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Brett Perkins skipping the bolts and placing trad gear on Proper Soul 5.14a R/X at the New River Gorge, USA.
Photo by Dan Brayack
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More hard US trad at the New River Gorge and Shawagunks


At the Shawagunks Brian Kim established the trad route Monumental 5.13d, while at the New River Gorge Brett Perkins climbed Proper Soul 5.14a R/X without bolts but with trad gear.

Just a fortnight ago the New River Gorge made our news with some hard trad ascents by two US climbers, Pat Goodman and Matt Wilder. Attentive readers wrote in to highlight that these two climbs are just a tip on one of the icebergs of the testing US trad movement and two other hard climbs are definitely worth mentioning.

The first climb on the agenda is located at the Shawagunks and was established in late July when Brian Kim carried out the first ascent of "Monumental" 5.13d in the V-3 area. The route has a V10 boulder crux and received remarkably little coverage, despite its quality.

Returning to the New River Gorge theme, at the end of August Brett Perkins made an ascent of one of the absolute testpieces in the Gorge, Proper Soul 5.14a. Interesting, because Perkins opted against clipping the bolts on this sport route but instead ascended with a rack of wires and camming devices. Perkins' headpoint ascent came about after having worked the route previously and climbed in this style weighs in at 5.14a R/X (R meaning runout and X standing for potential ground fall). Although it is unlikely that the bolts will be chopped, it underlines the appeal of trad, wherever deemed possible and regardless of the difficulties.

For excellent video footage of both of these climbs check out www.deadpointmag.com




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