reve took twice the effort of any previous project. Regarding the grade, he thinks it's in the 5.14d/5.15a range. "It seems silly to imagine calling this route 5.14d right alongside climbs that I did in a matter of four, five, or six days," he said on his blog. "However, I also feel unqualified to propose that this route is worthy of the 5.15 grade, seeing in that I've never so much as touched a route of said difficulty. In the end, it's simple: I couldn't care less."
Climbing caught up with Siegrist to find out more about La Reve.
Describe the route for us. It opens with a stout boulder problem through a few shallow pockets and some difficult pinches on 20+ degree terrain to a good resting jug with poor feet. From here, you clip two bolts of relatively moderate climbing before firing right into two difficult and unique boulder problems with only a clipping hold inbetween. The first one moves through a few monos and ends with a powerful gaston move and a long deadpoint. Now you're climbing well into 45+ degree overhanging stone as you continue into the finishing boulder problem, a wild series of underclings and strange holds ending with a powerful mono-stack and a deadpoint to an edge. The top from here is only around mid 5.12, but could potentially spit you off.
Does La Reve represent your typical style? It did, and it didn't. I generally like pocket climbing, and this route has its fair share of one- and two-finger pockets. It's not particularly bouldery either, which is my greatest weakness. It really comes down to wicked power endurance. It is one of the steeper climbs I've ever done, and super-steep climbing usually any gives me trouble.
You said this was the longest battle of your life as a climber.Any time that you are passionate about something and you're met with repeated failure, it becomes a mental battle. Anyone who's spent enough time climbing knows exactly what this is all about. For me, this route represented a new level of struggle that I'm hopeful will open doors for me to try harder and harder climbs in the future.
So this was the hardest route you've ever done? It was the whole experience of climbing on the route, and finding a next-level challenge for myself that was the dream. Plus, of course, the route itself is awesome. It was my hardest in large part because it became harder and harder to keep falling over and over. I had to swallow my pride and realize that it could take a while, and I might not succeed. I had to commit like never before. So happy that I did.
What was your first thought when you clipped the chains? Thank you... Now, what's next?
How does La Reve fit into your progression as a climber? It builds on my mental experience with long(er) term projects and helped me understand efficiency and true power endurance like never before.
What’s next for you? Another six weeks hanging out and climbing around Vegas, Red Rock Rendezvous here at Red Rock next month, and then I'm off to France for two months!
Date of ascent: February 21, 2012
Source: Jonathan Siegrist