16 June 2024

Connie Shang does Spyfiction (8c+)

Connie Shang, who has previously redpointed three 8b+’s, has completed Spyfiction (8c+) in Mt. Charleston, after projecting it for some 20 sessions over two years.

How were you able to go from 8b+ to 8c+?
My two main climbing areas, Mt Charleston and the Red River Gorge, have very few 8c's. The 8c+'s are fun and classic so I decided to spend time on the better routes!

Can you tell us more about Spyfiction?
I believe this was the first female ascent and certainly my first at the grade! It climbs like a comp route, where each successive move is harder than the last, with few opportunities to rest until the last bolt. My strategy was to climb it quickly before my arms went lactic, but on the send go I caught the final dyno badly and had to improvise a swapped hand sequence. Instead of my rehearsed sprint to the finish I had to shake out a full 2 minutes before tackling the redpoint crux.

In some ways the steep blocky limestone plays to my strengths - underclings are my strongest grip - but also the route is short and strenuous, which forced me to level up my power endurance. I'm grateful for the time I spent projecting this route because it unlocks many variations, including the extension Manphibian (9a), and an alternate start Dad Bod (8c+/9a).
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