Suzanne Somers: A Love Story
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The crown jewel of the Dry, this phenomenal and inspiring line was bolted and tenaciously projected by CP Little, and has repelled many attempts from some very strong climbers for over ten years.
Begin on the left side of the Celebrity Cave in a small alcove, climb up and past a low crux before traversing to the right through big and dynamic moves to gain a massive hanging stalactite. Hope your thigh-master sessions have paid off, and exit the stalactite to another hard and technical boulder problem. Do a few very powerful moves culminating in a huge move out the lip of a roof and fight through the sustained upper headwall to a stopper sequence guarding the chains. This outrageous and bewildering sequence is the redpoint crux and possibly the crux itself. Press out the blank dihedral, and make a few easier but insecure moves to a big ledge to clip from. Some manufacturing, but this may be one of the better hard lines in the west.
Suzanne is currently the only line that climbs to the top of the cave. While a stone might fall about 80 feet from the chains, the climbing follows a path closer to 100 ft long varying from super steep to overhung. I was never quite sure if this was an endurance route or a power endurance route. There are several very marginal rests where some recovery is possible before sustained sections, and none of the individual moves on the route are incredibly hard for the grade. Also, the route was sent with two sticky rubber kneepads.
When I first saw this line, I didn't have a 4-wheel drive car, I didn't have any partners for the area, and I was climbing several letter grades below the difficulty in the style. But I was so captivated by the beauty of the line and the quality of the movement that I somehow ignored all the factors and set out foolishly on a journey that seemed destined for failure. A year later after re-inventing my training, vastly improving as climber, dealing with very fickle temperatures, having many long periods of doubt, falling on the same moves for months on end, and logging close to 100 attempts on the route (at least double anything else I have done), I managed a send on a beautifully crisp day with a few good friends.
Unfortunately this story is closed for me, but it is sitting high above Sierra Vista, deep in the Sonoran hinterlands of Southern Arizona ready to be picked up again.
Fixed draws (decent condition as of April, 2013)
Grappling with the stalactite
High up and out of the steepest section
Resting in the stalactite
May 1, 2014
This climb has challenged many good climbers for quite a while. Alex, great job to persist and succeed. Brilliant!!