Monday, April 16, 2012

Luminance Video

Bishop highballing is all about big lines, a bunch of pads and spotters, and the spirit of bouldering taken to an extreme. Here's Joe Maier on the amazing Luminance, recently done ground up by himself, by Jake Lovotny (see post below) and by a super-strong Japanese climber named Leo(?)! [Edit: The Japanese climber is Ryohei Hagiwara aka "Ryo." See second comment below.]

Don't try this at home:

Luminance, Bishop CA from Joe Maier on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Jake Novotny, Luminance: Ground Up Ascent

I recently heard from Lake Tahoe climber Jake Novotny of his ground up ascent of Luminance (v10?) the spectacular overhanging highball on the Luminance Boulder. Unsurprisingly Jake says, "It was the scariest line I've had the pleasure to climb in the 'Milks." But, he adds, "I've never been able to climb v10 so quickly."

Jake wonders if the fear-factor plays into the impression of difficulty on the line. No doubt fear will play its role, as the chaotic uneven fall-zone is simply terrible on this, and it would be inviting disaster not to want to overpower the moves. Could the fear subconsciously also force an extra effort?

Who knows? But others have wondered the same, and likely the problem lies nearer to the v9 mark. Most importantly says Jake, it has, "some of the best movement on some of the finest rock in the world," and he gives Shawn Diamond great credit for making the first ascent.

Jake had three large pads, including one big one down in the trough far below, and two spotters for his ascent, which is now believed to be the fourth(!) ground up after Dan Beall's back in October 2009--See comments below.

It is pretty amazing that so many are tackling this line without prior inspection on a rope. Impressive stuff by all!

Possible New v10 on Cave Boulder, Buttermilks

Itai Axelrad wrote to me about a line he climbed on the Cave Boulder at the Buttermilks. It goes up the wall that is to the left of Lactose Intolerant and The Buttermilker and to the right of the v3 "Dyno Problem" (guidebook 2nd ed page 259). This is a small sheer overhanging wall with some nice patina and I think a few people have looked at it to sport a line. However, I have not climbed it and I don't know if anyone else has climbed it, so Itai has tentatively dubbed the line, Crimps of Wrath and thinks it might be around v10.

He began the climb with his left hand on a thin in-cut horizontal crimp, and a similar but vertical crimp for the right, and climbed directly up beginning with a hard move to a left-hand gaston. This is a pic of Itai with the holds he used indicated. In the photo he has just stuck the first (and hardest) move:

Itai writes: "I thought about various different starts for the climb, but found them slightly contrived and rather difficult. The start that I did seems to be the most natural and direct."
Please comment if you try (or have tried) the line! Thanks!