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A Boulder Problem - Steve McClure

A Boulder Problem - Steve McClure
July 21, 2010 -  Steve Mcclure    

But 140 moves long! That’s pretty long! But never more than about a meter off the ground, with a perfect landing for the majority of the way, flat and grassy. It’s the ultimate boulder traverse, if you like your routes, with the crux coming after about 100 moves and each attempt taking over 25 minutes!


Five Ten's Paul Smitton first did the huge traverse across ‘Dog’s Dinner Buttress’ just opposite the Peak’s Cheedale Cornice about a month ago calling it ‘Pedigree Chum’, 8c+. A boulder grade makes no sense. It’s a route of distinct sections climbed left to right. The first half makes up an amazing section in its own rite with flawless rock and an obvious good ledge to finish on, maybe 8c to here. The next quarter is about 8a+, very sustained and very fingery.  A few people have been aiming to end after this section at an obvious flake line. It’s a clear place to end, but avoids the challenge of the entire wall. To link the whole thing Paul went up, a little scary but amazing vision and determination. There was no way three quarters would have done for him! The high version drops back down again to crimp its way along the final vertical wall to step off as far as you can climb. But the high version is just slightly out of character. A low version looked impossible, but a few useless holds were just enough. This 17 move section at somewhere between V9 and V11 was the hardest section of climbing, but the crux was resting enough before launching into it, a leg destroying back and foot in the flake line being the only way I could get shot of enough lactic to even consider the moves.

This low version, the ‘Finest Pedigree version’, took me another five days of effort after the initial three to do the original. Keeping low is the only rule and its much harder than the original. A boulder problem that is really a route that’s all about recovery!


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