On Feb. 26, 2017, Margo Hayes sent La Rambla 5.15a in Siurana, Spain, and became the first woman to climb the grade.
It was an epic moment in climbing and climbers around the world celebrated with Hayes.
It was the first of many big climbs in 2017, including the first ascent of a 5.15d with Adam Ondra’s first ascent of Silence and Alex Honnold’s first free solo of El Capitan.
Hayes went on to complete another first with her climb of Biographie/Realization 5.15a a few months later.
Before that, Angela Eiter climbed La Planta de Shiva and became the first woman to climb a confirmed 5.15b.
And also last year, Anak Verhoeven became the second woman to climb 5.15a when she made the first ascent of Sweet Neuf at Pierrot Beach, France.
And before Hayes climbed La Rambla, Ashima Shiraishi and Josune Bereziartu had recorded 5.14d/5.15a sends.
In 2015, Shiraishi climbed Open Your Mind Direct R1 and Ciudad de Dios, in Santa Linya, both given 5.14d/15a.
But Hayes’ confirmed 5.15a send was one of the biggest climbs of last year and seemed leave a big impression on many young and old climbers.
Her remarkable year earned her the Inspiration Award from Outdoor Retailer and the Robert Hicks Bates Award from the American Alpine Club, given to young climbers who’ve shown “exceptional skill and character in the climbing or mountaineering arts.”
Looking forward, Hayes might be eyeing to compete at the Olympics in 2020 and has a number of other lofty goals. And there are a number of other big project on the horizon for top climbers.
But few things will compare to that moment when she climbed La Rambla, that moment when the world learned about it through social media in a photo that Matty Hong took.