Paige Claassen has sent her first 5.14d with a tick of Shadowboxing in Rifle, Colorado. It took Claassen about a dozen sessions over a month and a half. The first ascent was in 2011 by Jon Siegrist who called it 5.14d.

“I would normally only try once a day, because the route is always in the sun, so the window of opportunity is short,” Claassen said. “I’ve really focused on improving my power over the last few years, as that’s almost always what holds me back. The technical feet on shadowboxing suited me, but so many underclings in a row meant I really had to work on my bicep power.”

This fall, Claassen will be heading to Namibia to work for her nonprofit organization called Southern Africa Education Fund (SAEF). “We build classrooms in rural Namibia for a school serving 800 children in a space built for 350 children. SAEF added four classrooms to the school in December 2018, and we are building another four classrooms in November of 2019. Over half the kids at the school are on the orphans and vulnerable children list, meaning their families cannot afford their basic needs. Education is their path out of poverty.”

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Fought my way to the tippy top of Shadowboxing, 5.14d, on Thursday evening. It was a real Disney princess situation up there with all the autumn leaves swirling around in the wind – princess condies, as we now refer to them. I did my first 5.13 (The Beast) and my first 5.14 (Zulu) in Rifle. It's always exciting to complete a line I'm proud of in this quirky little canyon that allows so much laziness on the approach and demands so much try hard on the wall. Shadowboxing is 90% underclings, 10% micro crimps, and 100% delicate feet, so it's a 200% route. Under the tutelage of my Shadowboxing coach, friend, and partner for this Rifle season, @neelyquinn, I did weekly bicep curls, which helped me recover on the undercling rests and power through the undercling cruxes. Thanks for all your support and advice along the way, Neel! Thanks for the send belay @tarakerzhner, and for mirroring my unwavering determination to sleep in the canyon, despite warnings against the cold. Side note, it is now too cold to sleep in the canyon. Seek sun. 📸 by my main squeeze and the only non slaydie who has dared to join us this season, @arjandekock.

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A number of climbers tried to repeat it, but a key hold soon broke. Siegrist sent it again proving it could still be climbed. The second ascent was in 2015 by Jon Cardwell. “Shadowboxing is something of an anomaly in Rifle,” Siegrist wrote in a blog post.

“It wasn’t until after the hold broke that I tried the line myself,” Cardwell said to Rock and Ice.

“It seemed possible to me, and I spoke to Siegrist who also revisited the climb after the break and he told me ‘It goes!’ He was psyched to see other people trying this climb. The line is just amazing.” Mark Anderson then made the third ascent.

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