Bayes Wilder (10), who did his first 8c+ route two months ago, has during a two weeks trip to Hueco Tanks done ten boulders 7C and harder, including two 8A+, Barefoot on Sacred Ground and Rumble in the Jungle. The latter the 10-year-old actually did in just one day. We asked his father Matt, who back in the days made 8a news by doing a 9a, if he could share their story.
How did Bayes prepare for the trip?
Since our RRG trip in early Nov., Bayes has just been doing his 3 * 2-hour practices per week at Team ABC. Those have been all bouldering practices.
How are the climbs selected and how does he normally project them?
I'm very familiar with Hueco and many other areas from my years of climbing so I often will select potential climbs that I think might fit him well. He'll look through the guidebooks and pick stuff out as well. Things like Barefoot on Sacred Ground were goals he had from watching videos of Ashima in Hueco. Rumble in the Jungle wasn't even on our list, but he wanted to finish up a cool V6 nearby and so we decided to look at it and he got psyched.
When he's working on a problem, I'll often support him. Generally, it's a long process because he has to figure out the unique beta for his size. It's like in the old days when you couldn't watch videos of other people doing a problem before going out and you just had to figure the moves out yourself. He's pretty creative and knows his climbing style really well and so often comes up with a sequence himself. I'm pretty analytical too and so I'll often throw out different ideas if he's stuck somewhere. Sometimes I'll give him coaching on how to approach the problem and what parts to try, etc., but usually, I just let him do his thing. He has definitely gotten pretty good at figuring out the beta. What about your impact versus his own driving force?
Bayes has a love for climbing and he is super psyched on most problems. He is not overly goal-oriented so he doesn't usually have a long list of problems he has to do. He just likes to go out and challenge himself. He did have the goal of climbing V12 on this trip and was working Right Martini V12 a bunch. That problem didn't pan out for him, but a couple of the other ones did. I don't have strong goals for him either and just try to help him find problems that are classic and challenging so that he can direct his psych and love for the sport.
TOP IMAGES OF THE WEEK
Eva Hammelmüller has onsighted Zona 0 (8b) and Sexo sentido (8b) in Siurana. This was the 21-year-old's first two 8b onsights and including also four 8a+ and some 8a onsights, she is #2 in the female onsight ranking game. "It was way too hot to climb in the sun, and also in the shade it was very warm for my taste🙈."
A couple of weeks earlier, she had done an equally impressive ascent in a contrast temperature, Get Hungry (8b+) in Martinswand. "Coldest ascent I have ever done; -2 degrees, no sun, and some wind. Thanks for the good vibes boyz!"
How was it possible to make a route is such freezing conditions?
At first, we thought that it was not possible at all to climb, because our fingers were numb within three moves. The friction was pretty good, but that doesn’t help when you can’t feel the holds😅😋 When I sent the route, I climbed it until the last move of the crux, came down, waited for ten minutes, and then my fingers were warm enough to climb it till the end🤩.
Did you do any special trick to keep warm? What clothing did you wear?
We tried hot stones from a fire, but the resting positions were so poor that I couldn‘t keep my hands in the chalk bag long enough, so I decided not to use them😉. 2 trousers, 4 long sleeves, a buff and a headband😂😂 Felt like I couldn’t move but it worked out😂😂
Adam Ondra takes Magnus Midtbö into his private wall and Midtbö is very impressed. "I have never seen something quite like this."Later he joins Ondra for a session in the sauna. "I think he prepared harder than...pretty much anyone."
Staša Gejo has done Delusion of grandeur (8A+) and The Arete With the Pocket (8A) in Chironico. "I planned to project the Dagger (8B+), spent one session on it and got very disappointed, so I wasn't keen to hike up to Cresciano, as my partner had nothing to do there and we spent only 4 climbing days. So we switched to Chironico.
Matthias really liked the Delusion of Grandeur and I tagged along. When we arrived, there were Italian and Austrian crushers, like Schenk, Piccoloruaz, Uznik and others. They worked the moves of it and did it super quickly. I tried a few sequences, but it was too crowded at the block, so I went to The Arete with the Pocket and did it in a few tries. In the next session, I worked on the moves with more devotion. Had a real scare at the mantle, took me a while to figure it out and trust my feet. I was too tired for a send as my projecting was inefficient. I sent it the next day. It was pretty tough for me, this boulder. But I am not very fit at the moment."
The Sullivan brothers, Keegan (12), Killian (10), and Lochlann (8) have been on a family trip to Hueco Tanks. We asked their father Brandon if he could sum up their nine days trip where the brothers did 150 boulders, including the day when all of them did a 7C+ and Keegan did Barefoot on Sacred Ground 8A+. Interestingly, the parents had never climbed when they put up a small wall in their basement eight years ago.
"This trip to Hueco Tanks was an absolute gift. We were treated to perfect weather, old friends, new friends, and world class boulders. It was our third trip to Hueco with the first two coming in 2018 and 2019. The weeklong trip was filled with many memories, but one day clearly stands out. On December 23rd, we met Steve Marek (friend and Blue Lizard Climbing guide) at the park’s gate. After a few radio calls, we headed into the backcountry for East Mountain. That morning, Keegan warmed up and began projecting Eckstein V10/7C+. The problem is a horizontal traverse across crimps and slopers. It requires compression which is difficult to maintain while switching from toe hooks, heel hooks, and presses. Once the traverse is complete, climbers move up a stiff wall on crimps. The finishing moves are pumpy, heartbreaking, and forced Keegan to the pads three times. On his send go, he climbed the traverse flawlessly, employed new beta for the finish, and smiled enthusiastically at the top. This was Keegan’s 17th V10/7C+, having sent his first when he was just eight years old.
From there, we packed up our pads and moved to East Spur where the boys ticked beautiful climbs and classics like Stinkfoot, Jigsaw, This Is Your Brain on Drugs, and Ministry of Truth. Killian was most excited to work Stubby of the Bush Veldt V10/7C+. Keegan had sent it on a prior trip and we knew the style suited Killian. The boulder is short, but powerful, and has interesting holds – like small, misshapen peanuts. We had a video of Keegan’s send and Killian was able to replicate the beta. After a handful of attempts, Killian executed the crux and stood on top of the boulder – his first V10/7C+.
Keegan and Killian moved to other climbs near Stubby, while Lochlann got inspired to try the stout boulder. Projecting with Heidi, he worked the moves individually, then began making links. Once the boulder was complete in two overlapping sections, he returned to the start holds and began his redpoint attempts. After 90 minutes of projecting, he let out as a scream as he stuck the crux sloper. A moment later, he had joined Killian and sent his first V10/7C+. While celebrating Lochlann’s send, we realized that all three boys had climbed V10/7C+ that day. Neither Heidi nor I, would have dreamed of such an accomplishment eight years ago while expecting Lochlann. No one in our family climbed, but we built a small wall in the basement for fun. That wall catalyzed our love for climbing and travel. Eight years later, the boys are collectively sending V10/7C+.
So what else happened on our trip? On December 21st, Keegan and Killian sent the uber classic, See Spot Run V6/7A. The highball climb is infamous for its sketchy upper slab, poor spotting, and broken ankles. After sending the beautiful problem on his second go, Keegan investigated its lower and more challenging start, Barefoot on Sacred Ground V12/8A+. For Keegan, the crux was setting a right heel to access the undercling, before jumping to the hueco. He had achieved the move in isolation, but was not able to execute the sequence from the start. Instead, he chose to skip the undercling and deadpoint to a taller crimp. This move was higher percentage and eventually unlocked the boulder. After only two hours of projecting, Keegan had landed the crux from the start holds, and linked into See Spot Run for the top. Not only was this Keegan’s first V12/8A+, it was a blast to share beta, psych, and sends with fellow young crusher, Bayes Wilder.
The boys teamed up for over 150 problems during our week in Hueco Tanks. They excel at balancing hard projects with classics and fun stuff. Keegan has developed an affinity for highballs, and Killian brings binoculars to identify birds between climbs. Lochlann loves absurd lowballs, and chases tough lines and classics like his sends of This Is Your Brain on Drugs V9/7C, Hector in a Blender, Sign of the Cross, Nobody Here Gets Out Alive, and the Vulgarian. What is their secret weapon? They have invincible skin even after a week of climbing ten hours a day. That plus youth and psych will take climbers quite far.
I consider our family to be very fortunate. First, my wife and I both work in education which provides several extended work breaks throughout the year. Second, we stumbled upon climbing when our children were young. The combination has provided opportunities to travel to gorgeous crags across North America. Steve Marek describes Hueco Tanks as “The Greatest Place on Earth.” After our trips there, I’m unlikely to disagree."
Matjaz Zorko has done Halupca 1979 (9a) in Osp/Misja Pec. "I started climbing Halupca in April 2021. I had one month for trying it before the cave got flooded. Even though I got quite close to sending, I couldn’t do it. Summer was too hot so in autumn I got back to it. After I did a couple of tries in autumn the water flooded the cave again. I switched to another project in Paklenica, so I had to focus more on endurance. I thought that was it for Halupca this season but luckily the cave dried again in the middle of December. It is crazy and physical roof climbing, so I had to get some power back. Even though December was really humid and foggy in Osp, I got a really good chance for sending on Sunday because the conditions were good. So jiiiiiihaaaaa I did my first 9a😊".
Lucy Mitchell has done Le fight du beau gosse intégrale (8c) in Luberon. (c) Eddie Cooper "It’s a tricky one to judge as it’s an extension. I had done the 8b part on a Halloween trip in a day. And then this week it took me 3 days and maybe 4/5 goes up it to try the top and link it… Iv got another 2 on the go so I can’t quite remember. I didn’t expect to do any that quick so I have just been getting on what’s free so haven’t kept too much of a count! Big surprise to do it!! Such a lovely route!"
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