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Jon Cardwell Climbs New 5.14d in Rifle, Colorado

Jon Cardwell has made the first ascent of Z Nation in Rifle, Colorado, and has graded it 5.14d.

Cardwell has climbed three 5.15a sport routes and said his new 5.14d is a link-up of three existing routes: Zulu, The Crew and Bad Girls Club, according to 8a.nu.

“I envisioned the link because another project I have in the canyon had some wet holds and I figured it would be a nice endurance challenge in the meantime,” said Cardwell.

“After climbing the first few bolts of Zulu, which is pretty bouldery, you get a good rest and then connect into the Crew via a pretty difficult boulder problem.

“After that, it’s a pure endurance challenge to the end with the most difficult section coming at the last bolts of Bad Girls Club.”

The Boulder-based top climber has established a number of hard routes up to 5.14+ and has climbed V15.

When it comes to training, Cardwell told Training Beta Podcast, “In the gym what I’ll do is just kind of supplement that by doing a lot of laps or maybe bouldering circuits.

“I’ll pick 30 or 40-move circuits and I’ll do them numerous times in a row, just to build fitness, the kind of fitness that you can’t really train outside.

“Then on the rock I’ll just pick routes that are hard for me, that challenge me, that are long, varied, and just pick these kind of mini-projects so I go through those motions before I’m attempting the big project.”

Listen to the interview below.