Following Hueco, Bryan Boyko and I made our way out to Bishop to take advantage of the awesome Spring conditions in the Buttermilks. My goal for the trip was to climb The Swarm as well as the Mandala Sit, both clocking in at V14. While neither ended up going down, I had an excellent time ticking off a grip of other Buttermilks classics.
The trip started off beautifully, with a quick send of the Mandala Stand (V12) in 3 goes on the first day out. This really bolstered my confidence for the Sit and with a solid crew working the problem with me it seemed like only a matter of time before everything would fall into place. Due to my shorter span, I was trying the older and arguably more difficult beta for both the transition into the stand as well as for the stand itself. Rather than extending into the starting sloper and then falling in left hand to the start crimp I was trying to post up on a heinously painful left hand spike and dyno right into the start crimp of the stand.
After spending the first half of my trip alternating between goes on this move and working The Swarm my motivation was feeling sapped. These problems were tough both mentally and physically. On the mental side, they required me to set aside virtually all other problems and focus fully on these two lines. This was in large part due to the physical demands, both problems completely decimating my tips within a few tries and thereby requiring at least a full rest day after. The Mandala would slice the skin with it's razor crimps while The Swarm required putting full body weight onto a one finger spike, bruising my already tender fingers further. Despite my incremental progress learning the crux moves, I decided to abandon both in favor of getting on less draining projects.
In the end I think this was the right move, freeing me up to climb other gems such as Maze of Death (V12), Evilution to the lip (V10), and Social Distortion (V13). In all, I was able to wrap up a bunch of great problems that I had been working on past trips and had the opportunity to try some new ones. My month in the Buttermilks left me satisfied but still wanting more. I'll certainly be returning to sort out my unfinished business with The Swarm and Mandala. The Mandala should be interesting with it's recent break, almost making it a new problem, but I'm confident I'll find a way to make it happen. Another line I had my eyes on was Luminance (V11), though I never had a chance to give it a go. It seems there's never enough time but now that I'm on to my next stop in Joe's Valley, UT I have a whole new set of problems to focus my efforts on and a new style to master.
One Mule Wonder, Return of the Jedi, Evilution (Lip),
Thunderbird, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Xavier’s Roof
Mandala Stand, Maze of Death
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