Onsighted Omaha Beach, 5.14a today! Psyched on Lucifer next!!!Sasha Digiulian goes from strength to strength. After redpointing her first 8c+, she has moved on to onsighting her first 8b+, Bill Ramsey's 45m steep endurance extravaganza Omaha beach in The Motherlode in the Red River Gorge, Kentucky.
Sasha's boyfriend, Magnus Midtbö: Today I belayed Sasha on what was the first American female onsight ascent of the grade 8b+ (5.14a) – Omaha beach. I onsighted this route a couple of years ago, and I knew she could do it too. Sasha's climbing has improved a lot the last year – she seems unstoppable these days. Very inspiring!
We left relatively early to go climbing today. After warming up on a 7c, Sasha decided to get on Omaha Beach. Since I had already done the route before, I knew where the crux was, and how it was like... on a beach (bulge) [which is the reason why it got its name. Omaha beach was hard to get off...], as the name suggests. She climbed very smoothly up to the crux, then stopped to recover and study the crux for a minute, before powering through it with lots of determination, as if she had done plenty of onsights at that level before.
Magnus is correct in that it's the first American female onsight of an 8b+, but it is actually not the first American female onsight of Omaha beach. Way back in 1999 Katie Brown accomplished the same feat. At the time, it was considered 8b however, but because of the fragile nature of the sandstone, several holds have since then broken.
For photos of Sasha's ascent of Southern smoke, check out Magnus' website, which is also the source I've used for this news piece.
Photo courtesy of Mountain project
Sasha Digiulian is sponsored by Mad Rock, Petzl, Mountain Hardwear and Native eyewear