At the start of February, American Michaela Kiersch sent Necessary Evil, a classic 5.14c.
After her climb, she said it was the first female ascent and the seventh of the grade she’s climbed.
She had recently made the first ascent of Goldilocks, a 5.14b at the Red River Gorge’s Gold Coast.
Less than 24 hours after Kiersch’s ascent of Necessary Evil, Paige Claassen redpointed it. The past year has been memorable for the number of big female breakthroughs in climbing, from Margo Hayes’ climb of La Rambla 5.15a to Angy Eiter’s ascent of La Planta de Shiva 5.15b.
The first ascent of Necessary Evil was by Chris Sharma in 1997. Often tried and rarely repeated, Necessary Evil ranks among the most storied and sought-after sport climbs in the world.
In 1989, Salt Lake City climber Boone Speed added the 11 bolts to the wall and hoped it would be a 5.13.
The crux is a V10 into a low-percentage hold to a shallow pocket about 15 metres up. It’s only had 17 ascents in 20.
Many climbers agree that the style and technique isn’t one you can develop in a gym.