velvet elvis and another new line

Either in a video, or in person, we’ve heard Velvet Elvis is now v9 or 10. The start hold did break, and now it’s a thinner slanting crimp, but it’s much closer to the crack. When Jon, Rob Guinn, and I did it a bit ago, the move to the crack, matching then going to the first flat crimp below the upper vertical crack, was the crux. Also, the original start we did was matching on the original hold, before it broke off. We plan to repeat it and see what the difference is. When we do that, I’ll post our observations.

Just a stone’s throw from VE, north up into the boulder field, is a hanging arete I’ve eyed for years. A month or so ago we walked through there again, and revisited its potential. It’s short, but very clean on superb stone. The problem starts at the base of the turn in the horizontal arete.

as seen from the road. this is a cropped image and the only one we have besides video. the arete appears as a shadow line just to the right of Jon in the blue shirt. At the shallow notch near the top is where the line turns back onto the slab out of sight.

The face is a slab, not over-hanging. We originally thought the line would continue out around a converging bit of stone from another boulder, but Jon sent it by turning the arete with a heel hook. It’s 6 sustained moves until you can stand on the heel and reach for a jug crimp. Jill did moves 1 and 2, I did moves 1, and 4-6. Jon couldn’t give it a solid rating as pinching the arete felt fine for him but extremely hard for us. That created a predicament where I felt the same thing when I sent the Koge Traverse, v8??? (which I’ll blog about shortly), and he didn’t repeat it. I felt it was probably as hard as Relic (rated v9 which we both thought to be an 8), so we concluded that what we’d rate the Traverse and Arete the same! OK, a bit ridiculous, but we simply had nothing else to go by.

They both could be 9, but my gut feeling is the Echo Arete is a real 9, and the Koge Traverse probably an 8 like the Relic. Here’s the Echo Arete (btw, we called it that cause if you holler you get an echo from the other crag opposite the road! Kinda cool):

Here are two outtakes of Jill and I struggling on move 2:

Here is it’s location, approximately, from the road (to the right out of the picture is Velvet Elvis):

the echo arete sits below the lechlinski cracks and dark amber near the base.


~ by r. mulligan on 2012/01/05.

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