Reader-Submitted Potential FA’s

Here are three potential FA’s by a visiting Aussie Bevan Ashby. One is on the north face of the Ninja boulder (actual text from Bevan):

Barker Dam – Ninja Boulder (R of Like a Ninja). V6 – 11ft – * – jump start from sloping LH edge then climb up and top out (no stacking pads). Video @

This line looks to be a fine addition to that boulder. Second problem text:

Cap Rock – Fluff Boulder (R of Fluff). V5 – 10ft – * – sit start from RH sidepull then climb up overhanging groove and top out. Video @

This line also looks good. Nearly every time I walk past this, I wonder about trying it. Thanks Bevan for showing more motivation than myself! The climb moves slightly right away from the left arete problem. The third problem but without video:

Cap Rock – Colliherb Boulder (L of Border Collie). V7 – 12ft – * – sit start from LH sidepull beneath undercut arete then climb up and top out. No video (ridiculously windy).

This line is the sit start to Border Collie.

My view on ‘no stacking pads’ comment is that because of different heights and in order not to make the ground-based jump NOT the crux in and of itself, one can match the holding (left arm) angle of the FAist via pads in order to reproduce the approximate jumping difficulty. For the record, I do agree with Bevan’s comment in that over-padding makes the jump super easy, but if you’re short and your arm is straight, the jump turns into the problem crux. We aren’t basketball players, so the jump needs to have context no different than a sit start. This approach* has been applied for other repeats where the start arm positions can change the difficulty considerably. The FA by Sharma on the Mandala is one such case where the straight right arm undercling start is easier if your arm is bent. Many people who do this problem stack pads until their arm is very bent, instead of straight as it was for the FA. With the advent of video today replicating the holding arm angle is much more easily reproduced than in the past.

I realize some peeps don’t care too much about details, but for those that do care, I think more information is better. There is no such thing as adventure bouldering when using a guidebook. Seriously, FA’s are specific sends and if they are listed, the specifics should be included. I find gB authors can keep things a bit ambiguous to maintain some sort of adventure aspect to it, but there is none. Such thinking only leaves boulderers frustrated not knowing specifically how to repeat a given established line, assuming you can find it! 😉 Remember: the grade is specific to the specific nature of the ascent, not an arbitrary grade attached to the line by an all-knowing entity.

Since I’m talking about the Ninja boulder, I wanted to comment on Like A Ninja. This is in no way related to the FAist but specifically to the gB author’s star rating. We found the 2 star line (Secret Samurai gets one star) to be illogical. Though the line is fun, it amounted to one move off the start hold to a sloping jug. Match and top out. At least Secret Samurai has more moves and more unique movement. Also, beta for the start doesn’t exist, so we match started on a high crimp/pinch hold visible in the photo below. I would think the star ratings should be swapped with Secret Samurai.


A big thank you to Bevan for the submission.

*My view on bouldering practices is that in general more information is better than less. Bouldering has so few moves and height can make a HUGE difference for starts. I prefer start practices where either the jump is consistent with the FA, or the start begins static and off the ground, regardless of if the pull on began as a sit/crouch/fist/palm/foot/knee start.

~ by r. mulligan on 2019/04/19.

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