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Sam Elias makes first ascent of American Hustle (5.14b)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Full-time climber and part-time philosopher—Sam talks about the process of putting up a hard first ascent on one of the world's most beautiful sport crags.

"I spent 5 weeks in February and March in Spain. I went to Oliana to sport climb with my friend Walker Emerson. After a couple days at the wall, getting over jet lag and getting reacquainted with the style, I spyed a section of the wall with no bolts that was right in the heart of the cliff. Walker and I wondered if there could be a new route there. We decided to investigate. After about 50 hours of work between the both of us, spread over a months time, I made the first ascent. I spent my entire trip on that one route, and sent it with only days to spare. Walker and I shared the work 50/50, and we named our route American Hustle. It's certain to be a classic. Here's the story..."