Back in 2014 I was able to finally pull off of the ground on the difficult sit start to these problems but struggled greatly on the big move out left to get established in the large hueco pockets on Never Been to Hueco (V7). I only revisited these boulders twice since that initial progress on the sit starts moves and both times I never put any effort into trying the full boulder problem again. In the end of October I again began focusing on Salamander Slayer again. A recent repeat ascent by Canadian strongman Guillaume Raymond and then a quick first ascent on a variation finish by Evan Race reignited my psych on these boulder problems.
Each day that I worked on the problems, I made small improvements in my beta, body positions, endurance, and consistency with the powerful movements. This past Monday, November 9, 2015 I had an excellent warm-up circuit with quick repeat sends on Coitus (V6), Con2 (V9), as well as a new personal send on a Coitus variation known as Trip Hoppin' (V8). Riding on the positive energy from those sends, I ventured over to the Never Boulder to again try to dispatch my personal projects. After trying the moves in isolation and having great success, I sat at the starting holds and tried to gather my composer...I was very confident that this was the day for the long awaited ascent. One the first burn I fell on the last desperate moved to get established in the large hueco pockets on Never Been to Hueco. After a brief water break and a short rest I gave it my second attempt for the day and somehow managed to keep everything together and was topping out the boulder problem before I realized what was happening. I took a long pause on top of the boulder to reflect on what had just occured and then I got really psyched because I knew that if I could climb the bottom portion of the problem a smooth as I just had; that I could potentially complete There Are no Salamanders in Hueco (V11) as well. When I got to the base of the boulder, I reorganized my Organic Crash Pads and tried the dyno move on Never Left Hueco (V8) to gain confidence on the last difficult move on Evan Race's new problem. After sticking the move on the first try, I again took a short water break and a rest to regain some strength. After 15 min. or so, I was back at the sit start moves ready to give it everything that I had. Again, similar to the previous send, I was topping out the boulder problem before I had fully realized what had just happened...I had successfully send two V11 boulder problems; back to back. This day turned out to be my biggest personal achievement as a boulderer to date.
So psyched...keep the great fall weather and sending coming!!!
I have also embedded a nice video edit from Taylor Treadgold which highlights Evan Race's first ascent of There Are no Salamanders in Hueco (V11) as well as a nice video from Tyler Kempney highlighting his send on Trip Hoppin (V8) because both videos and editors did an excellent job showing the detail on the climbing and the climbing holds.