3. Sasha DiGiulian Repeats Pure Imagination

The World Champion becomes the first American woman to climb 5.14d

If there was a breakout climber of the year, Sasha DiGiulian was it. Going into 2011, DiGiulian had climbed just three 5.14 routes, none harder than Welcome to Tijuana (5.14b). But beginning in March, she kicked into a higher gear, climbing multiple 5.14c’s and onsighting routes as hard as 5.14a. The 19 year old’s season hit its peak in October, when she repeated Pure Imagination (5.14d) in the Red River Gorge, making her the first American woman to climb a route of that grade—and bringing female climbers as a whole one tick closer to closing sport climbing’s gender gap.

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