Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Paul Barraza on Linear [V9?]
If bearing down on painful, razor-like crimps is your cup of tea, then don't miss Linear, the problem that climbs the left side of the big face on the aptly named Ahwahnee boulder. Located amidst the warm-up problems in the Ahwahnee area, it's a line that has often been attempted given its obvious and cool start holds. Interest wanes, however, once we're reminded once again of the grievous and nearly non-existent nature of the holds following the start. Despite this, on a warm day last March, Paul figured out a sequence that hits the left arete after some hard crimp moves. The climb finishes by following the arete and some poor right hand-holds to the highest point of the boulder. The line heading straight up the face to the highest point, remains a project. Excellent skin and strong fingers will be prerequisites for sending the straight-up version. Oh yes, and good footwork wouldn't hurt, either.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Luna Lovegood [v4-6?]
For some reason, Paul got all up in arms when Randy chose to name this boulder problem Luna Lovegood. Perhaps it was the Harry Potter reference that offended or it may have been the fact that the name really doesn't make any sense, which actually makes it the perfect name for this rather odd boulder problem. Situated in the heart of Camp 4, a stone's throw away from the Dominator, this problem came into existence as a bit of a joke. The start holds on the right side of the boulder are quite obvious and large, but the line forces you up and left over a very unappetizing landing and a potential fall into a tree. Of course, given these qualities, Randy couldn't wait to climb it. After some preliminary attempts that went something like this: "crap, who cleaned this thing! It's totally dirty up here! I'm coming down - do you have me?" we were inspired to scramble to the top via the slab and give it a proper cleaning. Once that was done, everyone scampered to the top with a minimum of cursing.
This problem is really quite fun, with friendly holds (granite slopers!) and a little spice. The very top is relatively easy, especially for Yosemite, but a few large pads and some good spotters go a long way to improve one's confidence. (Start standing on the right side of the boulder on the right side of the arete, climb up and left. You will end up on the left side of the arete, topping out by squeezing between the big boulder to your right and the tree to your left. Now, doesn't that sound like a good time?)
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Randy Puro on Step Child [v10]
Since summer is just around the corner, it's time to post about this sit-start to Gym Fag Jiggle (a truly awful name). Situated on the right side of the White Lines boulder, Step Child starts on a bad right hand crimp and a left hand sprag that's worse. Try really hard and you might be able to pull off the ground. If you are having a really good day, you might hit the "decent" edge up and left. Paul did this problem in October of '05 while he very patiently waited for me to get my butt up the problem to the left. Of course, it very well may have been done before then, so please write in if you know this problem under a different name.
Lyn Verinsky on Chocolate Bunny [v6]
Sloper, slopers, and a few more slopers thrown in just for fun. I climbed this insta-classic on the Lifeline boulder on (go figure) Easter Sunday a few weeks ago. The line had remained on the overlooked side of the Lifeline boulder, just to the right of the down climb. Start on a low rail, to the left of the tree, head up slopers and left & up at the lip. A fun mini-slab gets you to the top of the down climbing groove. The character of the climb is much lighter than the tall and proud climbs around to the left, hence the name.
Scott Chandler on Chocolate Bunny [v6]
Lyn Verinsky on Gravitas [v7]
There is another line to the right of the tree. Gravitas [v7] starts on a right-facing hold below the lip, and heads up through a tricky lip encounter. Initially I head far left after tackling the lip, but then Lyn pioneered a better finish that heads straight up on a perfect slab.
Two more problems are just around the corner to the right: an easy but very height dependent ramp to big edge called Super Tramp [v2] and a variation that heads directly left on crimps and then up the lip called Sideways [v8]
To find these problems, head to the Lifeline / Flatline problems and walk around to the right just past the down climb.