Margo Hayes Sends Pure Imagination (5.14c) at the Red River Gorge

Margo Hayes, 18, sent Pure Imagination (5.14c) at the Red River Gorge, Kentucky on Friday—her first ascent of the grade.

By Rock and Ice | March 28th, 2016

Margo Hayes, 18, sent Pure Imagination (5.14c) at the Red River Gorge, Kentucky on Friday—her first ascent of the grade. She called the steep, crimpy line “one of the most beautiful climbs ever,” on Instagram.

Pure Imagination has been a goal of hers ever since “Sasha [DiGiulian’s] send” in 2012, Hayes told “I have a poster in my room, and I always thought it looked like one of the most beautiful climbs in The Red River Gorge.

“It felt surreal to actually clip the chains.” 

Jonathan Siegrist established Pure Imagination, located at the Chocolate Factory, in 2010. In November 2012, Adam Ondra onsighted the route and Golden Ticket on the same day. Both climbs were originally graded 5.14d, but Ondra suggested a downgraded 5.14c for each. Alex Megos and Daniel Woods have also flashed Pure Imagination.

Hayes, from Boulder, Colorado, also sent Omaha Beach (5.14a) this weekend, on her second go.

She won the sport climbing national championships at Central Rock in Boston, Massachusettes earlier this month, and last year, placed second in her age group in both bouldering and sport climbing at the Arco, Italy Youth World Championships.

Last summer, Hayes sent two 5.14a’s, Double Rainbow and Zulu, in Rifle, Colorado on the same day. The following weekend, she sent her first 5.14b, Waka Flocka, in only five attempts.

Hayes graduates from high school this spring and she plans to take a gap year before college to focus on climbing, art, and learning French, she told “I hope to compete in several world cups as well as climb outdoors!”

Follow Margo Hayes on Instagram @margojain.



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