/ THE LOWDOWN: Alex Honnold: Big Balls in Boulder

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Björn Pohl - UKC - on 16 Jan 2012
Alex Honnold on Too big to flail, 4 kbAlex Honnold is doing what he can to blurr the border between highballing and soloing. Recently, in the Buttermilks at Bishop, California, he made the first ascent of Too Big to Flail, a ~14m "problem" on the Luminance Block.
According to Bishop Bouldering

"This line [...] involves some thin v9...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=66088
Enty - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to Björn Pohl - UKC:

There's no blurred line there Bjorn. That's a solo.

E
felixyoung on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to Björn Pohl - UKC:
34 mats. Imagine if you missed.
Chris Ellyatt - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to Björn Pohl - UKC:

Well, I doubt many people say they've "highballed" Flying Buttress Direct. That's soloing.

Chris
Bulls Crack - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Björn Pohl - UKC)
>
> There's no blurred line there Bjorn. That's a solo.
>
> E

Absolutely - I'd want my e points not some measly high-ball tick!
Fraser on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to Björn Pohl - UKC:

Seriously scary and there's no way I'd attempt it.

It doesn't look like 34 mats in that photo, does it, more like half that.
Scarab - on 16 Jan 2012
The mats arent piled up on each other, more spread to enlargen the catchment area. So its not like falling on super soft ground either..
Stuart S - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to felixyoung:

> 34 mats. Imagine if you missed.

And compare that to the mere 2 mats used by Jorg Verhoeven on Ambrosia and Katharina Saurwein on This Side of Paradise.

As for whether it's highballing or soloing - well, there are loads of other problems in the Bishop area where you end up at a height you wouldn't want to fall from, but they're still just boulder problems with V grades - that's the local ethic. This one is just an extreme example!
Michael Ryan - on 16 Jan 2012
Wow! I abbed down that face, top roped some of it and considered bolting it...there are bolt routes and trad routes in the Buttermilk. But thought, nay I'll leave it for future generations!

Nice one Alex.

Mick
Arms Cliff - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - Senior Editor - UKC: Are there any bolts left in the Buttermilk besides the ab ones on some of the big boulders? I thought the chopped bolts on Transporter room were the only ones placed on a route, and that their removal drew the proverbial line in the sand?
Michael Ryan - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to Arms Cliff:
> (In reply to Mick Ryan - Senior Editor - UKC) Are there any bolts left in the Buttermilk besides the ab ones on some of the big boulders? I thought the chopped bolts on Transporter room were the only ones placed on a route, and that their removal drew the proverbial line in the sand?

There are bolts on routes in the Buttermilk Country, sport routes, mixed routes and non-bolted trad routes. There is some great cragging there.

I doubt any have been placed recently.

As I recall the Transport Room bolts were placed by Dale Bard for his partner at the time Bobbi Bensman. Tommy Hebert stripped them, then Dale soloed the line. Tommy at the time was working on what is now Ambrosia on a top rope.

Mick

Stuart S - on 16 Jan 2012
In reply to Björn Pohl - UKC:

Video clip now available of Alex working the line on a top rope - https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=343117585707713
ads.ukclimbing.com
Fraser on 18 Jan 2012
In reply to Stuart S:

Cheers for the link!

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