Friday, September 9, 2011

Scare Tactics

A couple seasons ago a good friend of mine Andrew Spencer put up a new line on the varnished face opposite of Bubble Butt. After working through the stand he spent multiple days on the first move before sending the full line which he named Scare Tactics.

This problem went without a second ascent for quite a while, and not for lack of trying. The thing is hard. Then this video came out. (Skip to around 2:17 for the boulder problem.)

I was surprised to see the name spelled wrong (the correct name is listed in Tom's guidebook) but I was even more surprised to find that Andrew said he had begun from two parallel crimps, rather than an undercling. Had something broken? Was easier beta gleaned? Yesterday I went on a recon mission to find out.

From what I could tell looking at the problem nothing had obviously broken, but there could be subtleties escaping me. It looks as if people are opting to use a decent foot shelf out left and commit to a hard bump with the left hand as opposed to the violent drive by move used on the FA.

Starting position for undercling beta. The parallel crimp us just above my right hand.

Detail of the undercling.

Left hand dog-bone crimp.

I have yet to try either beta, but once the temps drop I am really psyched to put some work into this line. Regardless of how the problem ends up going much respect is due to Andrew for the vision on this beautiful crimpy testpiece.



  1. Sweet. Thanks for the beta Max. I sent today with these start hands. I start with these two hands and a right foot down low. I pull on and place my left foot into a drop knee on the foot shelf and fall into the first hand. From there it's all over to the top. I think this is the same beta as in the Siegrist video.

    However, starting like this is very much a "crouch start". It's certainly not a sit start, as listed in Tom's Guide.

    Is the guidebook wrong? Is it not a sit start? Everyone I talk to says it's a "crouch start".

    A true sit start would be really difficult I think. You cannot reach the dog-bone hold from a sit start.


    1. Actually, I was there again today and I think that maybe you can reach the dog-bone hold from a sit start.