Some big sends in Yosemite, an Alaskan big mountain first ascent, a new 8B by Dave MacLeod and action from Ondra...
Golden Gate free by Bronwyn Hodgins
Canadian climber Bronwyn Hodgins has become only the third woman to free Golden Gate 5.13a on El Capitan. Bronwyn climbed the ~40 pitch route over eight days. Writing in an Instagram story, she said: 'Still in shock that this went down!'
Bronwyn's husband, British climber Jacob Cook, wrote a longer post on Instagram in the meantime, charting her progression:
'It's been unreal watching her progression from eight years ago, a timid 19-year-old Canadian exchange student learning to top rope - to today one of the best female big wall free climbers in the world. Golden Gate is 41 pitches and hard, really hard - I believe (?) Bronwyn is the third woman to send it after @hazel_findlay and @emilyaharrington
'This didn't come easily. I know from the inside how hard Bronwyn has worked to get here. She has consistently pushed herself across many disciplines for years to arrive at a place where she had the strength, skills, knowledge and confidence to even consider this as a goal.'
Bronwyn had previously freed the classic Freerider 5.13a over five days in 2018.
Brittany Goris climbs the Salathé Wall
American climber Brittany Goris has free climbed the Salathé Wall on El Capitan. Incredibly, the route was her first big wall. She began the process a month ago when she abseiled in from the top of El Cap to work on the headwall. Writing on her Instagram, she said:
'I wanted to climb the Salathé Wall for many reasons, the main one being its incredible history as the first free route up El Cap. Many of the days I spent projecting were in complete solitude, but it never felt like I was really alone because I could just imagine Royal Robbins, Tom Frost, and Chuck Pratt, in the first ascent party, or Todd Skinner and Paul Piana on their free mission sharing the wall with me, or even imagine hearing John Salathé himself hammering away on some new visionary route across the Valley.
'To be able to add my own chapter to this rich history is a dream come true, so I made no effort to be concise in my telling of it. Check out my blog, link in bio, to read the whole thing: how I got here and why, what it was like, and what it all meant to me.'
The first free ascent of the route was in 1988 when Todd Skinner and Paul Piana managed it by swinging leads. In 1995, Alex Huber climbed the route, freeing all the pitches himself. Goris is the fourth woman to have free climbed the route after Steph Davis, Mayan Smith-Gobat and Hazel Findlay.
A feature documentary following Goris as she completes her first big wall climb—free climbing the Salathé on El Capitan — is currently in production. Goris shares her connection to this historic valley and route, as well as the insights and understandings gained along the way. For updates on the documentary, you can find the director and producer on Instagram @GaretBleir.
New Route on West Face of Mount Huntington in Alaska
Ines Papert and her partner Luka Lindič have made the first ascent of a new route on Mount Huntington's West Face in Alaska, which they have named Heart of Stone (1050m, M7, 50-90°).
The pair are spending an extended period of time in Alaska and moved to Denali National Park from the Revelations range after struggling with poor weather and conditions. They summitted on 26 April in two days from their camp at the base of the climb.
New 8B by Dave MacLeod
Dave MacLeod has made the first ascent of a new 8B called Zero at Rooftown beside Loch Ruthven. Having struggled to hold the swing on the last move, Dave 'finally held on' to get the tick.
Font 8B flash for Adam Ondra
Adam Ondra took some time out of his busy training schedule before the World Cup in Meiringen to have a session at his local area Babí lom. He flashed a Martin Stráník Font 8B called Hloubka ostrosti and came close to flashing another called Mládež z Dimenze. Watch his session in the video below:
VIDEO: Uncut footage of Seb Bouin on Hugh (9a)
As part of his Vintage Rock Tour, Seb Bouin made a rare ascent of Fred Rouhling's 1993 testpiece Hugh at Les Eaux Claires. Bouin has described the crag as Rouhling's 'laboratory of motion and extreme movement' where he, somewhat controversially, created his own routes on the crag's blank walls.