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Squamish 5.13+ Stem Corners Repeated

Connor Herson and Brent Barghahn have made the second ascent of Stélmexw and repeated Tainted Love

American climbers Connor Herson and Brent Barghahn have repeated two of Squamish’s most difficult stem routes, both on The Chief, with Tainted Love 5.13dR and the second ascent of Stélmexw 5.13+. Barghahn told Gripped that he and Herson both sent Tainted Love on July 8, after working it the day before on top-rope. Watch the video below.

On the 18th, they turned their attention to Stélmexw, a 5.13+ on first climbed by Jesse Huey in 2022. “Connor ended up flashing the crux stem pitch after I chalked it up and hung the draws,” said Barghahn. “I fought hard to pull off a second go send of that pitch. Connor had slipped on a lower 11d slab pitch, but redpointed it along the way. We both then did the 12c top pitch first try, for a team send of the route in a single day outing.” In their opinion the crux pitch goes at 5.13c.

Herson became the youngest climber to free The Nose at age 15 in 2018, and last year he climbed Empath 5.14d/15a on gear. Barghahn has several impressive ascents to his name, including a ground-up all-free rope-solo of the 20-pitch Father Time 5.13b in Yosemite, a repeated of Stingray 5.13d (watch here), and the first 5.14 in Little Cottonwood Canyon with Iridescence. Visit Barghahn’s climbing blog here.

Stélmexw 5.13+. Photo from Brent Barghahn

Tainted Love