Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ethan Pringle, Mordecai (v12?), Lounge Lizards, Mandala Sit

It is good to have Ethan Pringle back in Bishop. He's climbed here for a few days so far this year and has already made some impressive ascents, one of the most notable being his ascent of Mordecai (v12?) on the "Drifter" or "Smoking" Boulder. The problem is on the opposite side of the boulder from High Plains Drifter and has been something of a mystery ever since Shawn Diamond reported his ascent (at the end of 2009).

Above: Video capture from the ascent from Rock Warrior Films

After a rappel inspection to check out the highball finish, Ethan began the problem with a jump from the ground and climbed through the crux (around mid-height) in a few tries and immediately went to the top. On the send, he found the last moves harder than expected and, in his words, "definitely frightening." He had around 10 pads and a couple of spotters below. The picture shows just how high and scary this line is with a large boulder lurking dangerously behind the topout.

Ethan climbed over the lip by moving left past some sloping dishes/runnels as this looked to be the easier option to him (a right finish was reported by Shawn). The crux sequence was a massive lock-off pushing down a left hand crimp to the waist and bumping the right to a positive "rail" up high.

Ethan's tick-list includes the second ascent of The Beautiful and Damned as well as Evilution (second ascent) and Evilution Direct, Flight of the Bumblebee, and of course he also started the trend with his one-shoe ascent of The Spectre, (recently emulated by Canadian Terry Paholek).

Also of note is Ethan's repeat of Lounge Lizards Direct at about v12 after the recent break, and his long-awaited ascent of The Mandala Sit which he had long previously come extremely close to doing, but sadly fell from and broke his foot in Jan 2008. Note that Ethan actually pioneered the tall-person beta for this problem (going up then spanning across right into the undercling) and yet he had to wait nearly four years to check it off himself (not only due to his foot injury but also a shoulder injury he suffered a while later)!

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