Three weeks have gone by here in Bishop and the weather has been surprisingly good for this time of year. Mostly I've been pounding nails to build a future training ground for my friends Wills and Lisa. Fortunately I've been able to take the good days of crispy temps and head out bouldering at one of the most inspiring area's in the world, The Buttermilks. My main goal was to check out Kevin Jorgeson's most recent addition to the highball realm, Ambrosia V11. Well I am happy to say that I got to do more than just check it out.
Isaac Caldiero highballs in Bishop
After a few days of hard work in bad conditions, I felt comfortable with all the moves but on the other hand was more or less about to call it quits due to the heat. I decided to check an old classic line Xavier's Roof V11. A couple tries figuring out the funky mantle crux and I walked away with a fast send.
As the northwest breeze brought in a storm, I began to feel hopeful for at least one good try on the mega highball. I started to check weather days in advance and strategize the perfect day after a building day and than a rest day from the building day before the send day. All was going well. Tuesday came along quicker than expected and the winds were howling. I loaded the truck with 6 pads and drove with questionable weather off in the distance.
Once I arrived I could instantly smell snow in the air, Mt. Tom in the horizon was engulfed by a massive, dark cloud. Without any hesitation I rushed to the base of the giant Grandpa Peabody boulder. The winds began to pick up and miniature sprays of rain and snow flurried by. None the less we(me and Wills) proceeded to strap down the crash pads to a couple small bushes near by. 50 jumping jacks later a small window of dry air blew by, and when i say blew I mean border line hurricane.
I tied up my Dragons nice and tight, took a couple of deep breathes and chose the moment regardless of the heinous blustering winds. I pulled onto the wall and instantly felt a desirable amount of friction, my body felt as strong as ever through the opening v11 moves. With my feet clinging to every little crystal foothold I realized I had skipped intermediates that were much needed before. I quickly reached the mid point with a sloping hueco rest, I noticed my fingers had gone completely numb. Luckily, I knew the good old hand on the warm neck trick to bring back life to my frozen fingers. Once I calmed my breathe and could feel my fingers, I had to make the decision to either keep going into the next crux moves a.k.a. the No Fall Zone, or bail back to safety. I didn't even look down as the wind grew stronger so did my psyche. I could hear my spotters scurrying far beneath me after blown away crash pads. I powered through the beginning of the highball crux and found myself nearing the last semi good hold before the finishing crux, a gaston three finger knob about one and a half pads deep and flat. This is the one hold in particular with dubious solidity. A rapid chalk of the left hand and I had entered into the final crux moves.
While I cranked through big reaches on small crimps and technical foot smears, I knew without a doubt in my mind that I was going to send. My confidence skyrocketed as I felt the friction of my Dragons on the wall and the last bit of strength in my fingers. All of a sudden I had grabbed the finishing jug. The emotion during this moment cannot be easily explained by words. Once out of the danger zone the feeling of success and safety slowly overcame the high adrenaline levels. I rushed down to the ground to give a big hug and high fives to my spotters.
To see the action live on video, checkout my website Isaaccaldiero.blogspot.com