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What Are the Hardest Sport Routes in the U.S.A.? Here They Are

There are 13 routes graded 5.15a or harder, with the most difficult being 5.15b

Since the first 5.15a was established over 20 years ago, nearly 120 climbers have sent the grade, but only two have claimed to have climbed 5.15d and six a 5.15c. And while Spain has 60 5.15a or harder sport climbs, the U.S.A. has only 13.

The first claimed 5.15b in the U.S.A. was Jumbo Love, which recently was climbed for the fourth time by Seb Bouin. It was first climbed in 2008 by Chris Sharma during a time when only two other 5.15b or 5.15c routes were claimed. Tommy Caldwell made the first ascent of Flex Luthor in 2003, a line that Matty Hong said is 5.15b. There are no 5.15c routes in the U.S.A.

Empath and Jaws II are the most repeated 5.15s in the U.S.A., while several haven’t had repeats. Me, I East Dust 5.15a is on private land in Texas. Jonathan Siegrist is the most accomplished 5.15 climber on American soil. Jaws II was climbed in 1998 by Dave Graham at 5.14b, but after two holds broke it was repeated in 2007 by Vasya Vorotnikov at 5.15a. The most recent 5.15 send in the U.S.A. was the fourth ascent of Jumbo Love 5.15b by Seb Bouin.

Seb Bouin Jumbo Love 5.15b Photo by Clarisse Bompard
Seb Bouin on Jumbo Love 5.15b. Photo by Clarisse Bompard

U.S.A. 5.15 Routes

All You Can Eat 5.15a at Mount Potosi. Climbed by Jonathan Siegrist
Close Encounters 5.15a near Las Vegas. Climbed by Jonathan Siegrist
Empath 5.15a at Tahoe. Climbed by Carlo Traversi, Jimmy Webb, Daniel Woods, Nathaniel Coleman, Keenan Takahashi, Ethan Pringle, Connor Herson (trad)
Full Metal Brisket 5.15a at New River Gorge. Climbed by Jonathan Siegrist
Jaws II 5.15a at Rumney. Climbed by Vasya Vorotnikov, Daniel Woods, Mike Foley, Andrew Palmer, Paul Robinson, Alex Megos, Tristan Chen, Jesse Grupper


Kinder Cakes 5.15a at Rifle. Climbed by Joe Kinder
Mamajama 5.15a at Woman Cave. Climbed by Joe Kinder
Me, I Eat Dust 5.15a in Texas. Climbed by Cody Roth
One Hundred Proof 5.15a at Mount Potosi. Climbed by Jonathan Siegrist
Nu World 5.15a/5.15b near Las Vegas. Climbed by Jonathan Siegrist
Peruvian Necktie 5.15a/5.15b at Pop Tire Cave. Climbed by James Litz, Jonathan Siegrist
Flex Luthor 5.15b at Fortress of Solitude. Climbed by Tommy Caldwell, Matty Hong, Carlo Traversi
Jumbo Love 5.15b at Clark Mountain. Climbed by Chris Sharma, Ethan Pringle, Jonathan Siegrist