Thursday, December 16, 2010

Portia Menlove, Beefy Gecko (v11)

Just a note to say Portia Menlove, of Salt Lake City, climbed Beefy Gecko (v11) at the Sad Boulders which might be her first v11. Nice work Portia! She was able to do that one and Beefcake (v10) the same day. See also a report on Siemay Lee's ascent of Beefy Gecko earlier on the blog.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rise, second ascent? Charlie Barrett at the 'Milks again ...

Today Charlie Barrett repeated Shawn Diamond's excellent super-highball Rise on the Luminance Block, in the deep gully near the Secrets of the Beehive area. Accidentally listed as v5 in my new guidebook, it is actually about v9/10! Ooops! (See the 2nd edition page 324-325; other than the mistake on the rating, resulting from a copy-and-paste from the first line listed there, the info is correct.) No doubt one look at the line is enough to clarify how serious it is, as it has about 40 feet of climbing on it, with the first 20 feet up an overhanging prow with some powerful moves, and the last section up an exposed and delicate slab. See the earlier report of Shawn Diamond's first ascent.

Taking a 50-foot section of rope out there to clean the line and feel it out, Charlie found that his rope, anchored to bolts across the far side of the boulder, didn't even reach to the slabby topout of the line, so he opted for a ground-up approach instead! That's the spirit!

There are still some first ascents to be had on this giant block ...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

High-speed Day in Bishop

Bishop Bouldering from Colin Delehanty on Vimeo.

Ever had that feeling that a day is just too short? You've only a quick trip to Bishop to make the most of, yet the 24 hours seems to fly by. You start to get a bit of climbing in, and just as you're beginning to get warmed up, it's time to head home!
This short, mostly timelapse, video made by Colin Delahanty pretty much sums up the experience!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Charlie Barrett, Saigon Superdirect (v10?)

Here's a shot of Charlie Barrett making a repeat of Saigon Superdirect at the Buttermilks today. Possible second ascent? Not sure. A very impressive ascent anyway, first try after a quick inspection on a rope. The Superdirect goes straight over from the high pinch to a sloper for the left hand, then a move up right to a another rounded but better hold. These moves are seriously off the deck, demanding a lot of commitment, and are followed by a frightening finish over the sloping topout--higher than it looks in this shot, trust me. Got to be one of the proudest highballs at the 'Milks.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sonnie Trotter, Evilution Direct (v11)

Heard that Canadian Sonnie Trotter, of Squamish, BC, climbed Evilution Direct (super-highball v11) today. I'm pretty sure this was after rappel inspection on a previous day. They were not the greatest conditions out there, with a fair bit of moisture in the air compared to normal. But apparently after shaking out for a minute or so on the flake/patina at the lip he looked strong through the upper crux and topping out. Great to hear! Well done Sonnie.

Hideaway (v10?), Upside Boulder

Up at the Buttermilks today Ian Cotter-Brown showed me his sweet new line called Hideaway on the Upside Boulder, mentioned earlier on this blog. It turns out to be a really cool problem with some unusual moves for the Buttermilks, traversing across the underside of the Upside Boulder using cross-throughs and heel hooks.

  Ryan Held making the first roll-through on Hideaway (v10?)
There is a hard crux which Ian did with an insecure knee-bar. After doing the move this way my knee was pretty bruised. But since Ian didn't feel like walking all the way down the hill and back up to bring me the knee pad he used, and since I didn't really want to use one anyway, I found a way to do it with a left heel-toe in a shallow hueco. Sure, it might be harder but the movement is amazing!

  Ryan Held moving into the crux on Hideaway (v10?)
After the steep butt-dragging and powerful start, you end up on Early Exit a technical v5 face to top out. Now I want to go back and link it into Upside (the v8 that goes straight up the middle of the boulder).

Ryan setting up to make the crux move using the heel-hook beta.
If you want to check it out, the Upside Boulder is way up on the hillside about 2-3 mins straight uphill from the Saigon/Sharma Traverse area. The problem Hideaway begins under the left side of the west face on an obvious flat jug/pinch. Move right into huecos, then set-up and roll through with the left hand to a good pinch edge, out right to another rough edge, then make the crux roll-through or heinously painful knee bar cop-out. Keep going right via jugs and underclings and finish on the wall at the right side.

That wall at right, Early Exit, and the central face Upside are well worth doing in their own right, either from a sit or a stand start.