In October 2020, while trying to climb the route Crank it (5.13+ R/X) Trad, Molly Mitchell fell from a height of XNUMX meters and fractured two vertebrae in her lower back. A year and a half later, she returns to the scene and confronts her demons.

"On May 16, my two-year Trad project came to an end, in which I can not even begin to express the extent of what it means to me," writes Molly Mitchell after successfully completing the route crank it (5.13+ R/X) in Boulder Canyon in Trad style. The suffix R/X, which in the American scale stands for the fact that a fall can lead to serious injury or even death, reveals how serious this line is.

After her fatal fall in October 2020, Molly Mitchell fought her way back to life step by step and over time began to work on her project again. In mid-May, she managed to draw a line and climb the Trad line.

molly-mitchell-crank-it-boulder-canyon
Molly Mitchell in Crank It (5.13+ R/X) in Boulder Canyon. Picture: Cedar Wright

"On May 16, my two-year Trad project came to an end, and I can't even begin to express the extent of what it means to me."

Molly Mitchell

Molly Mitchell says she has endured the toughest year and a half of her life after breaking her back. "Physically, yes, but mostly mentally." That's why for her personally the most important journey and achievement of her life is being able to climb Crank it after all she's experienced. "I fought so many inner demons to get here."

"This is the absolutely most personally significant journey and achievement of my life."

Molly Mitchell

Molly Mitchell and the worst fall of her life

The American still remembers the day of her accident very well. «On Thursday, October 1st, 2020, I had the worst fall of my life. During an attempt to climb through, I fell about ten meters, ripped out four mobile safety devices and hit the ground.» Luckily she landed on the crash pad.

"During an attempt to climb through, I fell about ten meters, ripped out four mobile safety devices and hit the ground."

Molly Mitchell
Molly Mitchell Hospital
Lucky in Disguise: Molly Mitchell suffers a non-paralyzing compression fracture in her lower back.

After a few anxious hours, the doctor made the diagnosis in the emergency room: two broken vertebrae in the lower back. Luckily, it was a compression fracture that didn't need surgery and didn't pose a risk of paralysis.

Video: Molly Mitchell on the first ascent of Spoiled Moose 5.13 R

Trad climbed a serious matter

crank it in Boulder Canyon was from Pat Adams drilled and first time by Jerry Moffatt climbed. Forgoing the safety of hooks and setting your own fuses instead, Crank it (5.13+ R/X) presents a serious trad challenge.

Molly Mitchell isn't the first climber to seriously injure herself in the line. 2016 broke Brad Gobright in a 7 meter fall from the lower crux back and ankle. He had himself Viceroy made an extension of Crank it.

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Credits: Cover photo: Cedar Wright

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