Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Charlie Barrett, Spectre & Mandala SDS ...

It's good to finally hear that Charlie Barrett has defeated his nemesis The Spectre (v13). He'd had the early moves of the problem and the moves around the lip on lock-down last season and yet would spin off every time he tried to hold the swing after the long move left in the middle of the crux.

Then he picked up a tip from Kevin Jorgeson, to bunch his right leg in and up to his right side, to a small edge, before cutting, and this worked to reduce the swing. It was Rusty Klassen that had suggested the idea to Kevin, proving that no matter how accomplished a climber you are, you can always learn from others. After a push on from Kevin, Charlie held the swing with the new beta, immediately announcing, "I've done the Spectre!" On his next go from the start, sure enough, the ascent was a formality. Nice!

Charlie playing on The Spectre mid summer!

Charlie was also able to check off the The Mandala Sit Start (v13/14) by using what he describes as the "big boy beta," climbing directly up from the start and using a tiny sharp crimp-sidepull with the left to lean across right to the big undercling/sidepull of The Mandala. This was the method that Ethan Pringle figured out and was also used by Cory French. If you are not tall, you can't use this method because the span across is too far, yet many taller climbers find it easier. As Charlie has noted: it's a different problem that way, but is still The Mandala Sit Start!

ON A SIDE NOTE: It is worth pointing out, for the purists out there, that many people are now starting The Mandala by beginning with their right hand in the undercling and their left on the crimp above (as you would arrive from the above-mentioned version of the sit), though doing so requires a big boost up, and is not the original problem--which begins with the right hand on the crimp as needed when stepping off the ground. It is strange to see 6-foot-plus climbers standing on a huge stack of pads to bring the starting holds down to waist level, rather than showing respect and doing all the moves of the climb (as Sharma did originally) before claiming an ascent.