Monday, February 25, 2008

Mandala Video on The North Face website

There's a clip of Lisa Rands climbing The Mandala up on This may start with a clip of Daniel Woods, but in the scrolling list of vids to the right you'll find the Mandala clip. TNF didn't do the greatest job with the web quality, but it's still nice to watch!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Crimpanzee (v6) FA by Andrew Stevens

Got this from Andrew Stevens:

"Last Sunday I climbed a new route at the Happys that is pretty nice. It is located on the West Rim just above Serengeti. Jeff and California Drew climbed it also. It seems like it is v6ish. It climbs more like a Sad [Boulders] route. I went to work on a sit start yesterday, but I wasn't inspired. Really hard, sharp moves with crappy feet. I had to stack pads to reach the first two handholds. Let me know what you think. I called it Crimpanzee."

The problem is up on the West Rim, just above Crispin Waddy (near Serengeti, as Andrew notes above) at the Happy Boulders (page 131 in the guidebook). The rock here is not documented in the guidebook, but is of good quality with some more potential.

Here are two pics of Andrew on the FA of Crimpanzee (v6 unless we hear different). Looks sweet!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jeff Sillcox adds yet more options to Grandma Peabody

Saturday 16th Jeff Sillcox added yet another slightly strained but excellent line to Grandma Peabody's beautiful patina'd northwest wall, naming it Magnetic North. The line moves diagonally up rightward from the jug that is at the end of Center Direct (or at least the end of the hard part) across perfect rock to good holds at the lip. Use a high left heel hook and a hold far out right (a lone hold in the blank section of rock) to pull through to the lip with the left hand. Move further right to right-facing sidepull and the good rail above. Jeff turned the lip and moved left to gain the easy line up the slab. The line is a beautiful piece of climbing and around v8 or v9.

See pics in a later post.

Matt Birch climbs Mandala Sit Start

On Monday 18th, Matt Birch climbed The Mandala Sit Start. He'd been trying it on and off for a while, having difficulty with the small deadpoint to gain the good right-hand crimp at the start of The Mandala regular, and split skin and blisters from the tiny left-hand crimp that you move off. Having finally linked through this move, he crimped down hard and pulled very nervously to the top, saying he was moving "like a shopping cart with a wonky wheel."

Matt Birch, a Yorkshireman from Otley (England) has climbed several cutting edge lines in the states, including his notable FAs of The Swarm (v14) also in the Buttermilks (Secrets area) in 2004, and Somewhere In Time (at the Tramway, So Cal) in 2007.

Action Potential?

Got this from Kevin Daniels about a possible new line at the Buttermilks on the big block below the Fly Boy Boulder:

"i did the nice big arete right of Big Wall on the big wall boulder. it is the obvious arete listed as # 7 on page 194. i had climbed up to about 2/3 height a few times. from standing on the obvious and solid jug at about 15 feet a couple thin moves on solid rock takes you to the apex and good solid holds. another long move up and right to a good pinch / sidepull and you are up on your feet. i downclimbed as far as i could to checkout the top. it is probably V2 and except for one small hold that snapped and the flakes that get kicked off it is very solid rock and good movement."

Kevin is describing a problem I listed as "Unknown" in the guide. I don't know if it had been climbed, though when I was compiling the guidebook it seemed likely it had been done, so I didn't put it as a project ... but who knows?

Kevin suggested a name of Action Potential for this highball. Sounds good to me! I might leave it up to others to verify the rating and quality of this one, or alternatively to let me know if they've seen it done, or heard it was done before. It sure has a pretty nasty landing and you never know what some people will call "v2" :). Nice one Kevin!