Tom Wright bolted Spirit of the West 5.14a in January 2015 and sent it that October. He tried the 35-metre 15-bolt line over 40 times. It became an instant classic and saw repeats by Vikki Weldon, Jon Siegrist, Sonnie Trotter and others.
After Weldon sent the route in 2018, she said, “Three years of obsession, progress, failure, doubt and hope all came to a head today! The wind blew, the rock was sticky and the crew was all time. Still wrapping my head around it, but my heart is full and my face hurts from smiling.”
Watch as Wright attempts the direct start, which he said will go at 5.14+. Over the past four years, he’s put in 60+ days and 100+ attempts. “It took me 15 days in the first season just to finally free all the moves,” he said.
“Route breaks down as: fun 5.12- climbing to good rest, into long (V12?) boulder problem, a bad shake and straight into another (V9/10?) boulder. After this join straight into the crux of Spirit (V7/8) with no real rest. Final clip is footage from my best ever go where I linked from halfway through the first boulder, all the way through the Spirit crux – the hardest bit of climbing I’ve ever done by far. And yes, after that much effort and work, I do think I have the right to name this route.”