Margo Hayes hopped on her own send-train Sunday, ticking two 5.14a’s: Double Rainbow and Zulu, in Rifle Mountain Park.
For the past six months, Hayes, a 17-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, has focused primarily on school and competition climbing, but took a break from training indoors mid-June to spend a weekend at Rifle with her father.
“I wanted to try Zulu because it is such a respected line, equipped by Colin Lantz and first climbed by Chris Sharma at the age of 15,” Hayes told Rock and Ice. She gave the route a few burns, working out beta a few bolts at a time, but had to return home for the next three weeks to prepare for Youth National Championships—she won the Female Youth A division.
Hayes returned to Rifle last weekend and began projecting Double Rainbow, a few routes over from Zulu in the Wicked Cave, on Saturday.
“I really liked the crux section, and felt pretty confident that I could send the next day,” Hayes said. “On Sunday, I was able to send on my first go, at about noon. I was thrilled to have done my second 5.14a ever.”
After her send, she walked over to Zulu to support a friend going for the redpoint.
“His determination motivated me to hop back on Zulu,” said Hayes. “Although I did not expect to push through the first boulder section of the climb, I fell only a couple of bolts from the top. I surprised myself, and my confidence increased significantly.”
Hayes sent on her next go.
For now, Hayes is splitting her time between training inside for the Youth World Championships in Arco, Italy, August 28 to September 6, and climbing in Rifle. She doesn’t have any specific projects in mind but plans to “get outside as much as possible after Worlds.”
“I look forward to pushing myself to the next level and climbing some classics around Colorado,” she said.
Indoors, Hayes has 12 Youth National Championship podium finishes, including her most recent win on July 12. She placed first for both sport and bouldering in the 2014 Pan-American Championships in Mexico City, Mexico, and was sixth at the IFSC World Cup in Vail Colorado in June. Outside, she sent her first 5.14a in 2013, God’s Own Stone in the Red Rive Gorge; has flashed Criptic Egyptian (5.13c) in Rifle; and has sent three V11s, Flower Power, Sunshine and Une Pointe de Bleau dans un Hueco, all in Hueco Tanks, Texas.