Margo Hayes – La Rambla (5.15a) InterviewMargo Hayes on what it takes to climb La Rambla (5.15a) in Siurana, Spain.
On February 26, 2017 Margo Hayes made history with her ascent of La Rambla in Siurana, Spain—she became the first woman to climb a confirmed 9a+/5.15a. The 19 year old from Boulder, Colorado spent seven days projecting the benchmark 5.15a climb.
“I felt a rush of emotion that I hadn’t expected,” she tells Rock and Ice of the moment she clipped the anchor. “I began to weep. I felt overwhelmed by the excitement and the disbelief!”
Hayes broke the glass ceiling with her ascent of La Rambla—a new grade level for her, and a new grade level for women climbers. Rock and Ice caught up with her to learn more about her experience and what it took to climb La Rambla.
Q&A with Margo Hayes
Did you ever think that the climb might not be possible for you, or were you pretty confident from the beginning?
I knew that I was capable of climbing the route, but I was also aware that it wasn’t going to be easy. Although it is natural to experience some doubts, I tried my best to remain confident in my ability. Being positive increases the likelihood of success!
Seven days is fast for the ascent, especially for such a hard climb and your first of the grade. How do you think you were able to climb La Rambla so quickly?
Thank you! I stayed committed to my goal. I was in good shape, but most importantly, I was determined. I think that this is ultimately what made it possible. The mind is so powerful!
Do you feel any different now, after climbing La Rambla? Do you feel like the climb has changed your mindset in any way?
Climbing La Rambla liberated me! It is a wonderful feeling!
Because of the historic nature of the ascent, what do you think this means for women climbers? Do you think the “gender gap” in climbing, if it even exists, is coming to a close?
For decades, women have been taking climbing to new levels. I am honored to stand among those women. We will see more women pushing the boundaries of climbing in all of the genres. I have so much respect for the climbers who have had the vision and the commitment to equip climbs such as La Rambla and for the many climbers in the international community who challenge and enjoy themselves, no matter the grade!
What was the best part of the overall experience? What was the hardest part?
The best part of the experience was being surrounded by beauty and the lovely people from all over the world!
The hardest part was having to leave Siurana, Catalonia Spain.
What’s next for you?
Watch Margo Hayes send La Rambla (9a+/5.15a):
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