Arrested Development 9a by Owen Whaley (16)

Friday, 19 June

Owen Whaley, who had 8b+ as personal best until three months ago, has done his fist 9a, Arrested Development in Mt Charleston. (c) Chris Weidner

Congrats! What is your climbing background and what about this great peak performance? I started climbing at a very young age with my dad. We live in Las Vegas, Nevada, a great location for rock climbing. I’ve been going climbing outside most weekends for as long as I can remember and regularly spend school holidays traveling to US and European climbing destinations. I had worked my way up the grades to 5.14 (8b+) and V13 (8B). Also, I joined a team and got into competition climbing. I’ve been competing since I was 10, and my best result is 6th place for Sport at the PanAmerican Youth Climbing Championships in Ecuador in December 2019.

Usually, I train at the gym mid-week and climb outside on weekends. But recently after the competitions were canceled and school was switched to online learning due to coronavirus, my schedule allowed me to focus completely on outside climbing and I was able to tick multiple 5.14’s. I got on Arrested Development at the end of May as a side project while I worked other routes at the crag. The route fits my style perfectly, and I was able to do all of the moves by the second try. I projected it for about two weeks.

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