I have just recently gotten over a shoulder injury, after lots of training to get it strong again I am finally climbing hard again. Before my shoulder injury, I had my sights set on Mandala (V12), in Bishop Ca. I came very close to sending the climb but failed to do so. I fell on the second to last move grabbing the left hand crimp, before the top of the beautiful prow. Now that I look back at what I had done wrong, I realize that i was doing the move differently than what most people do, I was attempting a big left hand move to the edge before the top, when most people used two intermediate crimps in order to get to the edge. Oh well.
Update from Giovanni Traversi
I have gone back and tried it since I fell close to the top, but it was right at the time when my shoulder began having problems and it didn't go as well. I am going on December 27th for a couple weeks with my girlfriend Tiffani, and I hope to complete The Mandala.
More recently, between keeping up with what my brother Carlo has been doing in Switzerland, and spending quality time with my girlfriend, and working as a route setter at Vertex Climbing Center, I find myself still making the long drives from Santa Rosa, Ca to Bishop Ca fairly regularly. Long meaning, this last trip I went on took 12 hours in my 4 door '97 Nissan Sentra. I went with my friend Gorden (fellow co-worker at Vertex), and we had to chain up in South Lake Tahoe or else I don't think I would have made it.
This trip I went with the intention of not getting on Mandala and switching gears to the opposite style boulder problem called Buttermilker (V13). I had worked on Buttermilker before and done alright on it in the past, and this trip I did very well for me. It turns out I stuck a move I hadn't yet, (the big move from the first undercling to the huge feature with the right hand). I was very surprised to have stuck this move because I am short, and the move is extremely difficult for shorter people in my opinion. So only have one more move to stick until have done every move on the problem, (sticking the 3 finger dish on the huge slopey feature). Once I stick that move, I am gonna start giving it some serious burns from the start! I really hope I send! That's my progress on Buttermilker for right now.
This trip I also had the pleasure of attempting The Swarm (V14). I had never really attempted The Swarm before, other than just feeling the holds and watching other people attempt it. So one day, my friend Gorden decided he wanted to go to the Sad Boulders, which are cool, but I was really enjoying the Buttermilks so we went our separate ways for that day. I parked my car at the Buttermilks, put on my headphones, got all my gear together, and began hiking. I walked up the whole Buttermilk hill and over the top.
I started to hike down the backside of the hill in the snow, and kept making my way closer and closer to The Secrets Of The Beehive area. After about 45min. to an hour of solo hiking. I found myself at The Swarm. I put on my Anasazi Velcros, and began trying the moves. The first move is off two sidepull decent edges, place a right foot on the good foot and make a challenging left hand reach to a razor crimp. After trying to figure out how to hold the left hand razor, I finally stuck the move, then of course fell on the next. On my best attempt I was able to grab the left hand razor, that is about a centimeter thin (maybe a tiny bit bigger), and generate some momentum to make a right hand stab to a slightly larger slopey looking crimp. I was able to get my fingers to where I kind of felt the right handhold for a split second, and then fell out from the wall and onto a shrub in the snow. I tried a few more times but never made any more progress but it got me really motivated to go back and hopefully send it!
So for now, while I'm home, its lots of climbing and campus board training!!