Climbing at your limit requires much more than pure strength, or power, or even technique. It takes a process. Between adequate rest, nutrition, skin, the right conditions, motivation, beta, and a little try hard, to boot, all the pieces must come together for that one perfect attempt.
Despite his youth, Drew Ruana has meticulously refined his process over the years—and has amassed an impressive ticklist of ascents. This year alone the 21-year-old has climbed at least 12 blocs V15 or harder, including three V16s (8C+): Sleep Walker in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada—watch the video here—and Box Therapy and Creature from the Black Lagoon in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Now, between classes, he’s working on a project that could tip into the V17 (9A) territory.