Daniel Woods Unlocks Witness The Fitness V15
On the 6th of January, Daniel Woods was able to make the third ascent of Witness the Fitness (V15), in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.
Chris Sharma was the first to make the ascent of Witness the Fitness in 2005, and the climb was featured in Dosage Volume III by Big Up Produtions. Back then, Chris Sharma called this the hardest problem he’d ever done.
Chris Sharma’s First Ascent of Witness the Fitness:
The following year, Fred Nicole from Switzerland made a trip to Arkansas and spent most of October attempting Witness the Fitness, it was very wet during that time and Fred only managed to climb on dry days in order to prevent the very soft sandstone holds from breaking. Despite his preventative efforts, a few holds ended up breaking and Fred had to rework a new route.
By the end of his trip he still hadn’t managed to send the route and left back to Switzerland empty handed. But Fred was very determined and a month later, in December 2006, he returned and was able to successfully make the 2nd ascent of Witness the Fitness.
Fred’s successful send also included a few holds being broken, and since 2006 rumor has it that several more holds had broken making this line unclimbable.
Daniel Woods, Jimmy Webb and Paul Robinson made a trip to Arkansas to see if Witness the Fitness was indeed unclimbable. After three days of effort, Daniel was able to work out a new sequence and complete the problem.
On day one, the trio managed to figure out the crux, this required completely different beta than that which Chris Sharma used. On day three, Daniel linked the whole route and sent Witness the Fitness to take the third ascent of this problem.
Daniel believes that this problem is still a solid V15. The trio also managed to send a new V13 in a cave close by, Daniel managed to get the first ascent and named it Childs Play. Daniel also claimed the 2nd ascent of the Full Package (V13/14), another Chris Sharma problem which was featured in Dosage Volume III.
Towards the end of their trip, Paul Robinson managed a repeat of Wood Grain Grippin (V14) which has also gotten harder due to the soft sandstone holds breaking.
Update from Daniel Woods Facebook Page:
“Day 3, Jan. 5, 2013, Witness the Fitness was reborn. The feeling was euphoric and no words can describe the emotions of doing this line. Chris Sharma paved the way by establishing WTF, in which motivated myself at a young age to try it. When WTF first came out, it looked impossible, but so good. Thanks Chris!
|Photo by: Paul Robinson|
It is interesting to see the progression of WTF. Sharma made it a realization until it broke. Fred repeated it using smaller holds in the beginning section, but same as Chris for the upper crux (stepping the difficulty up significantly). Now I have done the line with both cruxes broken. I never tried it in it's original state, but by looking at the holds in Dosage 3 and comparing them to its present state, the line now is totally new moves. I feel like WTF is in solid form, but there is still that potential for holds to break. Small/incut features are not supposed to last on sandstone roofs, it is not in the nature of the stone. This is why WTF is so special. It is an alien line to this world. That being said, I really took caution when trying WTF. I only tried the boulder on a DRY day. Trying it while its raining or really humid will result in breaking more holds. If it rains, give it at least a day to dry. I also did not overly try the moves to limit the amount of force that was put on them. This climb is truly special and needs to be preserved.
Witness the Fitness is also on private property. We were able to get permission from the land owner to try it. That being said, respect his property and ask before trying.”
Congratulations to Daniel Woods on this phenomenal climb.