Revisiting a Thunder Egg…
Having still no solution to my van dilemma, we headed out yesterday with a fellow friend from the gym, Alex. We managed 3 pads, including the Shogun, and our gear in his Subaru Impreza, and made it to the park just after 10. The Joshua Tree musical festival was going on that weekend, but we headed into the park for high 70’s sunning. We went to the Thunder Egg boulder again for some punchy short warmups. We previously visited this boulder for the second time on May 7th. This 3rd visit was to warm up to try again the low start to the Thunder Egg problem. We worked out a total of 6 problems or variants worth doing on the backside, assuming you want to go there in the first place. The established unnamed v2 on the backside away from the road, page 66 per the guidebook, gB, had multiple holds break off, but it still goes at v2 or 3. The v0 starts further right at a hanging thick flake. Here is the harder line as we started it with the obvious broken section:
To the left of the unnamed v2, we added a new line on our first visit, then added a second variation by switching which hand uses the starting dish. Here, Alex is doing the first move which originates with both hands in the dish or one just below on a nubbin. The variant uses the right hand in the dish and goes out left to a lower but good hold. The only problem with this variant is possible dabbing on the boulder out left:
The other new line with its variant is right of the unnamed v2. Again, it depends on which hand uses the high rounded sloping crimp because it forces the line a bit left or right and changes the moves a fair amount. It’s v3 (climbed May 7th below):
We added a low start to the unnamed boulder that’s about 40 meters south of TE. Basically, the line starts matched on the undercling then goes up to do the v0 (making it a v1??) or the eliminit v4. Another line I did was to take the undercling and go all the way right to the arete, v2 maybe.
One thought on the v4; the gB gives it one star. The undercling start into the v0 or exiting right to the arete are both much better. I found the v4 retarded. If you’re short, it’s more aesthetic, but if you’re tall, you just dyno from the crimp (shown below) to a high top incut… and it’s painfully weird.
Though short and low, this lower start to Thunder Egg is pretty cool. It starts matched at a distinct sloping rail in the short roof to the right of TE. It’s not the purest line from this rail (going right is the easiest exit we think), but it’s still very aesthetic following nasty thin crimps to the start of TE. A key foot broke on the center route we had done previously (posted here) making that slightly higher start considerable more difficult. In fact, it’s so much more difficult that I have 3 variations I’m trying in order to send this right exit. I haven’t done it yet, and neither has Jill sent the low to TE, but here are a collection of shots of us climbing:
I’m amazed Jill linked all the moves to almost the start of TE! The heat, and sudden absence of wind, made her tape nearly all her fingers.
Alex also repeated TE and felt, as we both did, it was likely v4. Again, the description is vague in the gB, so maybe the FA’ist started differently or used different beta. All 3 of us, after hitting the Thunder Egg hold, just bumped again for the top. 2 moves.
The above 2 moves seem like the best sequence. I tried repeating the original beta we both used to do this line from slightly higher up from the low shelf, but the broken foot moved the hold about 4 inches lower and no longer incut. Another sequence is to go far right and match, but the imbedded boulders below feel way to close to do that sequence. I’ll try it again next time.
In the later afternoon, we headed over to Lost Horse to try a bold line or two… see next post.