Norwegian climber Mari Augusta Salvesen recently made quick work of the Indian Creek test-piece Belly Full of Bad Berries 5.13 on Critic’s Choice wall. The route was first climbed in 1997 by Brad Jackson.
The wide crack overhangs 45 degrees and follows a 25-metre offwidth. She was joined by wide crack climbing specialists Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker who cheered her on and yelled beta after she onsighted the first third.
Salvesen then went on to onsight Wapiti, a 5.13 offwidth, and climbed Ruby’s Cafe 5.12d. “Fun route and a bloody struggle, said Salvesen about Wapiti, which was developed and freed by Ashley Reva. “After the initial boulder problem I spent probably 1.5 hours grovelling in desperation up the ‘easy section’ because turns out I don’t know how to climb vertical 6’s.”
In 2019, Salvesen made the first female ascent of the burly Ray’s Roof E7 6c at Baldstones in Staffordshire, which was first climbed by visiting American Ray Jardine in 1977. The horizontal offwidth crack remains a gritstone test-piece and is one of the hardest of its kind in the U.K.
Some of Salvesen’s other impressive climbs, include The Shield C4/A3 on El Capitan. Master’s Edge E7 6b in the Peak District, U.K., Misanthropie V11 in Fontainebleau and Byrkjedalsfossen WI5+ 350m in Rogaland, Norway.
“A total pleasure to watch such a great effort of gnarly determination, route reading skill and offwidth grind,” said Randall. “I’m pretty sure she had to invert at least another third of the route compared to me and Pete, which makes it even more impressive. Hard size for Mari for sure.”