Mayan Smith-Gobat: 750m Alpine 8a and Granite 5.13by Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Aug/2012
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We caught up with her briefly for a few more details:
Jack: You just climbed Donnafugata with David Falt. What is it, where is it and how hard is it?!
Mayan: Donnafugata is a 750m 8a (25 pitches) on Torre Trieste, in the Dolomites.
Jack: What style did you climb it in, and why?
Mayan: I climbed it ground up, onsight apart from the two crux pitches - which I did second go. Why... It never occurred to me to try it any other way!
Jack: Have you done any other routes that it is comparable to?
Mayan: In length it is almost comparable to El Capitan, however the style is totally different. This is all bolted and steep sport climbing really, but very exposed, with a mountainous feel and a lot of loose rock!
Jack: What was the hardest part of the ascent for you?
Mayan: Dealing with being cold all night during our bivi on the ledge at 2/3 height, and then pulling myself together, after 24 hours on the wall with very little food or water, to climb the last hard pitch - Apparently a 7b+, but which was more like a very strange and bouldery 7c+. It took me a long time just to work out how to do the moves on it!
Mayan: Somehow managing to climb the crux (8a) pitch on my second attempt, at the end of a long day on the route - Was totally amazing... I had felt absolutely destroyed and could not believe it when I managed to pull through the crux and then was even more amazed that I managed to keep it together till the top.
It was also amazing to actually top out, and suddenly be onto top of this wicked spire!
Jack: Right now you're in Colorado, and have just done China Doll to the first anchor [there's a 5.14 extension], what's that all about? Harder or easier than Donnafugata?
Mayan: The climbing on China Doll is harder for sure. It is graded 8b, a single pitch angling crack, which has actually been bolted, but takes ok gear, so I decided to do it placing gear. It is also granite, not limestone, so an entirely different style of climbing altogether.
Jack: And you're headed back to Europe soon - any plans?
Mayan: I am coming back to Europe to attend the Adidas Rockstars event in Stuttgart. Then I am hoping to do something long in Switzerland - maybe try Silbergeier. Then I am heading up to Norway for a Deep water Solo comp, and am hoping to stay up there for a couple weeks to get on some of the big granite walls up there! But my plans seem to be evolving and changing by the day... So we will just have to see what happens!
Jack: Thanks Mayan - good luck in the Stuttgart competition!
You can keep up with Mayan on her website and blog: Mayanclimbs.com
You can read David Falt's report on his blog: E9climbing