Paige Claassen Climbs Dreamcatcher (5.14d/35)
American Paige Claassen has made the first female ascent of Dreamcatcher (5.14d/35), in Squamish, Canada. This much-admired line traverses an aesthetic sloping rail feature on an enormous granite boulder in British Columbia's famous Squamish climbing area. The first ascent was made by Chris Sharma in his typical powerful and dynamic style, repeat ascentionists have found that the route indeed demands this type of approach and before Paige's successful ascent, no woman had been able to link the moves.
Much like with frenchwoman Melissa La Neve's recent groundbreaking repeat of Action Directe (8c+/9a/35) in the Frankenjura, Dreamcatcher is a relatively short route, with a short slab at the start which the climber must then make a large dynamic move from, with consistently powerful moves all the way to the anchor. Both of these routes are different in style to the longer, more endurance and resistance-based climbs common in this grade range. It is great to see former competition climbers like La Neve and Claassen concentrate on these very difficult outdoor rock climbs and find success. Progress isn't always measured by numbers and these two climbs represent a breakthrough in style for these climbers with their mastery of powerful and bouldery routes on rock.
Photo courtesy of Paige Claassen's instagram and Arjan De Kock.