Story 1: Margo Hayes sends 5.15a

In case you missed the viral frenzy of social media sharing a few days ago, you may not have heard: Margo Hayes, 19, became the first woman ever to climb 5.15a (9a+) with her ascent of La Rambla in Siurana, Spain. Hayes climbed her first 5.14d, Bad Girls Club, last August in Rifle, Colorado.

By ticking La Rambla, Hayes joins the ranks of some of climbing’s biggest names: first ascensionist Alex Huber, Chris Sharma, Adam Ondra, and a slew of other masters from around the world. But now, as the only woman to climb the elusive 5.15a grade, Hayes also creates an entirely new category of her own.

After receiving an overwhelming outpouring of support from the climbing community following her send, Hayes acknowledged her appreciation on Instagram:

View this post on Instagram

I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support I’ve received from the climbing community, and my family and friends near and far. None of us achieves our dreams alone, we do so together, and build on those who have come before us. We are a community that not only supports each other regardless of our backgrounds and differences, but is also one that realizes the importance of respecting and preserving our planet. The climbers at the cliffs in Siurana last weekend came from many nations, and were a snapshot of what the world can be like, one of support, communication, and peace. 👬👭👫🌍👫👭👬 Kudos to @honngy for the initial send… up next @jon_cardwell! Thank you @greg_mionske for capturing our try hard moments! 🎥 Xoxo Margo @thenorthface @petzl_official @lasportivana @dogearedjewelry

A post shared by MΔRGΩ HΔΨΣS👑 (@margojain) on

Check out this video on Margo:

Story 2: Nina Williams sends Ambrosia (V11)

Nina Williams has climbed Kevin Jorgeson’s highball testpiece Ambrosia (V11) in Bishop, California. The 45-foot highball climbs the massive eastern face of the Grandpa Peabody boulder–the first striking line every climber sees while driving up Buttermilk Road.

Williams is no stranger to highball bouldering in Bishop, where she’s been climbing for the past few years, gradually ticking off the other Grandpa Peabody highball testpieces, including Footprints (V9) and Evilution Direct (V11).

After her send of Ambrosia this week, Nina had this to say in an Instagram post:

“The Grandpa Peabody has captivated my attention ever since I laid eyes on it. I climbed Footprints during my first #Bishop trip in 2015. I climbed Evilution Direct during my second trip in 2016. Now, on my third trip, I climbed Ambrosia: the final problem of the Grandpa Peabody king line trifecta. These trio of lines have represented, to me, the essence of the #Buttermilks: a frontier for facing personal barriers. I definitely had to face mine during this process. Still realizing that it really happened ? #wasitjustadream ??”

With these ascents already under her belt, it should be fascinating to see what jaw-dropping line Williams chooses next!

Story 3: 2017 Women’s Climbing Festival takes place this weekend

The second annual Women’s Climbing Festival (WCF), created and organized by Flash Foxy, will be held this weekend, March 3-5. The three-day event brings together a growing community of women climbers of all abilities in Bishop, California, the beautiful climbing paradise of the Eastern Sierra.

Scheduled features of the WCF include clinics and workshops, stewardship projects, a film festival, yoga, meals, and more. Oh, and non-stop rock climbing.

In a recap of the 2016 WCF, Moja Gear’s own Natalie Siddique explains why the festival is so important to our sport’s female community.

Whatever it is that happens when a group of females climb together … it’s evident that some mysterious undercurrent of magnetism arises and opens the door to unforgettable experiences.

Based on the resounding success of the WCF so far, it’s safe to say more of those unforgettable experiences are in store for the future.

Although the 2017 WCF is already sold out, keep an eye out for upcoming 2018 registration on the registration page of the website. Both the 2016 and 2017 events sold out in less than 24 hours, so be diligent!

Explore photos of the Women’s Climbing Festival on Instagram.

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