Tuesday, November 22, 2005

11-22-05: Ishmael

Ishmael, v7 (A) & Fishmeal, v10 (B)

This overhanging boulder near Rainbow Road has two great problems on it. People initially tried to go straight up but a fall on the boulder at the base broke someone's leg. This project was known as the Jaw Bone and as far as I know it has never gone. Kent Schmitz figured out a way to head left (thereby avoiding the dangerous whale-like rock) and that is how Ishmael was born. Scott Frye then found a line of improbable holds heading left after the first move of Ishmael and dubbed it Fishmeal. Chris MacNamara's guide has a direct line to the end of Fishmeal and calls it Mandible, v9 although it looks rather unpleasant.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

11-19-05: Park Life

Tim Clifford on Park Life [v12]
photo: Lyn Verinsky

I haven't kept many climbing magazines over the years but there was an issue with a feature on Yosemite bouldering in 1994 (Climbing#144). One of the photos is of Sean Myles on a project with the caption "Myles on an unclimbed problem near the base of Lower Yosemite Falls." Randy walked around and eventually found the problem. There is a new trail that runs around the boulder with a wooden "boardwalk" to make the trail more accessible. Trying the problem becomes difficult by the sheer numbers of tourists walking by. That's why Tim named the problem Park Life.

The problems climbs up a mini diehedral and the whole time you are trying to fight a wicked barn door. Tim managed to climb this crazy cool problem last fall when the temps were great. He ended up trying it at night because there were less tourists to cause problems. To find the problem, hike towards the lower yosemite falls trial that is near the emplyee housing.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

11-17-05: Scissors for Lefty

Randy on Scissors for Lefty [v12?]
photo: Lyn Verinsky

There happens to be a great problem hidden away in the middle of all the Camp 4 bouldering. I know a passed it along the trail about a million times before I found it. I brushed the holds thinking that it couldn't be too hard, but then Randy and I tried it. There wasn't an easy move on it! Your left hand grabs small crimps and your right hand grabs a sloping rail. It's pretty long (12 moves), technical (you could fall off any of them) and absolutely a great problem. Randy managed to get the FA last spring and to my knowledge has not seen a second ascent. Randy never mentioned a grade, but my best guess is about v12.

The problem is down and to the right of what we call the "Font Problem." If you don't know where that is find Swamp Thing, head left (around a boulder that leans onto the Swamp Thing boulder) and you will see a left trending rail. Sit start with a good left foot, right hand side pull and almost nothing left hand. Pull up and start having fun!


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

11-4-05: Chimera

Chimera [v12?]

A very improbable looking roof in the Ahwahnee Boulders is what Greg Loh found and kept telling me, "It will go! It will go!" Personally I thought he was crazy. It turns out, he was right. The three hardest moves are all one after another and the last is the crux. You have to release yourself from this huge span in the roof and to do so you have to grab what can only be described as a bump. So many times I tried to release myself and just plain missed it. Then one day, something magical happened, it went from impossible to possible for just one try. As I topped it out I had to ask Frankie, who was spotting me, whether I had really done it. It felt like a dream. Hence the name.

The roof is located behind the Rubik's Revenge boulder in the Ahwahnees. From Rubik's Revenge walk left around the boulder and fairly soon you will see this unmistakable roof. Start on a big flake and head straight out the roof, at the lip finish to the right and you've just done Chimera.


Main Entry: chi·me·ra
Pronunciation: kI-'mir-&, k&-
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin chimaera, from Greek chimaira she-goat, chimera; akin to Old Norse gymbr yearling ewe, Greek cheimOn winter
1 a capitalized : a fire-breathing she-monster in Greek mythology having a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail b : an imaginary monster compounded of incongruous parts
2 : an illusion or fabrication of the mind; especially : an unrealizable dream chimera in my brain, troubles me in my prayer -- John Donne>