Lucie Hrozová Establishes Hardest Mixed Climb in U.S.

Czech climber Lucie Hrozová has established what may be the hardest mixed climb in the United States, setting a new standard. She named the route Saphira and it clocks in at M15-.

By Jacek Czyż | February 18th, 2016

Lucie Hrozová on Saphira (M15-), Fang Amphitheater, Vail, Colorado. Photo: Jacek Czyż.


Czech climber Lucie Hrozová came to the United States this winter with two objectives—to compete in the Ouray Mixed Climbing Competition and to send The Mustang P-51 (M14-)—America’s hardest mixed climb—in the Fang Amphitheater, Vail, Colorado.

Hrozová, 27, won the Ouray Mixed Climbing Competition for women, placing third overall, sent The Mustang P-51 on her first try, and on January 31, claimed the first ascent of what now may be the hardest mixed climb in the United States—on her third attempt.

She named the route Saphira, after a mythical dragon, and suggested M15- for the grade.

Before Saphira was born, it was Stanislav “Stanley” Vrba’s project resolving the big roof of the Fang Amphitheater, like Will Mayo’s Mustang, but in the opposite direction (and a few meters longer) with a more difficult line into the roof.

Vrba worked on the project over the last two years and drilled the last three bolts leading into Jeff Lowe’s legendary Octopussy a week before Hrozová’s ascent.

<em>Saphira</em> (M15-) topo by Jacek Czyż.

Saphira, at almost 55 meters, requires an 80-meter rope and forced Hrozová to perform more than 65 Yaniros (figure-4s and figure-9s). It took her exactly 50 minutes to reach the anchors, more than twice as long as it took her to climb Ironman (M14+) in Eptingen, Switzerland, which she sent in 20 minutes.


Saphira, according to Lucie, is more difficult than Ironman and all other routes that she has climbed. It is likely the hardest mixed route climbed by a woman—for sure the hardest mixed route established by a woman—and one of the hardest in the world.


Lucie Hrozová was born in 1988 and start climbing at eight years old with her father Libor Hroza, a renowned alpinist. Her older brother, also named Libor Hroza, is a successful speed climbing competitor and current European Champion and Speed Climbing record holder (5.73s / 15m). Hrozová works at her family’s climbing center in Prague.


Lucie Hrozová’s Best Hits:

  • Saphira (M15-), first ascent, Vail, Colorado, January 31, 2016.
  • Mustang P-51 (M14-), Vail, Colorado, January 26, 2016.
  • 1st place (women), 3rd place overall, Ouray Mixed Climbing Competition, and 3rd place in Speed Competition, Ouray, Colorado, January 2016.
  • Low G Man (D14), 1st female ascent, 3rd overall ascent; Bus del Quai, Iseo, Italy, February 2015.
  • Kamasutra (D13+), 3rd ascent, Bus del Quai, Iseo, Italy, February 6, 2015.
  • Bafomet (M14), 1st female ascent, Zakopane, Poland, February 9, 2014.
  • Ironman (M14+), 1st female ascent, 3rd overall ascent, Eptingen, Switzerland, February 13, 2013.
  • 1st place, World Cup Ice Climbing Competition (difficulty), Busteni, Romania, February 9, 2013.
  • 2nd place, World Cup Ice Climbing Competition (difficulty), Russia, March 2012.
  • 2nd place overall in the 2010/2011 World Cup Ice Climbing season.


Watch Lucie Hrozová on the first ascent of Saphira (M15-)>:


Also Read

Ryan Vachon Makes Second Ascent of Saphira (M15-)

Tom Ballard Establishes World’s Hardest Dry-Tooling Route

Ryan Vachon and Sarah Hueniken Crush Vail’s Hardest Mixed Lines

Ryan Vachon Sends M12 Testpiece on Gear

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Illya Bakhmet-Smolensky Sent 5.14d When He Was Just 13 Years Old. Who Is He?

Illya Bakhmet-Smolensky became the youngest person to climb 5.14d when he sent Chromosome X a couple years ago. Who is this young Ukrainian phenom?

read more

Ascent Article "Leper Chai," by Jeff Long, Nominated for Best Mountaineering Article, Banff Mountain Book Competition

In “Leper Chai,” which ran in Ascent 2020, Jeff Long tells the story about a long-ago expedition on Makalu that led to a stint in a Nepali jail.

read more

"I didn’t decide what to include, my OCD did": New Northeast Ice Climbing Guidebook Has It All

A Q&A with Todd Swain, author of the recently released An Ice Climber’s Guide to Southern New England and Eastern New York.

read more