16 January 2011

Haroun: The Best Boulder in Bishop... and other recent happenings

The number one boulder problem on my ever-extending project list out here has been the *five star* Haroun and the Sea of Stories. I had put a few days work into this unique line in January 2009 when I climbed the stand start, The Fall Guy, and was again inspired by it when I witnessed bouldering legend Lisa Rands top it out in March 2009.
With all the new problems I've been trying lately, Haroun has still always been on my mind. It's truly a beautiful and special problem; long and sustained, with playful original movement. It is easy to stay motivated working on such an unbelievable climb! An average number of pads generally used to protect this problem is around a dozen, and I've even heard of sixteen being beneath the boulder at one time! We did the best we could tromping through the snow hauling as many pads as we could up from the road and ended up with six. There's motivation in that alone; you'll be totally safe if you stay on... :)
Photos by Cory French
I was finally able to work my way through the powerful bottom section, and with the boulder being as large as it is, the pump quickly intensified near the end, making the usually casual top-out feel just as strenuous as the opening moves. But the exuberance I felt standing on top of one of the most amazing climbs I'd ever done was well worth the throbbing forearms. It's no wonder it's considered one of the best in Bishop.
My blissful mood only soared when I reached the ground again. My two good friends Cory and Erik had bought me a singing congratulatory greeting card, and had carried it around with them waiting for this moment to arrive. I opened the card and the music blared out, "I'm so excited...And I just can't hide it!" I felt like a rock star! It was surely a wonderful day.
The next day was a day of rest. In a sad turn of events, at a stop at the Giggle Springs gas station I sat horrified my trusty Subaru as a giant Toyota Tundra backed into me. All the frantic honking and hollering didn't stop the truck from continuing to crunch a basketball-sized dent in the back of my car, leaving pieces of tail light scattered around the ground.
After the morning’s rough start, Erik bounced us back with a great pick-me-up when he powered through a Peabody classic, Center Direct (V10). Erik has been recieving the "Bishop MVP of the Day" award lately, as it seems like he never runs out of drive or energy. He has tried every problem we've come to, and he's always the last one on the rock at the end of the day. We applaud his efforts as we try to keep up.
Things seemed to be looking up since our minor auto wreck! We returned to the immaculate Haroun bloc the following day so Cory could finish it up. At around sixty degrees it was a scorching day to try to climb in the sun, but Cory fought and pulled through the grease and sweat and came out on top.
Afterwards we fled to the shade and I jumped on Stained Glass again to see if I could get a few good attempts in before my fingers began to bleed. I surprised myself when I soon found my hand latched to the finish jug. What a cool move! It felt so awesome to stick. Matt Birch caught the effort on film, to check it out click here!

Haroun and Stained Glass were both high on my wish list. I'm taking a couple days off now in hopes of growing some tough skin back before I continue to hammer away at more projects. Motivation continues to soar as my only trouble now is deciding what to focus my efforts on.


  1. Ha Ha Cory and Eric seem like great friends and climbing partners. Keep working hard and get your car fixed!

  2. Here in MN, we're anxiously awaiting an update on your next climb. And more videos too, please.