Michaela Kiersch - Golden Ticket (5.14c)


Original Post
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Hey everyone,

So this was reported when it happened a few months ago, but if you missed it, Michaela Kiersch sent Golden Ticket in the RRG and claimed the First Female Ascent. As is the rage, her send was recorded and they just released the pro video if anyone wants to see it, pretty damned impressive:
http://www.goldenticketmovie.com

Michaela's actually from Chicago and trains at the gym where I climb, so it was really exciting to see her represent a city that has thus far been a little underrepresented when it comes to climbing accomplishments. Pretty damned impressive for a weekend warrior and full time student! Always great to see people crushing it.

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

I watched this today. Cool to see her dedication throughout a very busy life and still crush on the rock.

Pokey819 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Very impressive. Her determination is amazing. I'm going to have my 3 daughters watch this tomorrow.

Carla R · · San Jose, CA · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 110

Rad. Listening to her training routine makes me feel like I should (and can!) be accomplishing a lot more.

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 230

Please anyone out there that does videoing of climbing do not change cameras every 5 secs. I couldn't even watch the final climb because it changed so much.

It is ok to film with more than one camera because you may want different angles for different parts of the climb but what they did was horrible. If I was a film teacher I would have given them an F for it.

JNE · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,940

I met Michaela at a competition a few years ago. She was inspiring to watch because she is a smaller person who at the time did not have the lean physique she has in this video, but that in no way held her back as she won that competition. Cool to see her still setting her own limitations by completing such a demanding (for her) route. This is one of my favorite ascents I have read about :)

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140

Cool movie!

Sandbagger Vance · · Cincinnati, Ohio · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

I wish I had more insight into her training routine. Like how mush time exactly she spends training. From the video it seemed like she only spends time on the systems, campus boards.

Don Ferris · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 175

It's always so refreshing to see such a driven person. She could never climb again and you know she'll be successful at whatever she does. I wish I was programmed for that kind of motivation.

JNE · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,940
Don Ferris wrote:It's always so refreshing to see such a driven person. She could never climb again and you know she'll be successful at whatever she does. I wish I was programmed for that kind of motivation.
In addition, I liked how she demonstrated that a thoughtful climbing routine which takes up an entirely manageable amount of time can yield great results. It probably helps to have good genes like Michaela, but still, I think it is a worthwhile, inspiring, and applicable message nonetheless.
Alex Rogers · · Sydney, Australia · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 40

Lovely girl, great video, impressive climb. She has a great attitude to go with her undeniable talent - no limits!

I'm going to send this video to all my partners who whinge about being short :P

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 10,474

What I don't understand is why she at first was jumping for crux hold "blind" -- not knowing what it looked like. And why take such long falls each time she missed?

Why not instead rig something from the bolt above that hold, then yard up and take a good look and feel for exactly the best parts and grips for latching it? Seems like that would have made her "practice sessions" of dyno attempts much more effective and gotten the move wired much quicker.

Also could have rigged from above a shorter "tether" so she wouldn't have needed to yard up so far between practice attempts. Another saving in time + effort.

Or would this have somehow violated the "purity" of the redpoint ascent?

Ken

mcarizona · · Flag · Joined Feb 2007 · Points: 180

^^^^ you have sport climbing down to a science bro!^^^^
Steve

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
kenr wrote:What I don't understand is why she at first was jumping for crux hold "blind" -- not knowing what it looked like. And why take such long falls each time she missed? Why not instead rig something from the bolt above that hold, then yard up and take a good look and feel for exactly the best parts and grips for latching it? Seems like that would have made her "practice sessions" of dyno attempts much more effective and gotten the move wired much quicker. Also could have rigged from above a shorter "tether" so she wouldn't have needed to yard up so far between practice attempts. Another saving in time + effort. Or would this have somehow violated the "purity" of the redpoint ascent? Ken
A top rope setup could have been in the way of her hands grabbing for it. Also, on a very overhung route a toprope could just swing her off since she would need ample slack to not be pulled off the wall on a toprope setup. Getting back on with a toprope could be far more difficult then on lead for overhung climbs.

"Blind" most likely because of a bulge you couldnt see the hold. I would only assume she did jug or hang the line and check out the holds. I think you may be a bit misconceived from the video and how the actual working of the route that took place.

Also, when she dynos for the hold she is not only jumping up but out from the wall so if she wasn't given a very soft catch she would pendulum into the wall. The far fall is preventing her from slamming into the wall. This is called a soft catch and can be a very very important thing to do to not injure the climber (situational dependent, not the case 100% of the time). Which is why its also important to remember when you fall, dont jump away from the wall, just fall. Unless, of course you are avoiding a ledge or bulge or something you may strike on a fall.

TLDR

Its not about the purity. I found videos do a poor job at conveying how overhung some of the cliffs really are. Working a really overhung cliff is generally not always easier to work it on toprope rather than lead and can in fact be much more difficult to work it on anything other than leading.
evan h · · Denver, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 310
Alex Rogers wrote:I'm going to send this video to all my partners who whinge about being short :P
I agree that this is grade A motivational material for shorties, but I'd use caution in thinking that this wasn't any more difficult for Michaela than others who have sent this route.

For instance, take a look at the equally (if not way more) inspiring video of Adam Ondra onsighting this route a few years back: vimeo.com/groups/113227/vid...

At 3:50, Ondra does the big move statically, which was no doubt easier. He also climbs basically everything up to that point statically -- very different from the level of effort put forth by Michaela.

So while on paper Michaela has sent the same route as several other dudes, other than Ondra's onsight, her's is probably the most impressive. She worked a lot harder for the same grade as far as I'm concerned. If nothing else, this is just a valuable lesson on what's possible.
Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
evan h wrote: I agree that this is grade A motivational material for shorties, but I'd use caution in thinking that this wasn't any more difficult for Michaela than others who have sent this route.
+1
Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 162
kenr wrote:What I don't understand is why she at first was jumping for crux hold "blind" -- not knowing what it looked like. And why take such long falls each time she missed? Why not instead rig something from the bolt above that hold, then yard up and take a good look and feel for exactly the best parts and grips for latching it? Seems like that would have made her "practice sessions" of dyno attempts much more effective and gotten the move wired much quicker. Also could have rigged from above a shorter "tether" so she wouldn't have needed to yard up so far between practice attempts. Another saving in time + effort. Or would this have somehow violated the "purity" of the redpoint ascent?
You can't exactly walk to the top and drop a toprope on the route.

She probably wanted to work it ground up, which seems fair enough. Plenty of folks prefer to work a route from the bottom instead of wiring it on toprope.
reboot · · . · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125
evan h wrote: At 3:50, Ondra does the big move statically, which was no doubt easier.
That move does look easier for Ondra, but...

evan h wrote: He also climbs basically everything up to that point statically -- very different from the level of effort put forth by Michaela.
he was onsighting an outdoor route, so climbing fairly statically is pretty much required, there's no telling being more dynamic wouldn't be easier. Of course, Ondra can also climb a whole number grade harder, although he's said pure resistance routes (not saying this is) aren't his forte when compared to smaller/shorter climbers.
kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 10,474
Tylerpratt wrote:when she dynos for the hold she is not only jumping up but out from the wall so if she wasn't given a very soft catch she would pendulum into the wall.
I'm not getting why the "softness" of the belay catch matters for avoiding hitting the wall.

On a sustained overhanging wall, if the Leader wants to have their fall caught farther away from the wall so they have more horizontal space for pendulum, seems to me the Leader ought to just pull out more rope before starting the sequence.
. . (Maybe Michaela was doing that?)

Why would a Leader want to have their injury-avoidance depend on some fancy timing skill of their Belayer, when safeguarding the pendulum can be kept under the Leader's control?
. . (Don't most Sport belayers nowadays use "assisted" devices like GriGri?)

Tylerpratt wrote:Working a really overhung cliff is generally not always easier to work it on toprope rather than lead
I agree about Top-Roping being more difficult for working many overhanging routes.
I was only suggesting rigging "something" to help make working that particular sequence easier and quicker. And maybe you're right, there wasn't any good way to arrange something helpful in this case.

Ken
Kiri Namtvedt · · Minneapolis, MN · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 30

A larger amount of slack in the belay means that her fall will be more "down" than "in"; with a tigher belay the rope would end up acting like a pendulum when she fell after attempting the dyno - tight enough, and it would convert her downward momentum into sideways momentum straight into the wall.

I'm sure others will also be able to describe the physics of this.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

Yes, also, even with a Grigri a soft catch is more than possible. It can be either a jump or a release of tension at the right moment.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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