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Nina Williams Climbing China Beach 5.14b

A video of her spring send of the steep Rumney line has been released

Photo by: Yannick Gingras

In May, Nina Williams made the first female ascent of China Beach 5.14b in Rumney, New Hampshire. It was first climbed by Dave Graham in 1999 and has been repeated several times over the past two decades.

China Beach is on the famous Waimea Wall, where you can also find Jaws 2 5.15a. It’s eight bolts long and is sustained throughout. A steep start leads to a dyno and then desperate crimping up an overhanging wall. Williams first tried the climb as a teenager. On this trip, she battled typical Rumney spring conditions – rain, humidity, and seepage – but still pulled off the send.

“I clipped the chains two days ago and can still hardly believe it,” she said. “I remember getting so stoked watching Dosage II hometown heroes [Dave Graham, Joe Kinder, and Luke Parady] raging in Rumney and putting New England on the map. The stoke gets stronger every time I come back, alongside a deep appreciation for what it means to climb on the East Coast. The conditions demand patience, dedication, a willingness to try hard no matter what, and logistical timing to get things done. I’ve re-learned all those lessons and more.”

Williams is one of the best all-round American rock climbers, with sends of Father Time, a 20-pitch 5.13b trad route in Yosemite; Too Big to Flail, a bold V10 highball; and her first female ascents of Window Shopper V12, Ambrosia V12, Evilution Direct V12 and Ray of Light V13. Watch her climb China Beach below in a video by Jordi Llauradó i Vilà.

Nina Williams on China Beach

Lead photo: Yannick Gingras