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Margo Hayes and Paige Claassen send Kryptonite 5.14d

It was considered the first of the grade in North America

Margo Hayes and Paige Claassen have made the first and second female ascents of Kryptonite, a 40-plus-metre route first climbed in 1999 by Tommy Caldwell. They

It’s considered the first of the grade in North America. Hayes, 22, spent six days and Claassen, 30, spent days projecting the steep line separately. Hayes has previously climbed Biographie 5.15a, La Rambla 5.15a and Papichula 5.15a. Claassen has now sent three 5.14 sport routes, with the other two being Algorithm and Shadowboxing.

Caldwell told MountainZone.com back in 1999: “The route also is 100% natural with no chipping or glue. In my mind it is the perfect sport climb with creative movement and interesting holds… Necessary Evil took me about nine days and Kryptonite took me about 20. I am not sure whether it is 5.14d because I have never climbed anything that hard before.”

After Kryptonite, Caldwell sent Flex Luthor at the Fortress of Solitude, but never graded it suggesting it might be 5.15a or harder. It’s never been repeated.

In an interview with Rock & Ice, Claassen said that before she and Hayes and Claassen sent, Arjan (Claassen’s husband) broke a hold at the start of one of the cruxes. Claassen said she believes the route is harder than before.

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In the same story, Hayes said that she wasn’t sure if Kryptonite is 5.14c or 5.14d, but said that she really enjoyed the line.

Many climbers have stopped posting about recent sends and travels on social media to give space to the powerful social justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter and Indigenous Lives Matter, that are taking place around the world.

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Last December, I made a post regarding what we should be posting and creating content about, as well as a request to support and encourage one another. This post was not only insensitive, but damaging and hurtful to Black, Indigenous, and people of color within the outdoor community. I am sorry for tone policing, and for ignoring the need for dramatic change in our industry. The content we create must be not only inclusive, but also elevate the stories of those who are underrepresented. To those who have held me accountable and challenged me to evaluate my words, past and present, thank you. No one should have had to help me learn, and it shouldn't have taken this long. My job as an athlete is performative. I will continue to post climbing content. But I recognize that my voice is one of privilege, and that my platform holds power. My privilege has shaped not only my world view, but my position as a professional athlete. I will use my voice to advocate for BIPOC members of the climbing community and to elevate BIPOC voices and stories. I have a responsibility as an ally to advocate for equitable change in the outdoor community. These are my goals, my first steps. I will work with the brands I partner with to build inclusive athlete teams; valuing not just performance, but also leadership in the community, advocacy, and creative talents. I will stand up against injustices I see at the crag, including racist and demeaning crag and route names, which must be eliminated. I commit to passing my board seat for a local Colorado organization on to a BIPOC member of the outdoor community. I take responsibility for my actions, and am committed to the goal of transforming the outdoor industry into one that represents diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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