In February 2021, Lor Sabourin sent their first 5.14 on trad, clipping the chains on ‘East Coast Fist Bump’ (5.14a) in an ascent that wasn’t just a first for them but a first for the entire climbing community becoming the first non-binary climber to achieve the grade. This week’s video is a recently released Patagonia film that follows Sabourin as they tackle one of their hardest challenges to date in the sandstone canyons of northern Arizona. The route is ‘Cousin of Death’, a gnarly, five pitch 5.13+ which serves as the video’s fitting parallel to the multitude of difficulties Lor has faced and overcome in their personal life.
As we watch Lor unpick the route and work their way through its many cruxes, we’re given an intimate look at the challenges they experienced growing up, suffering an eating and exercise disorder whilst grappling with their non-binary identity. Having started gym climbing in the early 2000’s, Lor found their home and their community in climbing, using the sport as their way to explore identity and to build resilience in the face of adversity. This film is a brilliant insight into Lor’s life and the work they’re doing to build a climbing community that non-binary climbers can call home.