Watch Heather Weidner Send China Doll 5.14R
Using preplaced gear, Mayan Smith-Gobat climbed China Doll to the first anchor, 5.13c, in 2012
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.
“Excited beyond belief to have sent China Doll 5.14R trad,” Weidner said. “Thanks to Molly Mitchell, Chris Weidner and everyone else that believed in me more than I believed in myself. It feels like a dream.”
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.
“I did the two pitches as one 40-meter pitch all on gear, using one fixed pin and one fixed nut,” said Weidner. “I first climbed the 5.13c on bolts, then toproped the extension clean, figured out the finicky gear on TR, and lastly sent the whole rig placing my own protection.” Watch below.