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Jonathan Siegrist Crushes Papichulo (5.15a)

Jonathan Siegrist cranked 150 feet of sweet, blue limestone and clipped the chains of Papichulo (5.15a) at Oliana, Spain, on Sunday. First climbed and equipped by Chris Sharma, the route was Siegrist's third redpoint of the grade.

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Siegrist in go-mode on Papichulo. Photo: Chris Sharma.

Jonathan Siegrist cranked 150 feet of sweet, blue limestone and clipped the chains of Papichulo (5.15a) at Oliana, Spain, on Sunday. First climbed and equipped by Chris Sharma, the route was Siegrist’s third redpoint of the grade.

Siegrist considers Papichulo, “One of the most pumpy routes I’ve ever climbed.” The route is capped by a cruxy deadpoint a short distance from the anchors. “After all the hard climbing below I was very nervous for that move on the redpoint,” Siegrist said.

Just a few days before he left the United States, Jonathan Siegrist wrote on Instagram: “I know quite well that I will never be the fastest, or the strongest, or the best. This doesn’t much bother me. What matters to me is knowing that I earned it… whatever it is. One last day of training tomorrow before the time to prepare ends and my opportunity to perform begins. Did I work hard enough?”

A summer of bouldering in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, combined with five weeks of training this fall, paid dividends. Siegrist climbed Papichulo after eleven days in Spain—his quickest 5.15a redpoint ever. In 2014, Siegrist spent nearly five weeks on Biographie (5.15a), his first route of the grade, before he was able to redpoint.

Biographie was much harder for me no doubt, but certainly Papichulo still warrants the grade. Also, just having even my little bit of experience at this level really helped with my confidence,” he said.

Siegrist arrived in Catalonia, Spain, to “a week of heinously hot weather.” The south-facing crag at Oliana baked in the sun, leaving the limestone as grippy as a bathtub. Siegrist and his partner, Sam Elias, rehearsed routes by headlamp during the cooler nights.

“When the temps shifted to ‘acceptable’ we both started making rapid progress. [Sam] sent his project yesterday as well!”

Siegrist says he plans to celebrate in Barcelona at the end of the year, after he rides his fitness for a few more routes. “Good energy here with so many strong climbers, so it’s definitely still focus time, but we will certainly party at some point… Haha.”

Papichulo is popular for a 5.15a—8a.nu lists seven repeats between 2009 and 2015. Including Sharma and Siegrist, whose ascents are not logged on the site, the route has seen at least nine redpoints.

J-Star putting in the hours. Photo: Ariadna Prat Barnardas.

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