Brooke Raboutou Cranks on a V14 in Fearsome Gymnastic Display

You could call the things on the surface of ‘Trieste’ (V14) in Red Rock Canyon ‘holds.’ Really, they’re pieces of the boulder that face the wrong direction. Here, Brooke Raboutou fights them, and wins.

Walking through the Nevada desert, climber Brooke Raboutou casually affects a street-tough demeanor. She shadowboxes the camera lens and cocks her head: “Hey y’all. Let’s do this shit.”

The scene cuts, and she works the moves on “Trieste,” a striking Daniel Woods testpiece in Red Rock Canyon, just outside Las Vegas. Notice Raboutou’s body tension as she forces the heinous, down-facing loaves that pass for holds on the proud, steep block to cohere. Right from the first move, she’s like a spider made of steel cables.

And if you’re in the “how scary could it be, it’s just bouldering” crowd, watch Raboutou’s gritty precision up the (sand-dusted?) slab at the top. If she were as erratic as camera operator Shawn Raboutou’s breath, she’d be on the ground in a heap.

Instead, the 20-year-old Brooke Raboutou focuses on the next “hold,” intent on the top of one of Red Rocks’ proudest hard boulders.

Runtime: 7 minutes

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Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.

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