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A wave of great ascents and… downgrading
in Red River Gorge


Seems like Adam Ondra’s flash ascent of Southern Smoke Direct made it possible for Danel Woods to finally get through with the route which happened to be his long-term project he had worked on before with Jon Cardwell. Daniel’s success was a motivating factor for Cédric Lachat, who’d also been staying in Red River. As a result, the Swiss climber was another one to conquer the route. Shortly before, he also managed to send two other classics – Jonathan Siegrist’s Pure Imagination and Adam Taylor’s Golden Ticket, both 8c+ (9a).



Cédric Lachat powers through the initial V12 boulder of Souther Smoke Direct
(photo:
8a.nu)


Coming back to Woods, 8a.nu has just reported that the strong American, known mostly for his outstanding boulder ascents, flashed Pure Imagination, calling it "a soft 8c+", which confirms Adam Ondra’s impressions. Woods comments on his climb as follows:

"Crazy moment. Thanks to Adam for the belay and beta. Good vibes at the cliff. A perfect crimp resistance route."

In relation to the latest news from Red River, Dead Point Magazine has posted an interesting article regarding the whole downgrading procedure.

With the recent ascent and comment by Daniel Woods, the picture is getting a little bit clearer. Still, two main arguments touch upon

a) the opinion that the whole spot of Red River Gorge may be in general a bit overgraded, which seems to originate from the very first gradings as it is very hard for the first ascentionist to judge the difficulty of the route and he simply follows his previous experieces from the spot, as well as

b) as it was said by Jonathan Siegrist for Dead Point Magazine, Adam may be simply "too strong to really know”.

And what do you think?
 
 
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