Michaela Kiersch is on fire! After climbing Twenty Four Karats (5.14c) last weekend at the Red River Gorge, Kentucky, the Chicago native returned this weekend to
tick off Southern Smoke (5.14c) and Fifty Words For Pump (5.14c)—her fifth and sixth 5.14c ascents.
“After sending Twenty Four Karats last weekend, I hopped on Southern Smoke to see how it felt,” Kiersch, 22, tells Rock and Ice.
“I linked all the moves on Sunday and came back for it this weekend!”
Southern Smoke (5.14c),
at the Bob Marley Crag of the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve (PMRP), was equipped and first climbed by Joe Kinder and Brad Weaver in 2008.
It shares a finish with Ultra Perm (5.13d), which Kiersch had climbed prior to this weekend.
After sending Southern Smoke on Saturday, March 4, Kiersch jumped on Fifty Words For Pump, also located at the Bob
Marley Crag, and gave it two attempts before calling it a day. On Sunday, She finished off Fifty Words For Pump on her second attempt of the
day and fourth for the weekend. “Though I think that I had been on it a few years ago,” she says.
Fifty Words For Pump was bolted during the 2007 Petzl Rock Trip to the Red River Gorge, and first climbed by Mickael Fuselier. Redriverclimbing.com describes the route as, “[a] V11 boulder problem leads to mad steep endurance climbing.”
Comparing Southern Smoke to Fifty Words For Pump, Kiersch says, “They are a similar style to each other, and my fitness is
pretty high right now. I think that’s why I was able to piece them together so quickly.”
“This was definitely one of my best weekends of climbing so far,” she adds. “I love when I can climb well and feel strong on rock. And of course, pizza
on Sunday always tastes better when it’s after a send!”