Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Another Nine Corner First Ascent

  Somehow, someway the cresting wave feature on the Wave Boulder at Nine Corner Lake has finally seen an ascent, actually back-to-back ascents recently.  On April 20th I took my puppy for a hike up to the boulders and decided to spend some time properly cleaning the slab beneath the wave feature so it could be attempted properly.  After an hour or so of cleaning and inspecting the upper holds to make sure they were solid I left for the day confident that the problem was possible and was totally psyched to try it.

  I returned the following day with a bunch of the crew and after warming up in the first set, Zone A I was easily able to convince everyone to head back to the Wave Boulder with me so we could try the new problem out.  After a half dozen or so bailed attempts high off of the deck and a wavering psych level, everyone convinced me that I had enough reach to stick the lip hold that had given me trouble on every previous attempt.  After a short rest and a "screw it, here I go" mentality I found myself back on the large sidepulls at the base of the cresting wave feature, some 12-15ft. off of the ground.  With a solid confidence in my spotters and myself I finally fully committed to the scary move to the lip and somehow stuck it for the first time.  The compression from the left hand sidepull down low under the wave feature and the right hand on the lip was super solid, but I was completely sprawled out and felt like I couldn't move.  One last jump move, left hand to the flat part of the boulder on the top of the wave made my feet cut wildly and my body felt like it went parallel to the ground.  I had stuck the last hard/scary move and the problem had seen a long awaited first ascent.  This wasn't nearly my most difficult boulder problem ever done, but I can say that it was probably the most committing.  Needless to say, the crew and I were extremely enthralled!

  Mitch Hoffman's good climbing friend from Texas and newest SAC crew member, J.P. Cashiola used that energy to make a quick second ascent of the problem.  He also agreed that the finished move was super committing and scary.  Good on ya mate!

Thanks to Keith Banta for some more excellent photographs from the afternoon/evening session.

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