Tag Archives: Paige Claassen

First Female Ascent of 5.14c for Claassen

Just Do It (5.14c/8c+) at Smith. Photo credit: Paige Claassen's Instagram)

Just Do It (5.14c/8c+) at Smith. (Photo credit: Paige Claassen’s Instagram)

Over the last year Paige Claassen has traveled the world on her Lead Now Tour, sending hard left and right, while also bringing awareness and raising money for local non-profits that empower women and children. It appears that climbing some of the toughest routes around the world for nearly a year gets you strong. Putting that strength to the test, 22-year-old Paige tackled and sent Just Do It (5.14c/8c+) at Smith Rocks. She is the first female ascent of the route. It should be noted that at the time this route was established by Jean-Baptiste Tribout in 1992, 5.15/9a+ did not exist. It looks like we may have a first female ascent of 5.15/9a+ any day now…and Paige just might be the lady to do it! Congrats Paige! Keep on inspiring!

Climb on! ~Cate

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‘Tis the Season for Sending


Paige Claassen climbing Art Attack (8c/5.14b). Photo by Rich Crowder.

Crisp fall weather has descended upon New England and many parts of the world, creating prime sending conditions. Here’s a little roundup of the ladies who’ve been taking full advantage of the cool weather and great friction:

Paige Claassen is currently traveling the world with Lead Now, a global tour to inspire people through rock climbing and raise money for women and children. While in Italy she earned the second ascent of the grueling slab climb Art Attack (8c/5.14b) at Sasso Remeno, which had not been sent since the route’s establishment in 2004. On her blog, Paige describes that she worked the route 30-40 times over a month long period in poor weather conditions and had actually given up on it. She didn’t want to leave Italy with any regrets so she gave it one last effort, and despite a lack of confidence, she sent the route. On her blog she reflects on her send, “Art Attack demonstrated the common message of persistence. Moreover, it contradicted my feeling that climbing is all about confidence – a confident climber can typically overcome mental and physical barriers and get to the top. However, through this process I learned that when confidence (in oneself, in the weather) fails, there is still a gleam of hope. Wipe the slate clean and give it one more try.”

Courtney Sanders ticked off her first V10 of the year and earned the first female ascent (FFA) of Rainbow in the Dark in Guanella Pass, Colorado. She described it as a “fun crimpy boulder!”

Our favorite 12-year-old, Ashima Shiraishi, took a trip to Red River Gorge, KY and sent two 8c+/5.14c’s, Fifty Words for Pump and 24-Karats. To top it off, she sent them in two days back-to-back, and her climb of 24-Karats was an FFA for the route. Last year she also sent two 8c+/5.14c’s in two consecutive days, which you can check out here:

Congrats ladies and keep the sends coming!

Climb on!
– Mary

Photo and Info Credit: 8a.nu, Paige Claassen’s blog, DPM Climbing

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Claassen Earns FA of Digital Warfare (5.14a)

Paige Claassen on Digital Warfare. Photo by Jon Glassberg, LT11)

Paige Claassen on Digital Warfare. Photo by Jon Glassberg, LT11.

Congrats to Paige Claassen for earning her first first ascent on Digital Warfare (5.14a) at Wow Prow in South Africa. On her blog she described her experience with the route: “Before I arrived, I didn’t expect to be able to do the route. But once I began trying, I knew I was capable. Then the time pressure set in, along with the knowledge that, as an open project, anyone could walk up and climb the route whenever they wanted – it wasn’t mine. Although this certainly elevated my stress level because I so badly wanted to complete the most beautiful route I’d ever seen, I still would have been happy if I made the hundredth ascent – it’s that cool.” We love how honest and open she is with the process of projecting and most importantly that she turned that stress and pressure into sending power!

This weekend Norwegian climber, Hannah Midtbø, sent her second 5.14a, Nordic flower, in her home country. According to the history of sends on 8a.nu, it looks like she “may have” earned the FFA on the route as well. Kasia Pietras continued her sending streak in South Africa by taking down Nutsa, V11.

Congrats on the sends ladies!
Climb on!

(Info and Photo Credits: 8a.nu, Paige’s Blog)

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Young Guns Who Climb Harder Than You


It’s no secret that today’s top male climbers are sending harder routes than top females. The reasons for the gap have recently been discussed and hotly debated; see Paige Claassen’s recent post and Andrew Bisharat’s Rock and Ice article and similar post on Evening Sends. We’ll probably never agree on why exactly this difference exists, but hopefully, soon, we can put the issue behind us and watch as the next generation of young, super strong ladies closes the gap. We recently heard from 8-year-old climber, Victoria Gezel, who just started climbing a year ago and is already sending V4 (for the record, it took me almost twice that long to reach V4, so rock on Victoria!). She shared this interview with us and it got us thinking about the up-and-coming generation and what they could mean for the sport.

We know, you’re probably thinking, “Ashima Shiraishi, Brooke Raboutou, who else is there really?” We agree, they’re both incredibly strong, smart climbers and they’ve received a lot of media attention (see photos above). We could certainly write entire posts about each of them, but for today we’re focusing on 4 other young climbers who you may not be so familiar with. These girls are making hard sends and beating out the competition, yet still have to get their parents to drive them to their national comps.

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Paige Claassen To Bolt or Not to Be Footage

Here is Paige Claassen sending the historic 5.14a, To Bolt or Not to Be, which we reported on a few weeks ago. We love how candid she is about nerves, expectation, and injury. It’s super inspiring to watch her make her way up this 135-foot “parking lot tipped up on it’s side”, which took her 47 minutes! Talk about serious long term focus. Congrats Paige!

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Paige Claassen Sends Historic 5.14a

03_26_paigePaige clipping the chains on To Bolt or Not to Be

The 135-foot face climb in Smith Rock, Oregon, To Bolt or Not to Be, was not even a question for 22-year-old Paige Claassen. This historic route was the first 5.14 in America and until Claassen, saw only two female ascents, one by Lynn Hill and the other by Beth Rodden, both in 1998. Claassen has made several hard FFA’s in the past few years, including 5.14b/c Grand Ole Opry, 5.14a God’s Own Stone, and 5.14a Motley Crux. Representing the merger of new school and old school climbing, she’s a decorated competition climber, but still seeks out classic, aesthetic lines that speak to her. To learn more about Paige check out her site at http://paigeaclaassen.wordpress.com/.

Congrats to Paige for adding this hard send to the history of female climbing!

Climb on!

(Photo credit: Ryan Palo)

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Shoe Review – La Sportiva Testarossa


I bought these shoes about a month ago, just before our climbing trip to Puerto Rico because my La Sportiva Miuras were torn to shreds. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Miuras, but I was ready to invest in a more aggressive shoe for outdoor climbing. I was hard pressed to find reviews of this men’s shoe from a woman’s perspective so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I figured it was a good sign that Paige Claassen, Brooke Raboutou, and Chelsea Rude have all been spotted sporting Testarossas. Like a kid on Christmas, I tore open the package they came in, squeezed my feet into these babies, and found myself grinning ear to ear.
Here’s why:

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