Sunday, March 1, 2009

Jeff Sillcox, Aquatic Hitchhiker

A lot of people had eyed this project, or even tried this project, but Jeff Sillcox actually managed to hitch a ride on this project, listed in the Bishop Bouldering guide on page 170. At the Sad Boulders, Aquatic Hitchhiker follows the same line as Feel Like a Barnacle (which is sadly mis-described in the guide -- not my fault I swear! Come on ... no way did I write that ...), but while Feel Like a Barnacle climbs out along the keel of the Ice Cave roof using feet on the back wall as needed to reach the finishing jug at the hanging arete, Aquatic Hitchhiker climbs the same near-horizontal prow without touching the back wall... at all. It begins with the right hand on a narrow pinch of the keel, the left hand on a decent crimp. To start the moves, pull on by extending to a left foothold and bringing the right heel onto the keel not far below the right hand. Jeff has suggested about v11 for the problem. See photos of this on Jeff's blog.

Further bad weather also sent Jeff back to the Ice Caves to try a top out to the line, which he also did, climbing it from the jug through "v5-ish" entry moves to a hard lunge at the top.

Obviously a link-up of any line into this v8-ish finish will produce a problem of full-value. Sadly the landing is not so sweet here, so you'll need a lot of pads. Also, the rock at your back on the last move could add a bit of spice. Again, photos at Jeff's blog show this line that he dubbed Light at the End of the Tunnel.

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