There are far more difficult sport pitches in the world than trad pitches, likely because sport climbing offers the safety of bolts and there are many more steep walls than steep cracks. The following 16 climbs are graded 5.14b or harder and are either single pitch or multi-pitch.
Jacopo Larcher recently sent his six-year project called Tribe, which is likely the world’s first 5.14d trad pitch, but Larcher has yet to grade it. He said it’s the hardest thing he’s ever climbed, which includes La Rambla 5.15a. Some trad routes climb pure crack lines and others climb faces but are protected by trad gear in discontinuous cracks.
Four climbers have sent three of the routes, including Canadians Sonnie Trotter and Ben Harnden, Jacopo Larcher and Tom Randall. Will Stanhope’s Blood on the Crack pitch is 5.14b, but has shut down Matt Segal, Jacob Cook and Kevin Jorgeson so far.
World’s Hardest Trad
Tribe 5.14d or? in Spain by Jacopo Larcher
Blackbeard’s Tears 5.14c at Redwood Coast, U.S.A. by Ethan Pringle
Meltdown 5.14c in Yosemite by Beth Rodden, Carlo Traversi
Pura Pura 5.14c in Valle dell’Orco, Italy by Tom Randall
Recovery Drink 5.14c in Jossingford, Norway by Nico Favresse, Daniel Jung
Rhapsody 5.14c in Dumbarton Rock, U.K. by Dave MacLeod, Sonnie Trotter, Steve McClure, James Pearson, Jacopo Larcher
Magic Line 5.14b/c in Yosemite by Ron Kauk, Lonnie Kauk
Brozone 5.14b in Gunks by Andy Salo, Sam Elias
Century Crack 5.14b in 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
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 Osso, 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
Tom Egan Memorial Route 5.14b in the Bugaboos by Will Stanhope