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!


Joe Maier said...

Hey Wills,
My name is Joe Maier, a couple weeks ago on i think March 12th i was able to snag a ground up ascent of Luminance. I'm not sure if this was before Jake or not, but i did meet a guy named Leo from Japan who did a ground up ascent in November who never reported it. I am positive he was not lying and actually ended up dropping off the top because he saw no other way off, Crazy! I have a video of my send that i will post if people would like to see. Way to Go Jake I agree it is incredible movement and one of my favorite climbs ever.

Joe Maier said...

My bad my send was March 31st way off.

Wills Young said...

Hey Joe,
Thanks! Great to hear! I have made changes to the end of the report to reflect your comment. Would love to post a vid if you have a link you can send me (email at right if you get a chance).