Jacob Cook and Drew Marshall have made the first free ascent of La Sombra Luminosa in Mexico in 27 pitches at 5.12c. It was first climbed in the spring of 2018 by Eric Werfel and Seth Williams. Cook has corrected us with some information regarding the climb’s similarity to the classic Timewave Zero, “I wouldn’t say the route is in any way comparable to Timewave Zero, in fact that’s a dangerous comparison to make. This route is much more adventurous and alpine feeling with a lot of loose rock. It would be dangerous to be on the route with another party above you.”

Werfel wrote on his beta page here: “This is not just a long ‘sport’ route, like Timewave. It is a different beast, altogether, very alpine, adventure climbing. Major commitment, big exposure, traverses and some choss. You can bail reasonably well up through pitch 17. Rappelling from above that point will be complicated, at best, due to traverses. If you do pitch 18, you are pretty committed to going to the top.”

“After climbing Timewave Zero for the third time this trip, I decided I was done with multi-pitching and was going to spend the rest of my time lounging around in the sun,” said strong climber Cook on social media. “However, Drew Marshall had other ideas and convinced me to come out of retirement for one last mission. Yesterday we made the first free ascent of La Sombra Luminosa here in Potrero Chico. The climbing is adventurous and involves significant choss management, interspersed with some truly incredible pitches. The crux is this perfect laser cut stem-corner; tenuous and technical, with just enough dimples in the right wall to stop it from being truly desperate. It’s not every day you get to make the first free ascent of a 27 pitch desert alpine sport route, thank you to Eric Werfel and friends for the monumental amount of work involved in putting this thing up.” Be sure to follow Cook below for more stories and photos.

After climbing Timewave Zero for the third time this trip, I decided I was done with multi-pitching and was going to spend the rest of my time lounging around in the sun. However, @thedrewguy had other ideas and convinced me to come out of retirement for one last mission… Yesterday we made the first free ascent of La Sombra Luminosa (12c, 27 pitches) here in Potrero Chico, both onsighting the route. The climbing is adventurous and involves significant choss management, interspersed with some truly incredible pitches. The crux is this perfect laser cut stem-corner; tenuous and technical, with just enough dimples in the right wall to stop it from being truly desperate. It's not every day you get to make the first free ascent of a 27 pitch desert alpine sport route, thank you to @ericwerfel and friends for the monumental amount of work involved in putting this thing up!

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