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James Pearson Sends New 5.14R in Chattanooga

James Pearson has made the first ascent of Power Ranger 5.14R at Sunset Rocks in Chattanooga, a run-out and bold thin crack.

The British 32-year-old has established and repeated test-piece trad climbs around the globe. Pearson attempted the route earlier this year and returned with his wife Caroline Ciavaldini this fall.

James Pearson on Power Ranger Photo Pietro Porro

Pearson said after: “I’ve been on a quest to find my ‘ultimate’ trad route for almost as long as I can remember. From the alpine Granite of central Europe to the endless Quartzite of South Africa’s Cederberg Mountains, little known Annot in The South of France, and currently the impeccable Sandstone of the South Eastern USA.

“Power Ranger climbs an incredible clean face at Sunset Rock above Chattanooga Tennessee. After a bold but easier lower wall, you make the most of a great rest before starting the difficulties of the headwall above. From this point on, the moves become intense and unforgiving, with long powerful reaches leading into an intricate and delicate crux, and onwards to a run-out power endurance sequence to the top.

“It’s a beautiful flowing sequence up almost perfect sandstone, and for the last year since I put my hands on it, I have been obsessed with returning to this line.

“This route is beautiful – a single line of holds up an otherwise blank wall. No way around, no way to cheat, you get only what nature has given. The moves are powerful, yet delicate, with an obvious crux but also the chance to fall on any move.

“The gear is good, the run-out quite big, and provided you fall in a controlled way you should be ok, yet the climbing is awkward, the rope runs behind your legs, and falling off the upper moves would send you exactly in the direction you don’t want to be. It’s a great route, hell, I’d go as far as to say it’s a fantastic route.”

Be sure to follow Pearson on Facebook here. Watch Pearson on the famous Quarryman below.

Some of the World’s Hardest Trad Climbs
Cobra Crack 5.14b in Squamish
Recovery Drink 5.14b/c in Norway
Magic Line 5.14b in Yosemite
Meltdown 5.14b/c in Yosemite (unrepeated)
Le Zebree 5.14a at Val David (unrepeated)
Enter the Dragon 5.14a in Idaho
Century Crack 5.14 in Utah
Rhapsody E11 in Scotland