China Doll is a provocative exploration of gender stereotypes, romance, and rock climbing. Witness Heather Weidner battle personal demons in the world of hard traditional climbing.
With her ascent of China Doll, a 5.14R traditional route in Upper Dream Canyon, Colorado, Weidner nabs the first female ascent, and becomes the fourth woman in the world to climb a 5.14 traditional route.
I can hardly contain my excitement. @heatherlweidner wrapped up her year long battle with "China Doll" (5.14a), a traditional and first female ascent in Dream Canyon, Colorado. Not only is this achievement totally bad ass on its own but Heather has become the 4th woman in history to climb 5.14 on trad gear and its only the 5th trad climb ever done by a woman of the grade. Completely awesome and it has been so cool to have followed Heather since day 1 on this project. We have been documenting her whole journey for a feature length film so stay tuned! Congrats Heather. Well deserved. @louderthan11 @joshuauhl @christopherweidner @carolinelovesphotos #lt11
“Excited beyond belief to have sent China Doll, 5.14aR trad. Thanks to Molly Mitchell, Chris Weidner and everyone else that believed in me more than I believed in myself … It feels like a dream,” she posted on Instagram.
China Doll had likely seen less than 10 ascents when Weidner climbed it. She joined Lynn Hill, Beth Rodden and Barbara Zangerl as the only four women to have climbed 5.14 on gear. And Weidner’s achievement was the fifth 5.14 trad ascent ever completed by a woman.
Lynn Hill was the first female to climb 5.14 on gear her historic free ascent of The Nose on El Cap, Yosemite in 1993 and again in 1994. Beth Rodden freed the Nose with Tommy Caldwell in 2005, each led half of the pitches. In 2008, Rodden, 28 at the time, made the first ascent of Meltdown 5.14c in the Lower Merced River Canyon. She was the first woman to establish a 5.14 trad climb and it has yet to be repeated.
Barbara Zangerl became the third woman to climb 5.14 on gear when she sent Prinzip Hoffnung 5.14a in Bürser Platte, Austria. Zangerl, who was 25 at the time, redpointed it in March 2014 for its third ascent.
To watch the trailer to Weidner’s send, click on the image below.