Katie Lambert Reflects on Sending China Crisis (5.14a)

Katie Lambert on China Crisis (5.14a) in Oliana. Photo credit: Manabu Yoneyama

Katie Lambert on China Crisis (5.14a) in Oliana. (Photo credit: Manabu Yoneyama)

Thoughtful, reflective, and incredibly strong in mind and body, Katie Lambert is relentless in pushing herself and the climbing community, all while staying incredibly down to earth. At age 34, Katie is a fixture in Yosemite, where she has repeated numerous 5.13 trad routes, including multiple routes rated 5.13R. Recently, Katie pushed the physical boundaries of her many ascents, across the pond in Spain, and added her first 5.14, China Crisis, to her list of many ascents. In talking with Crux Crush, she described the route as “so crimpy and sustained that initially I was unable to try it more than once a day. As I started to get stronger on it and gained tougher skin I was able to try it more than once a session.” After working the Oliana route for the last 3 weeks, Katie shared some thoughts on finally clipping the chains:

I made it through all of the bottom [3] cruxes to arrive at this [fourth and final] crux and fell on its exit moves on four separate burns before finally sticking the move and making the red point. However, the route stays pretty on you until clipping the anchor. It was an interesting process of not being able to do some moves all together, not being able to crimp some holds initially, not understanding some sequences, changing some sequences, feeling really pumped to eventually feeling really quite good and realizing I was no longer feeling like I was climbing at my max limit.

Lambert on China Crisis during the red point (Photo credit: Manabu Yoneyama).

Lambert fighting through the 4 cruxes and crimpy moves on China Crisis (Photo credit: Manabu Yoneyama).

Lambert expressed, “I feel happy to have had my sights set on this level and to see that goal met, that is a great and fulfilling feeling,” yet true to her down-to-earth nature, felt this red point, in the end, held similar significance and importance as the multitude of other climbs, trad and sport, that she has projected and sent. While Katie may be better known as an expert trad climber, she has clearly earned her spot as a talented all-around climber. She relishes what both trad and sport provide: “I love trad climbing. I find it really adventurous, really complex at times and very much a strategic type of endeavor. Sport climbing is different in that it seems a bit freer for me in the mental aspect as far as what I am willing to get involved in. The movement is more gymnastic typically and it’s just really fun. I think the two compliment each other nicely.” As for a final project during her last month in Oliana, Katie’s set her eyes on Picos Pardos (5.14a/8b+) or T1 Full Equip (5.14b/8c). We’ll keep you posted on her send…

Best of luck to you, Katie, on your next climb and thanks for sharing your success with us here at Crux Crush!

Climb on!
~Crux Crush

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2 thoughts on “Katie Lambert Reflects on Sending China Crisis (5.14a)

  1. Karl Baba says:

    Kudos Katie! I remember way back when you might have only led a few 5.11s but you knew you were shooting for the stars and now you’re there. Kudos!

  2. Cristina says:

    Really inspiring story. This is one of the things I love about climbing, how your body adapts to movements and holds. It’s happened to me so many times where I try a move on a climb and it seems completely impossible, yet after some work it just seems to happen. It’s such an awesome feeling! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this inspirational story and way to go Katie!

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