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Lonnie Kauk Upgrades Ron Kauk’s Magic Line to 5.14c

Lonnie Kauk has sent Magic Line in Yosemite for his second time, but on this send he placed the gear for a proper redpoint.

The route was first climbed by his father, Ron Kauak, in 1996 and Lonnie made the second ascent in 2016 with the gear pre-placed. Ron graded it 5.14b, the hardest grade in the valley at the time.

Lonnie has upgraded the route 5.14c, making it one of the hardest crack climbs in the world. It’s located next to Vernal Falls and has been attempted by other strong crack climbers, like John Bachar and Lynn Hill.

Lonnie is known for his bold free solos of big granite routes and has ticked a number of hard boulders, including Too Big to Flail V10 highball and Ambrosia V11.

The other 5.14c single pitch crack in Yosemite is Meltdown, which was first tried by Ron and later sent by Beth Rodden. Carlo Traversi recently made the second ascent.

“I think its cool to have a father like him and what he has accomplished in Yosemite with climbing but he didn’t push me to climb at all, or be what I am today,” Lonnie told Hazel Findlay in this interview.

“Whether it’s hard climbing or not, it’s in my soul and I can feel it every time I go climbing. Now I’ve climbed a bunch of his routes like Crossroads 5.13d, Peace 5.13c, Sacred Fire 5.13a, Thriller V10 and Midnight Lightning V8. Pretty cool to think that when I was growing up I was looking at photos of all these routes and I wasn’t even climbing at the time.”

Lonnie on Broken Arrow 5.14a