The Ticklist #47 Rare Repeats

© Matty Hong Collection

In this week's Ticklist, there are some long-awaited repeats and hard sport ticks...

Tommy Caldwell's Flex Luthor finally repeated

American climber Matty Hong has made the long awaited second ascent of Tommy Caldwell's Flex Luthor at The Fortress of Solitude, near Rifle, Colorado. Caldwell climbed the route in 2003 and refrained from grading it at the time, simply saying 'it's the hardest thing I've ever done.'

Hong believes the grade to 9b, which would make it one of the earliest 9bs. On Caldwell's ascent, Hong said:

'Tommy's ascent, nearly 20 years ago is truly amazing and proves how far ahead he was as a climber and visionary. It's undeniable some aspects of the route have changed over the years, however, I believe the majority of the climb has stayed intact.'

Commenting on his own ascent, Hong said: 'Yesterday was special; I poured everything into this climb. [It] has been one of the best and most challenging climbs of my life.'

Second ascent of Chris Sharma's Alasha

Jakob Schubert has made the second ascent of Chris Sharma's desperate deep water solo, Alasha. Although Sharma did not grade the route, it is thought to be around 9a+. Schubert had this to say:

'If I remember correctly, Chris never set out a grade for 'Alasha' or 'Es Pontas', it was more that he compared the process with some of his hardest sport climbs and this is how numbers made their way into media. Most of all I think sport climbing grades aren't ideal for deep water solo climbing, especially the difficult and high ones where more factors come into play than just the ability to send hard. Even if you check out some sequences on a rope the whole endeavour is still so different from a sport climbing process, where you have all options to practice or rehearse moves or sequences countless times without the consequence of big falls into the sea.'

Schubert has been working on Sharma's King Line, Es Pontas, and although he is yet to stick the dyno, I'm sure we'll be hearing from him soon.

Schubert on the second ascent of Alasha  © Sebastian Marko/Alpsolut
Schubert on the second ascent of Alasha
© Sebastian Marko/Alpsolut

Watch the video of Sharma on the first ascent below:

Patxitxulo 9a/+ for Anak Verhoeven 

25-year-old Belgian climber Anak Verhoeven has made the second ascent of Patxi Usobiaga's Patxitxulo (9a/+) at Oliana, Spain. The route is a linkup of an 8c+ and a 9a+. She has climbed up to 9a+ before with ascents of Joe Mama in November 2019 and Sweet Neuf in September 2017.

Rhoslyn Frugtniet climbs Mecca Extension (8c)

Sheffield-based Rhoslyn Frugtniet has ticked Mecca Extension (8c) at Raven Tor (Miller's Dale), The Peak District. She has climbed a couple of 8cs before including The Death Star in Cheddar Gorge and Poppy (8b+/8c) at Anstey's Cove. This was the second female ascent of the route after Mina Leslie-Wujastyk climbed it back in 2014. Writing on her Instagram, she said:

'Felt good to clip these chains this morning!! After falling off the top multiple times in the previous session it became a real head game to keep it together! (The extension adds a really techy/ pumpy bit of climbing, with most of the weight being on your feet!). Turns out all I needed was a double rest day and some breezy cons.'

Ginés López learns trad

Olympic gold medal winner Alberto Ginés López has been learning how to trad climb after a workshop with Neil Gresham. He quickly got the hang of it and for his fourth route made the first ascent of Fisura Dura (E7 6c). Watch a short video from Neil below:

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15 Oct

Rhos lives in Sheffield now - would have been an even finer effort commuting from Bristol every time!

Thanks, Ali!

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