From the very (very) beginning, I've worn Five Ten Shoes, nearly 15 years now. I have climbed hundreds of first ascents in them all over the world, from 5.9 - 5.14d. Some notable, others not as much. But a sense of pride goes into each new climb, no matter what.
And I'm proud to announce that yesterday evening [ed. note: Sunday, Sept. 19] I made the first ascent of the a new route to the top of the Second Summit here in Squamish. It's called the "Intrepid Traverse", 4 pitches, 5.13c. What makes it unique is that it's the first climb on this massive blank face, it traverses nearly 200 feet and it's mostly a slab. Also, it's the hardest multi pitch free climb completed on the Chief.
That morning, I’d walked into my local climbing shop here called Climb On. Montreal Dan (as we call the owner) was all smiles when he handed me a brand new pair of Five Ten Verdes. I’d been climbing in my Five Ten Blancos, but needed the Verdes for the climb. The rain was on it's way and overnight delivery was not fast enough, and so away I went trying to beat the weather report.
After an hour uphill approach and straight from the box I knew right away I had struck gold. I had been slipping off this crux pitch sequence for too long, and the sticky razor sharp edges pulled me through. My friend Jeremy Blummel and I then rappelled all the way to the ground to climb the route from Bottom to Top in a single push. 5.10, 5.11d, 5.13a, 5.13c. No falls. Although Jeremy had to pull his way through a couple of moves, he'll be back to finish off the second ascent - hopefully sooner than later.
I can "usually" climb a bolted 5.13c first or second try, but when it comes to this overhanging slab technique, with holds that barely exist, precision is absolutely EVERYTHING. On this terrain, the strongest muscles prove USELESS, and it's all in the feet.
We topped out as the sky turned red, my tips on fire like the setting sun. Standing barefoot on the summit we realized it was the type of day you can't capture with a camera, or even a pen. Thank you everyone for continuing to provide me with the BEST climbing shoes on the planet, and the ability to have days like this. Days that feed the soul even years down the road. Words can't say enough.