This past week has once again been full of new lines and sending at the lake. The grip of fall has moved in, and the rock is starting to feel sticky. So what happened you wonder?
I have been working a hard project for 5 or 6 days now that climbs out the right side of the “El Parasol” roof in the Fat Raccoon area (listed under the Smooth Operator are on the northern West Bluff on Mountainproject.com). I would venture to say if I were to send the entire line it would be the hardest thing I have climbed… it’s no joke and it’s a really obvious line too. I have been making slow progress on it and managed to link it to the end starting a few moves in. Peter says its not a problem, but I disagree. It’s just not the whole line that is possible (well, maybe possible…) I dubbed it Precision is Power and it probably checks in around V9. It starts on a slot crimp for the left hand, and a slopey shelf for the right. A tedious match move followed by a precise sideways jump to a bitey edge leads into a somewhat delicate and precarious top out that very well could be extremely bad to botch. When doing the finishing mantle you end up palming up a holdless slab above a small boulder landing that would suck to pitch off. So yeah, check it out, and if the whole line were to go it would be very cool, and I think surely very difficult and a high quality problem.
The next day I met up with a good crew in the just above the parking lot East Bluff North Talus field. The crew was psyched to try and fire Science Friction, a V8 I put up a couple of seasons ago that has a rad dyno finish move. Chris Eggert and John Dobbe managed to take it down for the fifth and sixth ascents respectively I believe, so props to those guys, that one gives a lot of people troubles.
While the crew was climbing on Science Friction I went over and started trying a line I had been on a few times previously in hotter weather. It has a funky slanting bouldery landing, and is pretty long. In the middle of it there is a very big move that is the definitive crux that I was unable to do on my previous visits. To my surprise, after a few goes I managed to stick the move in isolation… the cold temps helped a lot. After a good break I started from the bottom and fired it. When I did the first ascent there was nobody else there and it was just me and my two pads. A few minutes later Skyler Frickleton and Cole Keesler came over and I was able to chuck another lap on it and Cole got some photos.
I dubbed it Uncertainty Principle, and thought it checked in around V9 or 10. Due to the funky landing and the hard crux move it is a pretty serious line I think. Of note too, the next evening Peter Bonamici fired off the second ascent in a quick session along with Wave Rider Direct (V8) just next door for it’s third ascent. Proud work man, nice job. Peter thought Uncertainty Principle was probably V9, so I wasn’t so far off it would seem.
After that I moved over to the West Bluff and went back up to the El Parasol Roof and put more time in on the hard project. It still felt hard, but I did make a little progress. I also had been playing around on another problem on the boulder, and I managed to send it, and frankly it is one of the best of the grade I have done in the park. Midwest Dream probably checks in at V8 or 9, and it is a steep line. I manage to shoot video of the first ascent with my phone… Check it out!
Midwest Dream pads up well with 3 pads and is a fun, safe problem. It should get some serious action. It’s also a five minute walk from the car… Why not go give it a go right?
Madison local Kevin Baker has also been on a tear. He has done Mean Girls (V8), The Haunting (V8) and What Up Weasel (6-8 depending on who you talk too). Nice work man.
Peter also managed to fire off the second ascent of Sticky Icky (V9) deep in the center of the West Bluff. Tearing it up! If you like funky dynos go check this thing out, it’s on the Moj Boulder. The huge top out is memorable too.
It’s getting cooler and cooler… things are getting better… Take advantage of the great weather everyone and happy climbing!