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Ryan Vachon Repeats M14

As temps drop across North America, dedicated winter climbers prepare for ice and mixed climbing. Some climbers are in top form and have already sent their hardest M routes to date.

One of those climbers is Boulder, Colorado-based Ryan Vachon. The 42-year-old made a name for himself last year when he sent the popular Red Beard M12 in the Rigid Designator Amphitheater in Colorado and skipped the bolts. He placed marginal gear in loose limestone.

Red Beard on Gear

In November, 2014 Vachon made an ascent of Jedi Mind Tricks, which has had less than six repeats since being established in 2004 Ryan Nelson and Jared Ogden. The climb goes through the 30-metre roof of God’s Crag in the San Juan Mountains. The 20-bolt route is one of the steepest in the country.

Vachon told Gripped’s Brandon Pullan, ” I would say the crux is getting used to the pockets. They are wildly different than the normal soft shiznic that dry toolers might be use to. Physically, there is a spiraling move that confronts you after 10 metres of 45-degree overhang rock and 8 metres of dead horizontal terrain. It goes, but you’ve got to want it.”

Will Gadd’s take on M grades

Ryan Vachon climbing Jedi Mind Tricks M14 Photo Beth Goralski.
Ryan Vachon climbing Jedi Mind Tricks M14 Photo Beth Goralski.

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