Last year, D. Buzzelli put up a variation from the start of Nick Stoner that climbs the lower crux of the original Tommy Durant boulder problem then traverses 20' to the left arete of the Nick Stoner boulder. Since the first ascent by Buzz, the climb ("Bi-polor") sat without a second ascent but a comfortable V8 was given to the variation.
In recent weeks, D.B. was at it again on the Nick Stoner boulder eyeing up yet another variation for Tommy Durant's "Nick Stoner". The most recent plumb line starts the same as the original nick Stoner but once in the seam that traverses left as "Bi-polar", it climbs directly up the 20' face using small crimps and sidepulls to a highball sloping lip topout. In the past week, Buzz and I have both falllen numerous times at the lip. This past saturday on my second attempt of the day; in prime fall climbing conditions, I finally stuck the lip and toppped out on what may be my most difficulty first ascent to date...so psyched! This climb is tentatively know as "The Legend of D.B." to pay homeage to my pal D. Buzzelli who spied the line and began the beta/cleaning efforts.
Keeping the positive vibe's going and riding on my send high, I wanted to try the V8 traverse for the first time since I had the start beta dialed from projecting "The Legend of D.B.". I was really psyched and confident moving through the lower crux. Once in the seam on the traverse, my body took over and before I knew it I was on top of "Bi-polar" for a successful flash attempt!
With two of the three established "Nick Stoner" problems completed, the obvious progression was to try the upper moves on the original "Nick Stoner" climb, one that has sat for many years without a repeat and was given a V10 by Tommy Durant when he FA'd the line. With some interesting beta from Francis, I was able to link all the way through the boulder problem and fell two hand movements away from the V0 topout (finishes the same as "Mr. Jones"-V0) I had done these moves minutes earlier in isolation so I am confident that on the next good day of attempts at Nine Corners, I can finally send the elusive "Nick Stoner".