Paige Claassen has climbed India's hardest sport route--Ganesh (5.14a)--while globe trotting on her philanthropic Lead Now tour. The entire idea for the tour, in fact, was partially conceived with Ganesh in mind, according Claassen.
"Ganesh would become the inspiration behind Lead Now," wrote Claassen on her blog. "I wanted to climb some of the most obscure, beautiful sport lines in the world, in locations that would force me to learn about myself, about the world, and about the people in it."
While on tour in India, Claassen was climbing and raising money for Apne Aap, an Indian based organization working to end forced prostitution.
She also had two weeks to attempt Ganesh, a route that Claassen described to Rock and Ice as "one of the best in the world."
However, Claassen quickly found that climbing Ganesh would prove more difficult than she had anticipated.
"To my surprise, I realized that nearly every move was a jump, and the jumps weren’t small," wrote Claassen.
Undeterred, Claassen set to work and figured out her own "less powerful" beta for Ganesh. After working the route from 6 to 7:30 a.m. due to the mid-day heat and humidity, Claassen eventually pulled off an impressive ascent of India's hardest sport-route.
"Ganesh is certainly the most powerful route I’ve ever climbed, and also makes it on my top-five-routes-of-all-time list," wrote Claassen. "I’m learning to try as hard as I possibly can on every attempt, rather than expecting to take long periods of time to complete routes. As a result, I’ve found that when you’re trying your hardest, you can typically pull things off when you least expect it."
Ganesh is located in Badami, India, and was first climbed by the super-strong Frenchman Gérôme Pouvreau in 2011. Check out the video below to see the first ascent footage. Also, to view a gorgeous HD photo gallery of Pouvreau climbing in India, CLICK HERE.