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New Trad Climb is One of the Hardest Ever

El Boulder del Pedal is one of only a handful of 5.14c trad routes in the world

Ignacio Mulero has made the first ascent of El Boulder del Pedal, a 5.14c trad route in in La Pedriza, Spain. His grading makes this one of the most difficult trad pitches in the world.

The crux of the 12-metre climb is low down, and the route follows slopers, bad jams and awkward feet. The first five metres is protected by bouldering pads before the first piece, and then the pro is solid. The first cam is a DMM Dragon 00 blue. Mulero said it could be climbed as a high-ball, and that he tried it with V17 climber Nalle Hukkataival, but said it just made sense to use a rope. Mulero sad on 8a.nu that Dani Andrada had tried the line and said it would be 5.14c, and Mulero suggested it would be a V14 boulder. Mulero put in around 20 days of work.

In 2017, he made the first ascent of Territorio Comanche in La Pedriza, a 5.14c slab that used bolts and trad gear. In 2018, Mulero made the coveted second ascent of The Meltdown, a 5.14d sport climb in the U.K.

Last month, bold trad climber James Pearson opened Bon Voyage in France, saying that it was one of his hardest routes to date, but he didn’t grade it – read the story here. Mulero said that he’s now heading to Norway to attempt Recovery Drink, one of the only other 5.14c trad routes in the world.

World’s Hardest Trad

Empath 5.14d/15a? in California by Connor Herson
Tribe 5.14+? in Italy by Jacopo Larcher, James Pearson
Bon Voyage 5.14+? by James Pearson
El Boulder del Pedal 5.14c in Spain by Ignacio Mulero
Blackbeard’s Tears 5.14c in California by Ethan Pringle
Meltdown 5.14c in Yosemite by Beth Rodden, Carlo Traversi, Jacopo Larcher
Pura Pura 5.14c in Valle dell’Orco by Tom Randall
Into the Sun 5.14c in Switzerland by Bernd Zangerl, Jacopo Larcher
Recovery Drink 5.14c in Norway by Nico Favresse, Daniel Jung
Rhapsody 5.14c in Scotland by Dave MacLeod, Sonnie Trotter, Steve McClure, James Pearson, Jacopo Larcher
Magic Line 5.14b/c in Yosemite by Ron Kauk, Lonnie Kauk, Hazel Findlay, Carlo Traversi
Bladerunner 5.14b/c in Squamish by Ben Harnden
Brozone 5.14b in the Gunks by Andy Salo, Sam Elias
Century Crack 5.14b in the Canyonlands by Tom Randall, Pete Whittaker, Danny Parker
Cobra Crack 5.14b in Squamish by Sonnie Trotter, Nico Favresse, Ethan Pringle, Matt Segal, Will Stanhope, Yuji Hirayama, Alex Honnold, Pete Whittaker, Tom Randall, Ben Harnden, Mason Earle, Logan Barber, Said Belhaj, Stu Smith
Echo Wall 5.14b on Ben Nevis by Dave MacLeod
Family Man 5.14b in Skaha by Sonnie Trotter, Ben Harnden
Lapoterapia 5.14b in Italy by Jacopo Larcher
The Bull 5.14b in Squamish by Jeremy Smith, Ben Harnden
The Dawn Wall 5.14b (trad) 5.14d (sport) in Yosemite by Tommy Caldwell, Kevin Jorgeson, Adam Ondra

The Meltdown Repeat