Urs Moosmuller, a 21-year-old climbing fiend from Reno, Nevada, has redpointed Father's Day (5.14a), on the granite Star Wall of Donner Summit, California. Moosmuller also skipped all the bolts for a rare all-gear ascent of Father's Day
—a link-up that combines Star Walls Crack (5.13a) with the upper-crux of A Steep Climb Named Desire (5.13d).
"I believe climbing Father's Day on gear is quite a step up from clipping the bolts on A Steep Climb Named Desire, because it adds a very committing runout on bad gear through the crux section," Moosmuller told Rock and Ice. "If you fall from the crux you are looking at a 35-foot fall if the .3 cam holds, and a 55-foot fall if the piece blows."
Moosmuller knows first hand what happens when the .3 blows, having taken the 55-footer on his seventh attempt and stopping just five feet above the ground.
"I pulled myself back up to the piece that held and realized it was more than half way out of the wall and only one corner of the nut had held," he says.
Instead of letting the close call intimidate him, Moosmuller says he felt motivated to send the route next try and headed right back up the route. On this attempt, however, the then 20-year-old pulled the crux, but was shut down when a rainstorm soaked the route's headwall.
Moosmuller says he then decided to bivy at the base of the wall to take advantage of the early morning temperatures.
"By the time I was warmed up, the route was already in the sun and temps were in the low 80s, but I kept positive and sent it on my first try of the day," says Moosmuller. "It felt perfect and effortless through Star Walls Crack (5.13a) and the crux, but the final 5.12 section was epic. I made the mistake of not trying the top section for over a year and I completely messed up the beta and had to fight really hard to reach the chains."
Moosmuller had previously redpointed both Star Walls Crack
and A Steep Climb Named Desire
, but when attempting Father's Day
, he opted to try the line ground-up and on gear only, pulling his pieces after every attempt. He placed all his gear on lead during the ascent.
The visiting Belgian Nico Favresse claimed the first ground-up all-gear ascent of Father's Day. Alan Moore also climbed the route without bolts in 2004. Tom Herbert claimed the link-up's first ascent in 1997, but clipped the bolts of A Steep Climb Named Desire.
"The route was likely done in this style due to the huge runout through the crux on bad gear," says Moosmuller.
Despite having concentrated on high-end sport climbing for the past few years, Moosmuller says is no stranger to hard trad climbing.
"My parents were both Yosemite climbers in the 1980s and I started climbing when I was 11 years old," he says. "I spent most of my vacations as a kid multi-pitch trad climbing around Nevada, California, and Idaho. Now I don’t climb trad very often, but Father’s Day has made me realize I need to start getting back into traditional climbing."
"To my knowledge this is the youngest ascent of Father’s Day and maybe of the grade for traditional climbing," adds Moosmuller.
Moosmuller has been traveling for the past two years climbing full-time and establishing his own routes. However, in two weeks he is heading for France to study at the University of Grenoble and explore the crags of Europe.
"I am hesitant to focus on one project, but I do want to spend some time climbing in Ceuse. Realization (5.15a) is a route that stands out as one of my main goals for my time in France."