Pamela Shanti Pack Wins The Forever War

If you haven’t heard of Pamela Shanti Pack, you obviously haven’t been climbing enough crack.  Pammy is an offwidth master and Yale Graduate. Miss Shanti Pants here just gave crack heads everywhere a new route she’s calling the hardest offwidth in Vedauwoo, Wyoming, The Forever War (5.13c/d R).

The route was introduced to her by Pat Kingsbury after he’d found the project in the Reynold’s Hill area of Vedauwoo, WY. He noted that the climb was much steeper and that combined with the width of the roof, made it harder than Gabriel (5.13c) which Pack had established in Zion, and was thought to be the hardest offwidth in the world until the Wide Boys climbed Century Crack (5.14b) last October.

She gave this route everything, even a couple nights in the hospital when a fall slammed her into the wall damaging one of her kidneys. She spent almost a week with the docs and underwent two surgeries before she sent the crack.

And boy does this route deserve it’s R rating. This 85-foot pitch features 20 feet of inverted climbing through a steep roof, overhanging arm-bars, and 30 feet of 5.12a to cap off the fun. A slip out of the invert means an upside-down header into a huge flake and some hospital time so Pack climbed it cleanly on top rope before attempting a lead and added two bolts to where she first fell after her kidneys begged her to.

Pack’s thoughts on the route?

The Forever War is more difficult (for me) physically and technically than any other route in Vedauwoo thus the 5.13c/d rating. I gave it a “slash” grade because Pat and I believe it is more difficult for a larger person. I gave it an “R” rating because if you fall at the crux a head- or back-first impact into a flake is almost guaranteed. My favorite part of the route is the kick-over into the inversion which requires a head smear off the flake—pretty damn offwidth!”