Joe Kinder has been a top climber since the late 1990s and when it comes to sheer numbers, he is prolific.

Since 2000, he’s logged roughly 200 5.14 redpoints, sending nails-hard routes like Tommy Caldwell’s Kryptonite 5.14d.

Yesterday, one of the routine tries it happened. The day was bizarre. I kept thinking of my late friend Phil who recently passed away. My mode was glum, the normal sequence of events seems disturbed and completely off kilter. I had been 100% devoted to climbing this anomaly for the past 3 weeks and wanted some fuc*ing return for it. I wanted to send and complete my goal. I was close and had been close. The clock was ticking and my time here was feeling limited. So yeah, stress was higher than normal. I fell off the start boulder problem 3 times. I was flipping out. Screaming, cursing, and feeling like a victim. I felt like a shaken bottle of soda. About to explode and that's not my style. I rested again, pushed record on the camera and shrugged like "what the hell" before I jumped to the starting holds. Same feeling. Same motive. I traveled through the moves of contorted roof climbing and was thinking completely clear the whole time. I somehow grabbed the hold at my high point. Barely. The body seemed to deal with the whole event differently. I felt numb but so in touch with everything going on and was able to control it. I completed my hardest climb yet. I won't lie. I cried. I thought about my girlfriend and the time and energy she devoted to this endeavor. I thought about Phil and how he didn't need to leave us all. I thought about how special this project was to me. My gawd. I'm glad we were alone in there. 🔸Bone Tomahawk 🔸Too scared to call it 9a+ so let's say 9a/+. 🔸Bolted in 2010 🔸Tried on and off for nearly 6 years. 🔸Perhaps 35 days of effort? 🔸Obsessed over all of those 6 years. Thank you Lindsey for sticking with me on this. I dedicate this send to Phil Schaal. 📷 @sav.cummins

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But perhaps Kinder’s greatest gift is his eye for establishing first ascents. From Spain to the desert Southwest, he’s bolted and sent modern day testpieces.

So after years of searching and perfecting his craft, Kinder finally discovered his king line. Check out this film documenting the first ascent of Kinder’s hardest route called Bone Tomahawk.


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