Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lounge Lizards Broken Hold

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man – Heraclitus 544-483 BC.

Wow! Now, I could be wrong, but did Heraclitus go bouldering in Bishop or what? Was it through his experience pulling on the ever-changing holds of our beloved boulders that he came upon that unfathomable idea? It seems likely.

I apologize for the man-centric aspect to the quote, so please simply exchange the word man for woman where you feel it appropriate. It comes to the same thing.

I walked up to the Druid Stones to check on the classic problem Lounge Lizards (v11, guide 2nd ed. page 398) and sure enough, as suggested in an email from Will Fraker (thanks for the email Will!) the big hold in the lower middle of the wall was gone—well most of it. This is the key hold that binds the whole problem together. Most people would get both hands on this and bust a big move up and right to a flat edge. I would then even put my heel on it to pull up left into the finish. Looks like the problem will be harder now. Part of the hold remains, it is a relatively small crimp, but certainly good enough to make the line possible, and for the direct version perhaps not change it too dramatically. But I didn’t get on it. I just wanted to see.

Conditions are perfect up at the Druids and the line--a beauty still--is now awaiting a re-ascent.

Similar things have happened on other lines around Bishop, sometimes leaving problems that make everyone try just that little bit harder. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, the world is in flux and there is nothing that is permanent except change. Are any problems the same problems that they used to be? Does it even matter when, as Heraclitus so wisely points out, you, after all, are not the same man?


bob banks said...

Heavy stuff Wills. Heavy.

Dan Beall said...

We broke that shit a couple years ago lol. Tim Wilkins and Brian Hedricks and I. The Druid Stones have some great problems, but the rock is deceptive fragile.

Wills Young said...

Hey Dan, Actually this hold only broke a short while ago as I was up there just before it broke and it was there. I received an email from the person who saw it break recently. Obviously you guys broke something else! Please be gentle! Thanks! I think because the Druids gets less traffic in general it is still settling so be careful, especially after the rain. Having said that, there are some amazing problems and some sections of perfect rock too, so it's well worth going.

Noah Kaufman, MD said...

The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it. — (Chinese philosopher)

Thanks Wills. You are a successful man.