Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Float Like a Butterfly...

The Columbia boulder is the ever present campground host of historic Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley. The massive boulder sits and watches over tourists and climbers alike as they mill about the roughshod campground cooking, sleeping, drinking, and climbing. The boulder is graced with United States' most iconic boulder problem, Midnight Lightning, which was established by Ron Kauk in 1978. The last first ascent on this boulder, 'Don't Make Me Kick Your Ass'(DMKYA), was climbed by Greg Loh and named by Chris Sharma about 12 or 13 years ago. This boulder is surely one of the most visited boulders in the world and yet it still holds a few secrets.

Last spring, at the end of a long day, the group was winding down and getting ready for the drive home. As we walked by the Columbia boulder I pointed out a few holds just a few paces to the left of DMKYA and mentioned that I thought a line could be climbed there. After brushing off a dirty sloper Paul, Randy and I began trying what would become 'Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee.'

Our initial attempts revolved around making a very hard (as yet uncompleted) move up and right to a bad sloper. Jumping off the ground one can catch this hold without too much trouble, but pulling off the ground and doing the move is another challenge all together. After a few days trying the problem Randy got fed up and started to trying a new method involving a dyno back and left to the rail that marks the start of an unnamed V0 jumpstart. This method proved to be very difficult as well, and Randy's motivation began to wane. On the day of the ascent Randy was initially just playing cheerleader, but after watching for a while he couldn't resist. The video below shows what happened next.

1 comment:

climbinvegan said...

Justine! I didn't know you have a blog! rad stuff..