Colorado native Matty Hong sent Chris Sharma’s Papichulo (5.15a) this week in Oliana. His ascent, his
first 5.15, caps the end of a three-month climbing trip to Spain.
“Papichulo (9a+) is complete, my first route of this grade. Moments like these don’t come often in the sport,” Hong posted on Instagram, “and
I’ll never forget the feeling I had clipping the chains.”
The route follows 150 feet of blue limestone, ending with a deadpoint crux just before the anchor—the move that shut down Daniel Woods a number of times before he sent earlier this month. The route is perhaps the most popular 5.15 at the
moment, with ten known ascents since Sharma’s first in 2008.
Hong grew up on the rock, following in the footsteps of his legendary father and climbing partner Steve Hong. Both have numerous 5.14 sends and first ascents
under their belts. These include Steve’s Planet X (5.14a) and Matty’s Bad Girls Club (5.14d), La Cucaracha (5.14c) and Planet Garbage (5.14c)
in Rifle, Colorado, and Matty’s Wheel of Chaos (V14) in Rocky Mountain National Park, among many others.
Now Matty Hong adds 5.15 to his already extensive climbing resume and joins the Papichulo send train with American climbers Jonathan Siegrist, who sent the route after 11 days in November, and Woods, who clipped the chains earlier this month. Woods and Hong had been working the route together.
“Hoping to get on that train after a day of rest” Hong wrote in a congratulatory Instagram remark to Woods. Three weeks later, Hong was on board.