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Joe Kinder Climbs 5.14d Near Las Vegas

The wild route is located in the Clear Light Cave, a crag famous for its overhanging limestone lines

Yesterday, American sport climber Joe Kinder, 42, sent Smoke Wagon 5.14d in the Clear Light Cave of Mount Potosi, not far from Las Vegas. Originally bolted by Andy Raether, the climb was first ascended by Jonathan Siegrist in February 2020. Kinder had been working the route on and off over the past month. He hiked up to the cave again yesterday to give the route another try, but it was bitterly cold. Luckily, he found a short window of sun to pull off the send.

Like most routes in the limestone cave, Smoke Wagon is extremely steep. It contains pumpy, bouldery climbing with a very dynamic crux. The route shares its upper section with One Hundred Proof 5.15a, which Siegrist also first ascended in 2020.

Kinder has a had long career full of hard American sport climbing first ascents and repeats. He sent his first 5.14d (9a) in 2008, nearly 15 years ago. According to his 8a.nu profile, he has four 5.15a ascents to his name, all of which were first ascents in the United States. He’s climbed 15 routes at 5.14d, seven of which were first ascents in the U.S. In April this year, he matched his personal best with his first ascent of Mamajamma 5.15a.

To check out the wild climbing in the Clear Light Cave, check out this video of Siegrist on Smoke Wagon 5.14d and One Hundred Proof 5.15a: