The Buttermilk highball boulder-route Evilution (V12, Font 8A+ or in UK route speak E8) has received its first ground up ascent from Coloradan, Carlo Traversi. Previous ascents of this impressive line made use of a rope to check out and practice the lofty finishing slab.
When does a boulder problem turn in to a route? The line is increasingly blurred especially in the light of rope less ascents of short routes across the globe and recently in the UK, Dan Varian and Ned Feehally's ascents of routes such as Toy Boy E7 7a (or Font 7C+, V10) at Froggatt in the Peak District. (Nov 6: Dan & Ned - Peak District Toy Boys). No ropes, no pre-practice they boulder the routes out; ground-up, above crash-pads.
The Bishop area is well known for its highball boulder problems, so much so that E-grades have been assigned to some of the boulder-routes there to give some comparison to the UK's grit headpoints (Apr 26: E-grades for American Highball Boulder Problems). Like in the UK some of these boulder-routes are practiced on a rope before an ascent. But as climbers get bolder and stronger, and with multiple crash-pads, an improvement in style is being made.
Wills Young gives us the story of Carlo Traversi's ground up ascent at bishopbouldering.blogspot.com