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Five Recent Noteworthy Sends Up to 5.15

Hard repeats and first ascents of bold and technical new rock climbs

Fall is the time of year many top climbers focus on sending their projects. A number of hard routes went down this week in Europe and the U.S.A.

Jon Siegrist climbed his hard new route at a crag that he said reminds him of Oliana, Spain. The exact location of the mid-western wall is top secret. Watch the top American climber during a working session:

He said, “From the brink of madness to complete elation. Climbing has this special way of making us feel so deeply, all the while being somehow meaningless and yet also utterly everything at the same time. I gave a lot of mental, physical and emotional energy to this incredible route – and felt all of the ups and downs along the way. Very proud to say that it’s done.

“Nu World FA. Unsure on the grade yet. It’s without question one of my absolute hardest, and in many ways it’s just the beginning.”

Siegrist has climed a number of 5.15s and has downgraded a handful of Canadian Rockies 5.14s over the past few years. Nu World will likely fall into the 5.15b/c range.

Iziar Martinez climbed Suma Cero 5.14b at Cuenca, Spain, for her fourth of the grade. The 15-year-old Spanish climber has been making a number of big sends this year, including Hulk 5.14a, Moloko Mix 5.13+, Tio Genas 5.13+ and Duende 5.13+.

Buster Martin sent Hubble at Raven Tor in the U.K. It was first climbed in 1990 by Ben Moon and has been repeated a number of times.

It was the first 5.14c ever climbed at the time and some have suggested it might be 5.14d, which would make it the first at the grade before Action Directe.

He said, “The most technical piece of climbing I’ve done and maybe less of a test of power than you may think. It’s all in the subtleties and working them out. Yeah, you need to be strong but a twist of the wrist by a few degrees, hips in the right place or getting your fingers on the right ripples on the rock is what really gets you up this thing.”

Neil Gresham made the first ascent of Final Score, an E10 7a trad climb at Iron Crag in the Lake District, U.K. The hard climb is a direct start and a direct finish to the classic If-6-Was-9, an E9 7a first climbed in 1992 by Dave Birkett.

Dave Graham climbed his first 5.15b with the fifth send ofΒ Ali Hulk Sit Start Extension Total in Spain earlier this month. The 38-year-old is one of the world’s top boulderers, but he’s been focusing on routes this year.

Graham has made a number of V15 first ascents, including Big Paw and From Dirt Grows the Flowers in Switzerland and The Island in Fontainebleau.