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Rock Climbing Weekly #1: Seb Lazure FA, Laura Rogora 5.14d and Siegrist Sends

A summary of the biggest sends, access issues, gear and whippers from the past week in the world of rock

There’s a lot to cover in the world of rock climbing, so we’re bringing it to you in a quick-to-read story that highlights some of the most noteworthy sends and misses of the week. For indoor-only climbing, visit Gripped Indoors and for paddling, camping, skiing and hiking visit Gripped Outdoors.

The first two weeks of spring in Canada have brought some good conditions and temps to Squamish, Skaha, most of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime. The Canadian Rockies are still locked into ice climbing season with some dry south-facing rock seeing crag climbers. It’s tick season, so always do a tick check after a day of cragging, more here.

Some big bouldering sends when down this week in Canada and around the world. In Quebec, Seb Lazure made the first ascent of Slam Dunk V9/10, and Sam Tiukuvaara climbed The King 5.13c. In Squamish, Alannah Yip climbed Room Service V12 and Kim McGrenere sent Sesame Street V9, after a few project sessions; and brothers Guy and Kindar McNamee climbed The I Low V10 at The Dark Side boulders below the North Walls, Guy with a flash. Look for a feature on the twins from B.C. in the summer issue of Gripped magazine. Also in Squamish, Ryan Sklenica sent A-Frame V12 and Nalle’s Arete V10. This winter, we touched base with Sklenica about training during lockdown, read the story here. And in the Dark Side boulders, Ivan Lou climbed The Existential Detective V12 and Tippytoe V11. In the Grand Wall boulders, Amanda Barlaug climbed Phantom Power V8.

In Ontario, Midori Buechli climbed a number of hard classic problems at Niagara Glen south of Toronto. The bouldering destination is the most popular in the province. Buechli made the first female ascent of Necromancer V9, which capped off a string of burly boulders that include Cocina V8 and BFF V10. If you’re looking for bouldering videos from Alberta then check out Scott Eveleigh here, and for Nova Scotia videos check out Mo Beta here. In Alberta, Sam Carr has made a number of first ascents at Bears Paw up to V4 check it out here.

Internationally, Alex Puccio climbed Thuggish Ruggish V11 and Burnt V12, of which she said, “First night here got on this climb and fell off in the V7 end pretty quickly, but a couple tries later split two tips. Got back on it last night and sent first try. Psyched to not have re-split anything on it.” In Yosemite, Jimmy Webb made the first ascent of Tierrany V14, the hardest climb in Yosemite.

In RMNP, Nick Bradley climbed Paint it Black V15, and in Font, Killian Chabrier climbed La Force, a 35-move V16. Also in Europe, Maja Jonjic climbed El Guanche V13 in Tenerife. Karoline Sinnhuber climbed Steinschlaggefahr V12 in Zillertal, and Shinichiro Nomura climbed Rokudo V15 and Meikyoshisui V14 in Toyamagawa, Japan.

In the world of sport climbing, Jon Siegrist made the second ascent of The Activator 5.14d in Utah’s Hurricave, which just got an FA from Joe Kinder. About the hard line, Siegrist said, “This one was hard as hell for me to be honest. We’ve all felt at times some kind of entitlement to send – that thought of ‘I should have sent already!’ Or ‘this should be easy for me.’ But over the years I’ve learned that this attitude is bullshit. If my goal is to be challenged and to improve, why not be open to every lesson? If it truly was ‘easy,’ it wouldn’t be hard would it. The moment we start assuming that everything will be easy is the moment we shut ourselves off to learning… I definitely learned a lot along the way”

Berta Martin and Israel Gacia are famous Spanish climbers, and their 13-year-old daughter Geila Macia has just climbed her first 5.14a with Agora, as well as her fourth 5.13d with Brujo in Saderness. And Laura Rogora has repeated a Stefano Ghisolfi route called Terapia d’urto 5.14d in Padaro. And Martina Demmel has climbed her first 5.14d with Joe-Cita, read more about it here.

Access: Be sure to follow your local access group: Squamish, Kootenays, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland. There are no major access updates this week, but stay tuned for weekly updates from across Canada.

Gear and Tips: For spring rock climbing gear, check out the best climbing harnesses for 2021 and the best cams for 2021. For safety, here are five reasons to wear a helmet, tips to be a better bouldering spotter and 10 tips for a more fun spring. If you’re looking for some big whippers, check out Whipper below. Always wear a helmet!