Molly Mitchell has sent China Doll 5.14 trad in Upper Canyon, Colorado, while placing gear on lead. The 24-year-old became the seventh woman to send 5.14 trad, the others being: Barbara Zangerl, Heather Weidner, Nadine Wallner, Beth Rodden, Lynn Hill and Maddy Cope.
Mitchell began working on the route, a 40-metre granite splitter, back in spring. She worked on for nearly 50 days in total. In the past, Mitchell had Free Line 5.13b trad and Gild of Lily 5.14a sport.
China Doll was first climbed in 1981 by Marc Hirt as a five-pitch 5.9 A3 and in 1996, Bob Horan bolted and sent the second pitch at 5.13b. The first and third pitches were later freed. In 2010, Mike Patz sent the two crux pitches as one 5.14 pitch. Ethan Pringle, Brad Gobright went on to repeat it, as well as Heather Weidner.
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“China Doll,” 5.14a R, trad ✅. . A dream come true✨. I’m so incredibly excited to say that yesterday I redpointed the trad 5.14a (8b+) version of “China Doll.” I’ve been working on this route since mid May. . I placed all the gear while leading. I soloed the 5.9 to get up to the start of the 13c and placed two cams in a horizontal crack at the base of the 13c. I then placed 9 pieces as I went up the 13c, including placing a sling on the fixed pin. I skipped a small copperhead stuck down low and a fixed nut in the stem up high. For the extension I placed 6 pieces. When I first started working the extension, there was a fixed nut on it, but @zack_fisher removed it after we both decided it would be cool to try to place it on lead🤘. I also skipped an old cam that was stuck up higher. The extension by itself as a pitch is 13c/d, but when you climb it along with the 13c all in one long pitch it goes at 5.14a R. . I was lucky enough to belay @heatherlweidner a few years ago when she sent this proud line. It was incredibly inspiring, but I personally just never thought I would be good enough to achieve something like this. I’m really lucky to have friends who believed in me and supported me endlessly, even when I didn’t fully believe in myself. Huge shoutout to Heather- having you throughout this process to talk to was incredible. You have a heart of gold and I’m so grateful for all your advice and love🥰. And shoutout to @nmilfeld (who belayed me for the send!!) – your encouragement and care for me and my success means the world. And you are incredibly inspiring to climb with 💪❤️. I laugh and smile so much when I’m with you! Also have to thank @tim.arose who has been my trainer throughout this process. I trust you so much, and I’m so glad to have you as a friend 🙏. Don’t know many people who can get me out of my head like you can- thanks for always dealing with me!😆 And shoutout to Zack for sharing beta, good times, and cheering me on throughout all the sends! You’re next dude!💪 And to all the others who also supported me… from the bottom of my heart, thank you 🙏. I’m tearing up writing this so I’ll stop now. Photo by the talented @scottcrady✨