Scarface (5.14a) for Mirko Caballero

posted by dpm on 06/03/2013

12-year-old Mirko Caballero has sent Scarface (5.14a) in Smith Rock, Oregon. This is his 5th 5.14a and his 2nd at Smith Rock after Chemical Ali. He also recently sent Surf Safari (5.13d) at Mickey's Beach, California and is now headed to Europe for two months to check out the bouldering and sport climbing in France and Switzerland.  

All photos of Mirko on Scarface provided by Mirko Caballero.

Scarface is a proud line up the Christian Brothers formation that is historically significant as the first 5.14a established by an American. When Scott Franklin originally inspected the line, there was a large flake at about 1/3 height that offered an excellent rest and split the hard climbing that follows a small overhanging dihedral. As the story goes, Scott was looking for a difficult route as he'd just claimed the 2nd ascent of J.B. Tribout's To Bolt or Not to Be, America's first 5.14a located just a few hundred feet away. He chose to remove the flake to make the route harder  and went to great lengths to do so, even resorting to using black powder explosives. The route got its name due to the visible scar left by the flake. Scott Franklin sent the line in 1987.

The redpoint crux pulling onto the slab.

After the crux section, 50 feet of scary slab leads to the top.

The route was originally given the grade of 5.14a and then suggested as 5.13d for some time throughout the 90's. It's now considered by most to be 5.14a. The route opens with the most difficult move in its steepest section, a long pull from a mono. From there, big reaches between good pockets ascend the shallow dihedral as the route gradually decreases in angle. At the top of the dihedral, there is a poor rest before the redpoint crux pulling onto a vertical face of bullet red stone. The route finishes with 50 feet of runout 5.12- face climbing. Check it out in this old-school Metolius video starting at 2:15.