Home > Profiles

Brooke Raboutou and Katie Lamb Climb V14

Brooke Raboutou and Katie Lamb take down V14 on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. This rapid starts suggests strong outdoor seasons for 2022

Last week saw numerous challenging ascents that spoke to the development of American outdoor bouldering. Both US Olympian Brooke Raboutou and American boulderer Katie Lamb took down V14 days apart.

New England’s Katie Lamb began her 2022 season with pace. In the last weeks, she ticked the famous Direct North V14 as her first 8b+ of 2022. Last year, Lamb managed to climb numerous challenging problems. These included Switzerland’s New Base Line V14 and Jade, a famous V14 from Rocky Mountain National Park.

The Bostonian has spent much of the last year travelling and climbing and appears to climb harder problems in less and less time. Lamb also went to Bishop last year and managed to kick of her strongest bouldering season yet with an ascent of The Swarm.

Direct North is a problem that has seen a lot of action from developing climbers over these last few years. The line was originally put up by Shawn Diamond in 2009 and has become one of the more famous link ups in the country. The climb begins as Direction, a crimpy V13 that the climber then finishes as Magnetic North, a V9/10 that climbs up the back of the Grandma Peabody.

Overseas, Brooke Raboutou spent her January climbing with her brother on some of the best boulder problems in the world. The high density of quality granite makes Switzerland a premier bouldering location for most high-level climbers, and the perfect place to enjoy outdoor climbing between seasons.

Raboutou managed to finish both Heritage V13 and Iur V14, in what became a multi-week siege of swiss classics. The striking Iur originally went up in 2019. The climb moves through a perfect compression sequence on a hanging prow. While this line became Raboutou’s favourite of the trip, Heritage is another beautiful line descriptive of Switzerland’s granite edges.

This high-tension crimp line offers deep shoulder moves and a three-dimensional conclusion to the fingery climb.These ascents come on the heels of Raboutou’s recent ascent of Trieste, a V14 in Red Rocks. On Instagram, Raboutou mentioned that a video from Switzerland be on the horizon.

With the Olympics in the rear-view, Raboutou may have more time this year to direct toward her projecting goals. With the number of boulders falling by her hand, a person wonders when she may climb V15. That same question stands for Lamb, as both climbers represent two of America’s most prolific women in outdoor bouldering.