Video: Michaela Kiersch on the First Female Ascent of America’s First 5.14b
When it was first climbed by Boone Speed in 1994, roughly four months before Kiersch was born, Super Tweak was the hardest route in America established by an American.
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Michaela Kiersch has done the first female ascent of Super Tweak (5.14b) in Logan Canyon, UT—a savage route whose upper crux involves hard and tweaky moves around a mono.
When it was first climbed by Boone Speed in 1994, roughly four months before Kiersch was born, Super Tweak was the hardest route in America established by an American. (Jean-Baptiste Tribout, of France, climbed Smith Rock’s Just Do It in 1992.)
“I started working the route over the summer, battling 90+ degree weather,” Kiersch writes on her Instagram. “We’d stash beers in the nearby river to keep them cool for the end of the day. It took 2 full sessions to be able to do all of the moves—including the mono crux at the top. I hiked crashpads out to work the bottom boulder. It’s powerful, jumpy, and has a tiny 6mm edge to start. The moves were hard, holds were bad, I was pumped, and I wasn’t sure I could piece it together.”
But she continued working the route. “On a girls day out with Lauren [Callaway] I was able to link through the bottom boulder to somewhere in the steep middle section. A huge breakthrough—we promptly jumped in the cold river and went home to recover and grow our skin. This was the turning point for me, I started to believe it was possible—probable, even.”
“The next couple sessions I was falling at the top crux going for the jug after the mono. I had a huge support team on this route… it helps to have others believe in you when you’re on the fence.
Boone Speed himself was there to witness the send and take photos.
Kiersch also notes that, “A key part of the process is 🍔 and 🍻 after a long and hot day of climbing. Ha!”