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Babsi Zangerl Climbs Classic American 5.14c

She climbed three 5.14s during a brief visit to Red River Gorge

Babsi Zangerl was recently on an extended trip to the U.S.A. where she visited Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, one of the America’s biggest and best sport climbing areas. She made quick work of some of the hardest and most aesthetic lines in the area, including Pure Imagination 5.14c, 50 Words for Pump 5.14b, The Tube 5.14a and Golden Boy 5.13b.

In a story for her sponsor Black Diamond, Zangerl said, “Pure Imagination was a real classic test piece, about 30 meters long, with very sustained climbing on small crimps and pockets. It was an absolute eye-catcher, and it was easy to get motivated to invest some time to work on it. The move from a razorblade crimp to a pocket up at the 4th bolt was the crux of the line. For me personally, the hardest part was a reachy move on the upper part of the wall, especially with pumped forearms. It felt super tricky to catch that hold.

Pure Imagination was first climbed by Jonathan Siegrist in 2010 at 5.14d, but was bumped down after Adam Ondra onsighted it. “My first small goal was to do some longer links on the line before I could give some proper tries from the ground,” said Zangerl. “I focused on that route for a while before I was finally able to clip the chains. It was a massive fight to not fall off at the very top, and it was a great feeling to complete such a unique Red River Gorge classic.”

Zangerl is one of the world’s leading trad climbers with a number of big sends to her name, including three free climbs on El Cap: Zodiac VI 5.13, Magic Mushroom VI 5.14 and El Nino VI 5.13. She also made the first female ascent of the Alpine Trilogy in the Alps: Kaisers neue Kleider 5.14, Silbergeier 5.14 and End of Silence 5.14. For trad routes, she’s made the first female ascents of Prinzip Hoffnung 5.13dR and Achemine 5.13+R. In Canada, she was the first woman to redpoint The Path 5.14R at Back of the Lake.