This season for me has been all about getting high off the deck. I've been building up my mental resistance to the fear and have developed a pretty decent head for the height and my confidence is just right.
The highballs I've been climbing have been in Yosemite Valley, Bishop, CA and lately Red Rocks, NV.
Of all the beautiful and proud lines I've been doing you'd think the harder V8s, V9s and V10s would have been the scariest, but ohh no!--The most terrifying of all has been at the "easy and pathetic" grade of V6. If you've ever seen The Ninth in Bishop, and its fairly heinous landing zone, you'll know that this climb is neither easy nor pathetic!
After having done many other highballs preceding and following The Ninth, I have officially dubbed it My Scariest Boulder Problem (so far). My superspotter Kenny Barker, winner of the 2008 and 2011 World's Best Spotter Award, whole-heartedly agrees with me. "It was the scariest thing I've ever spotted; I never want to spot that problem again," Mr. Barker exclaimed.
I felt that since I had so passionately acclaimed this climb to be my scariest, it deserved its own blog post.
To get a feel for the height and majesty of this stunning arete sitting atop the highest part of Buttermilk Mountain, here is a series of shots of the send taken by Aaron Karres. (Click to enlarge!)