17 Jun Yosemite – Madeleine Sorkin free on Leaning Tower West face
On june 11, Madeleine Sorkin, 27, became the third woman to free the West Face of Leaning Tower in Yosemite, pulling the rope once on the crux, 5.13a pitch but then firing it. The route 350 long was first climbed in 1961 in 18 days by Warren Harding together with Glen Denny and George Whitemore, then climbed free by Leo Houlding and Jason Pickles on 2001 may.
Madeleine’s background on long routes includes, with Kate Rutherford, the first all-women’s ascent of Moonlight Buttress in Zion (V 5.12+). Other notable sends include: Hairstyles and Attitudes (5.12), a sporty and rare bolt climb in Eldorado Canyon, Ruby’s Cafe (5.13a) in Indian Creek, and Lost Cities (5.12b) within the Black Canyon.
After the 12c roof pitch, only one last 5.12 pitch stood between her and the summit. She fell here, out of sheer exhaustion, took a 15-minute nap, and then finished the route.