Lucie Hrozova of the Czech Republic just became the first woman to climb M14 when she sent the route Ironman in Eptingen, Switzerland on February 4. Hrozova's other notable sends include Spiderman (M13) and Superman (M13+), also at Eptingen.
Ines Papert has previously set the standard for hard female ice and mixed climbs. Papert has onsighted M11 and done a first ascent of a 250-meter M12 in Icefall Brook Canyon that has so far gone unrepeated. She has also climbed up to the M13 route Law and Order.
The first ascentionist of Ironman
, Robert Jasper, rated the route at M14. However, both Ines Papert and Will Gadd have stated how difficult it is to confirm mixed grades.
"There are very few M14 around, I have never attempted any because, so far I was not interested on each line," Ines Papert writes in an e-mail to Rock and Ice. "Plus, the grading is hard to confirm--if you find just a little tiny hole (some people help the rock to get a hole) it's much easier."
"There are a few contenders for 'hardest,'" Will Gadd writes. "I climbed Steel Koan
in the Cineplex a few years back and rated it M13+, but increasingly the hardest mixed routes are pure rock, no ice at all, and get "D" for Dry ratings. It's become a game in its own right; Robert Jasper claims a "D" for Dry 14, could be, but more and more the feeling is that the harder routes change so quickly with repeated ascents that rating them is really difficult. The fact is that picks on rock, especially the chossy limestone that a lot the M and D routes are on, can really change the rock very quickly."
Check out a video below of Robert Jasper on Ironman.
Photo is a screenshot from the above video.