Sunday, November 30, 2008

Alex Puccio climbs A Maze of Death (v12)

This afternoon Alex Puccio climbed the short, steep, and very powerful line A Maze of Death (v12), first done by Dave Graham late in 2002. This pretty, concave wall, with its perfect patina is located at the Bardini Boulders area not far from the Main Buttermilks and is an incredible piece of rock.

Alex traveled to Bishop with Carlo Traversi and spent just long enough to get a feel for the area: "I have had a great time in the wonderful land of Bishop. There is so much to be done here. I can't wait to come back."

Working off of beta devised in conjunction with Garrett Gregor (who also climbed the line recently), Alex used a sick lock-off at the start to gain a key right hand sidepull/undercling and then a twisted drop-knee to make two moves with the left hand to gain the good (ish!) crimp below the upper slanted rail (see photos below). That latter part was Garrett's sequence, and apparently a great way to avoid a heinous upper gaston move. Even so, the final pull through is no gimme and proved a thorn in the side for a few days for Alex: Though close to success on her first day at the line, she became frustrated by deteriorating skin and tired muscles during her visit. A rain break and a Thanksgiving Day interlude broke the pattern, and Alex returned for a fourth time to claim this major first female ascent!

"I found the moves on A Maze of Death to be quite hard," says Alex, who struggled at first to deal with the slick footholds. "It is very technical with precise movements. I had to make sure I placed my feet PERFECT. I think I came away from the boulder as a stronger climber and person."

Well, hey, that's what a trip to Bishop will do for people!

Alex Puccio making the moves described. Photos: Wills Young


Mannphoto said...

Wills! Whats up brother! How's the weather gonna hold-up over Christmas in Bishop? Thinking about a return trip to see the new bathroom. Great shots -Andy

Wills Young said...

Weather is perfect here all the time... you know that! The bathroom is so nice we don't even use it in case it gets dirty. I'll let you take a look, but don't touch anything. While you're here, you should check out some of the rocks just outside town. Very pretty. Bring your camera!