Last week, Tom Addison, a long time climber in the Bay and Sacramento climbing community, pulled the red tag off his long time project at Jailhouse Rock in Sonora. Addison bolted the route in the winter of 2002. “Trying to do the moves on it a decade ago, it was pretty clear that it was out of my league. It still is, but a strong gravitational anomaly on Friday let me clip the chains.”
The 550-year-oldclean air lobbyist conservatively rated his new route, “HFT” (Hard For Tom), but believes it falls in the 5.13b+ range. This year, Addison climbed a number of other 5.13 routes including establishing Aging but Still Raging, a 5.13b at Lost World. “I learned in the last year that actually you can get stronger in your climbing in your 50s. It requires rethinking your training and you have to be willing to fail rather than staying with what’s comfortable.”
Addison has established over 1,000 new routes in at least 17 states from the East to the West Coast including Farley Ledges in Massachusetts, Owls Head in New Hampshire, City of Rocks in Idaho, the Superstitions in Arizona and across California. “I have a strange affliction,” Addison said of his passion for establishing new routes. “A person spends unbelievable amounts of time putting up new routes and it’s tremendously determinantal to your climbing.”
The work pays off though and now Addison faces the biggest challenge of establishing a first ascent- finding a name. How Tom Flies, Voluntary Confinement, Insanity Plea and Statue of Limitation are all on the list.
Beyond that, the route can also be climbed into The Juice Extension bumping the grade into the solid 5.14 category. Addison has his work cut out for him.