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Weekend Whipper: 10-Year-Old Skips Clips, Goes for the Ride of His Life

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Bayes Wilder, 10, has the sport climbing confidence most of us can only dream of.

He was projecting The Madness (5.13c) at the Motherlode in the Red River Gorge and worked out all of the moves on his first go. Thought Bayes was “not feeling 100%”, he decided to give The Madness a redpoint burn in the waning daylight. He flew past the lower cruxes and arrived at the upper headwall “massively pumped, as is common on that route,” said his father, Matt Wilder.

“He tried to pull up the rope to clip but didn’t have the energy so he decided to skip the clip. The same thing happened again on the next clip (the last before the anchors) and so he skipped that one too,” Matt said. “He had enough power left to pull within a move or two of the easier terrain but eventually his fingers gave out and he took the 50-foot ride.”

Bayes described the fall as scary but fun, and was inspired to try again. Bayes hopped on The Madness three days later and sent the route—clipping all of the bolts this time.

Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend.

Readers, please send your whipper videos, information, and any lessons learned to Anthony Walsh, awalsh@outsideinc.com.

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