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Heather Weidner comments on her 8b+ trad 

Click to Enlarge PictureHeather Weidner comments on her send of China Doll extension, which made her the fourth female to have done 8b+ on trad. (c) Jon Glassberg/Louderthan11

- The 13c (8a+) pitch 1 was bolted by Bob Horan, the extension 13d (8b) has no bolts. I did the two pitches as one 40 meter pitch all on gear, using one fixed pin and one fixed nut. I can't express how relieved and excited I am to have accomplished this climb, my proudest climbing achievement to date. I started working this route just over a year ago, and it involved many stages. I first climbed the 13c on bolts, then toproped the extension clean, figured out the finicky gear on TR, and lastly sent the whole rig placing my own protection.

Each year I set a big climbing goal and it's one that if I achieve I'll surprise myself. I've run the gamut of emotions on this route, from fear and sadness to utter bliss. There were nights I'd wake up in a sweat thinking about the route. It was super scary at times. The opening bulge crux of the 13c has finicky small placements, and my first time leading it I took a nasty fall, ripping two Metolius offset cams and fell onto a 000C3, hitting the ledge below.

I've never tried so hard in my life, and blacked out on the thin upper crux. My partner said I let out an animalistic scream and next thing I knew I was at the last rest before finishing on 5.11 terrain. It feels like a dream, I can't believe I sent!

One try would take about an hour, it was epic. I trained hard this past winter focusing on power. I did a lot of bouldering, campusing, and lock-off training. The past month I tried to get out there every other day as much as weather would allow. I'm not sure how many days it took or tries but I'm guessing 70 or so tries maybe 50 days? Kind of a guess. I worked it last June, August through early November, then started back this year in late April.