Climbers Conquer Stunning First Ascent in Utah

David Lama and Conrad Anker finish the route in Zion National Park that Anker started 25 years ago.
The Latent Core route sits near a waterfall
Latent Core has a waterfall alongside © James Q Martin
By Alison Mann

Chances are, you have a project or two that you've started, surely with the best intentions of completing, but simply haven't for one reason or another. It's probably nagging at you with that uneasy feeling of unfinished business. Well, legendary climber Conrad Anker can probably relate. He started a new route in Zion National Park with Doug Heinrich 25 years ago but never finished it. He recently went back with David Lama, 28 years his junior, to finish the job.

The two climbers completed the first ascent of Latent Core on the imposing Temple of Sinawava wall during four days of climbing together.

Watch the inspiring video of the climbers setting the new route below


During the ascent, Anker was able to remove the rope he left hanging on the wall during that first attempt.

"We were pulling our ropes and a knot got caught — we were sure we were going to come back," he remembers. "But then the days turned to weeks, the weeks to months, the months to years and the years to decades. We've come back to clean it up."

Lama was motivated to put up a new route during their time climbing together.

“When we arrived in Zion, Conrad proposed that we should try to on-sight the Moonlight Buttress," Lama said. "But for me, that was not as tempting as putting up a new line."

Anker agreed, and the pair went about setting the new route.

”The thing that is really outstanding when talking about Conrad is how he still has so much joy when he’s climbing," Lama pointed out. "I hope that I will always enjoy climbing as much as he does."

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