Home > News

Breaking News: Allison Vest Sends Her First 5.14a

She trained for a month so that she could power through the mono pockets

Allison Vest, one of Canada’s most accomplished competition climbers, has repeated Thrown’ the Houlihan 5.14a on the Erratic Crag at Wild Iris. It’s one of Vest’s most difficult sends on a rope. Vest was born in the U.S.A. but grew up in Alberta, where she was coached by Dung Nguyen and found her way onto Team Canada.

The classic route was first climbed by Todd Skinner in 1997, and it quickly became a must-try for climbers looking for a project. It was the route that motivated Sonnie Trotter to hit the road the following year. A houlihan throw is a type of lasso throw. You can watch footage of Skinner climbing it in the film Masters of Stone I, in which Skinner throws knives and crushes Wild Iris routes.

Vest said that she didn’t expect to climb Thrown’ the Houlihan so quickly, saying, “I wanted to try the heinous mono move, but I wanted to train for it first. Then, after spending a month picking heavy things up with one finger, I came back this week with the ultimate hype woman Alex Johnson. It went down first go of the second day this time. Maybe gnarly pockets is my calling… I wanted my first 14 to be a legendary one, so I’m glad I went to this line.”

Vest has climbed a number of hard boulders over the years, including Terminator V13 (watch below) and Squaminator V12 in Squamish. Stay tuned for a video of the full send.

Terminator V13