Slideshow: The adventurous winners of the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2021 competition

noirdesir

For once, the wall is obviously not fully vertical, otherwise something hand-free like this wouldn’t work. It could have a 10 to 15° tilt to it. Second it is not quite as smooth and featureless as this photo shows. I’ve found another photo that shows a bit more nooks and crannies (https://cdn2.apstatic.com/photos/climb/112246680_large_1494328484.jpg).

In the position shown in the winning image, you are essentially standing on your two big toes (plus the bones they are connected to) but some weight is also transferred to the wall via your body leaning on it. Something like a 2-cm ledge should probably be sufficient for it.

The climb is rated as 5.11b/6c+, which incidentally was my peak achievement. But I don’t think I could have made this wall, I’ve failed on plenty of lower rated climbs.