Home > News

Hard Tennessee Trad Receives First Female Ascent

Minutes ago, American climber Kathy Karlo lowered from the chains after completing the first female ascent of the bombay roof-crack Fists of Fury at the West Tennessee Wall.

The 30-metre route put up by Rob Robinson and Steve Goins in 1985, contains three cruxes: vertical face, a chimney and an overhanging offwidth.

Kathy Karlo on Fists of Fury 5.12c

“I did an invert through a small pod to get in the squeeze chimney, then I chicken-winged through that to reach a 4 Camalot section,” Karlo told Gripped while belaying her friend Sabine Connors as she cleaned the route.

For the final crux, “I did a butterfly jam, got slightly inverted and did the splits.”

Karlo completed the route first go this morning after six attempts spread over four days starting on Jan. 18. When she first attempted the route, it was coated in ice so she broke off icicles.

A post shared by Kathy Karlo (@inheadlights) on

Fists of Fury is one of the Triple Crown roof cracks at the T Wall, with the others being Celestial Mechanics and Hands Across America.

Karlo tried Hands, “but there was a bat in the roof, so I got scared and came down.” Celestial was dripping wet so she hasn’t been able to get on it.

“I began climbing in the Gunks and since my first gear placement, I have never looked back,” wrote Karlo on her website.

“I have only looked to what lies next on the horizon—and it’s pretty damn exciting. My love of rock and ice has been a life changing experience.”