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Breaking News: Carlo Traversi Makes Third Ascent of Flex Luthor 5.15b

The first ascent was by Tommy Caldwell, and the second was by Matty Hong a few weeks ago

Carlo Traversi has made the third ascent of Flex Luthor 5.15b at the Fortress of Solitude. It was first climbed by Tommy Caldwell in 2003 and it went unrepeated for nearly 20 years until this fall.

Earlier this season, Matty Hong made the long awaited second ascent. Caldwell said it was the hardest thing he’d ever climbed, but never graded it. It’s found 30 metres right of Caldwell’s other powerful climb at the crag called Kryptonite 5.14d, which was the first of the grade in the country. Traversi said that he’d been working the route with Hong.

We spoke to Hong after his repeat, and he told us, “The process felt almost like trying a first ascent. I didn’t have any beta for the route, so I spent a lot of time just working out sequences and trying individual moves. It took a long time. It took multiple trips to the cliff before I figured out a sequence that worked. Usually after someone’s climbed a route you have so much more information than you do if you’re the first person to climb something. A route like Flex Luthor, it doesn’t make sense right away. You have to put your body in different positions and really figure it out move by move.”

Traversi is a top all-round American rock climber with the second ascent of Meltdown 5.14c trad; was the first person to complete a V14, 5.14, and 14k-foot peak in the same day, he called it the “Triple 14 Challenge”; made the FA of The Kingdom V15 in Switzerland; and the FA of Empath 5.15a in California (watch below). Wolverine Publishing broke the news of Traversi’s send. More to come.


Empath 5.15a FA