Friday I made it back to Moraine Park in RMNP to try my project, Both Sides of the Spectrum V12.
Here’s a little background on the line: Both Sides of the Spectrum was put up by former CU student Harry Roberston in 2007. It has been previously dubbed the Karma Project, for its similarity to the classic line Karma in Fontainebleau. BSOTS is arguably the best of its grade in Colorado, and it would be hard not give it 4 stars. The rock is very high quality polished granite, the landing is flat, the start is obvious and the line is singular. Its sloping left hand hold is probably one of the sickest holds in all of bouldering. Interestingly enough, I had taken Dave Graham, Dave Hume and James Litz there in 2003, but the warm temperatures made it seem nearly impossible. It should be added that this is a very proud FA, as the improbability of the line requires a significant mental leap from the prospective first ascentionist, and it is a testament to Harry’s ability and vision as a climber to have his name attached to this exquisite line. Graham returned a few years later and made a quick repeat. I had tried the problem off and on since it had been established, and gave it a few days in 2008, right after I had climbed The Automator. Unfortunately the sloping holds and technical movement were more than a match for me. After a few return trips I wondered if it was even possible.
In the past I have often succeeded on hard problems with small holds. If I were interested in padding my ticklist I would simply go after those climbs exclusively. But I’m not interested in pursuing only one kind of climbing, or simply climbing problems with big numbers attached. Within bouldering, I would like to be as well rounded as possible, and to be a master or wizard of as many styles as possible. And although I do climb things that fit me, I sacrifice many days trying to do things that are hard for me. I feel it is well worth it in my pursuit to be the best climber I can be. BSOTS represented one of those problems, and this fact coupled with its high quality kept me coming back year after year, determined to solve the puzzle.
Friday afternoon conditions were perfect. I had made good progress on the previous few trips this year and it seemed to be slowly coming together. Today was different, however. After a few warm ups I found myself slapping for the last right hand sloper. In my mind the door was slowly opening. I took longer and more calculated rests. After a few goes, I surprisingly found myself on top. Collin Horvat was on hand to film the ascent, and here is the uncut footage: