Paige Claassen seizes Dreamcatcher 9a in Squamish
American rock climber Paige Claassen has made the first female ascent of Dreamcatcher, the iconic 9a at Squamish in Canada first ascended by Chris Sharma in 2005.
Ever since Dreamcatcher was first ascended in 2005 by Chris Sharma on the Cacodemon boulder at The Chief above Squamish in Canada, this diagonal rail of holds has rapidly evolved into one of the most iconic sport climbs in North America. The 10-bolt line is split into 4 distinct sections, a technical slab, burly slopers, painful finger locks and a campus crux around the corner, and despite attempts by many of the best the list of those who have repeated the line remains short and sweet.
Paige Claassen has now added her name to this list with the first female ascent carried out last Thursday. The 31-year-old American climber first attempted the route seven years ago but found she could barely do the individual moves; in the ensuing years she progressed significantly, sending top notch climbs such as Just Do It (8c+) at Smith Rock in 2014, Mission Impossible (8c+) at Clear Creek Canyon, Necessary Evil (8c+) at Virgin River Gorge and Algorithm in the Fins (8c+/9a) in 2018 and Shadowboxing, her first 9a, in Rifle in 2019. Dreamcatcher remained in the back of her mind though and after training specifically for the line, she returned this summer. After getting agonisingly close on days 5 and 6, she sent it on only her 7th day of project!