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He’s Only 10, But Bayes Wilder Just Sent 5.14c at Red River Gorge

It's his hardest send to date, and he's now one of the youngest ever to tick the grade

American 10-year-old crusher and Team ABC climber Bayes Wilder has sent Southern Smoke 5.14c at Red River Gorge. Found at Bob Marley Crag, it’s Wilder’s hardest ascent to date. At one week shy of 10 1/2 years old, he may be the youngest to climb the grade.

Bayes sent on his third day on his fifth attempt, seventh if you count the two tries it took him to do Ultraperm 5.13d, which shares the finish. This was the last full day of their trip and it seemed like the send was low probability, according to his father, Matt Wilder.

“However, he did great on his first burn of the day but fell because his fingers numbed. The second burn was by no means perfect, but he persisted and made it to the end. Definitely one of the most impressive things he’s done to date.”

This video is an edit from different angles of Wilder, with some clips from the attempt before he sent as the quality was better. Lots of resting was edited out. Some of the clips are zoomed in digitally so the quality is not quite as good. “Thanks to Aaron Halstuk, Braxton Rodgers and Sam Romano for filming.”

Earlier this year, Wilder sent Rodeo Free Europe at Wild Iris 5.14a, first climbed by Jason Campbell in 1998. “Is this a dream,” said Wilder high on the route as mom and dad continued to encourage him to the chains. Watch Wilder’s full send of Southern Smoke below.

Bayes Wilder on Southern Smoke