Sunday, November 23, 2008

Evilution (v12) 4th Ascent, Carlo Traversi

On Friday Nov 21st, Carlo Traversi made a swift fourth ascent of the super-highball Evilution (the original version, and I think it's the fourth ascent!). Speaking to me today he said he took "five or six falls" in all, and did the problem from the ground up without even looking at the line from a rope -- a proud achievement and a step up in style from previous ascents by Jason Kehl (FA), Ethan Pringle (2nd), and Kevin Jorgeson (3rd) . Climbing ground-up on this line is a reasonable proposition if you can find and schlep a truck-load of pads the 100 yards or so from the road--though there is a crux up high (from about 15 to 20 feet), the ground is flat. Nevertheless, despite talk, no-one had made that step or totally committed to the process until now.

Carlo is visiting while on a road trip away from Boulder, Colorado. Interestingly, he grew up in the Bay Area,under the tutelage of the groundbreaking Buttermilks boulderer, also from that area, Kevin Jorgeson.

Running beta (refined since earlier ascents) from now-Bishop-based highball master Charlie Barrett and well-chalked holds were two important factors that helped Carlo succeed on Evilution ground-up. "If I had been trying this with no chalk on the holds, it would have been nearly impossible," he said. I would think he's right: the upper crux comes after a very steep v9/10 intro and is, in itself, in the v9 range. You come into it kind of blind from below and the holds are hard to see at all without chalk. Another factor in his favor is the fact that Carlo, though relatively short at 5-foot-6 is one of the physically strongest climbers around.

Carlo took two big falls from the upper crux where the climbing is hard, crimpy and required him to make a stab for what he describes as a "chalked blob!" He figures a v12 rating appropriate.


JP Williams said...

Eric Jamet, 18, from southern France made the fourth ascent on May 30th 2008, after taking the fall from over the lip four times before looking at the holds from the top down.

C. Traversi's ascent is tres impressive.


JP Williams said...

Correction: Eric climbed Evilution Direct. My bad.

Wills Young said...

Hey JP, Thanks for your comment(s). It is great to hear news of another ascent of Evilution Direct! There may be others(??). As Bishop is a destination for visitors from all over the world, and not everyone publicizes their ascents beyond their own circle, it can be hard to get the historical record accurate. So, thanks again and congrats to Eric Jamet. Wow, 4 falls from over the lip! What kind of pad set up was there? That's a big drop!

Anonymous said...

by the way.. a hold broke from evilution direct. The first hold after the lip...

Wills Young said...

Yes, it is true the good "chunk" hold above the lip on Evilution Direct broke around the end of Nov, and it is about half the size it used to be. It is still there, and the problem is still "about the same," so I'm told, though I'm sure it has to be a touch harder and a touch more scary. Apparently a good thumb-catch on the hold helps compensate for the break, but time will tell how this will really affect attempts on the line!

As noted previously, Evilution, the original line (that Carlo repeated) is the left exit, and this is not affected by the recent break.