Saturday, March 5, 2011

Direct North (v14), Guillaume Glairon-Mondet

I recently learned that French climber Guillaume Glairon-Mondet made an ascent of the desperate new line Direct North (v14) on the Grandma Peabody Boulder's steep side. The line is an obvious extension to Direction, and takes on this photogenic wall of immaculate yellow-streaked rock by its hardest sequence, stacking the excellent highball Magnetic North (v8/9?) onto the testpiece Direction (v13).

Starting in the underclings, first Direction is itself a v13 sit-start to the original "one-move-wonder" Thunderbird (a tough v11 utilizing a tiny right crimp) and leads to some full-pad crimps above and right of the finish of Center Direct. After gaining the crimps, and taking a shake, perhaps, the line moves up and right following Magnetic North which has a longish span to another small right crimp followed by a tough and nervy heel-hook lock-off to gain good jugs that lead to the lip.

Guillaume, who also climbed The Mandala Sit Start (via the left sequence, v13/14), and grabbed a possible fourth or so ascent of Iron Resolution (v13) in Joshua Tree, before heading back to France, said that Direct North was the hardest ascent of his trip. Though he flashed the upper section (Magnetic North), he found the move from the heel hook extremely hard when reached from the start, taking a fall there on one of his attempts. He also described the crux move (on Thunderbird) as "really HARD!!"

Guillaume described the line as "the most logical of the whole boulder," by which perhaps he means the most compelling, or most impressive, I'm not sure. Given the rock quality, this is certainly one of the most perfect hard lines in the Buttermilk area--the holds are bullet hard, and the climbing is sustained and amazing.

See an earlier report for this line.


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Anonymous said...

nice to see this thing finally got done.