Friday, September 15, 2006

Classic Scottish Boulder Problems No.5

Autoroof (Sit-Start) V5 6c+

Glen Nevis in the autumn is a truly special place for any boulderer. The fine-quality schist and excellent situation of High Crag, as well as a perfect grassy alp for landings, make this a favourite haunt of the dedicated boulderer. Dave Cuthbertson originally saw the value of this overhang and created some hard traveres such as Beatle-Back and Tinderbox, which are worth the walk up. The bouldering projects and straight-ups are hard, most problems above V8, but of note for a single visit is the excellent technical problem that is Auto-Roof.

Why classic? Well: the situation, the moves, the quality of rock... there are plenty of problems in the glen worthy of any top-ten list, but for me it sums up the whole feel of Glen Nevis bouldering very well... isolation, sound rock, a drying wind...

The problem finds a way through an impending wall to a jump-off niche where the route continues but eases off. The standing start, off an embedded boulder to the left, is Font 5 and requires good pressing power to gain a blunt undercling, then a slap right for another good but blunt side-pull allows a jug to be gained in the niche. Straightforward enough, enjoyable steep pulling...but it becomes a classic problem when you sit-start low down and come in from the right, making the good high holds problematically out-of-reach... which is what needs solved. The sit-start comes quick enough with good body-positioning and hand cleverness... an awkward finger slot for the right hand allows a quick powerful pull to a left-hand sloper/crimp, then a reach to a protruding flat block. Now the fun begins... gain the imperfect undercut to the left, position the toes and crank up the power to slap with your right hand to the higher holds of the stand-up. If you manage this move, it's straightforward to the top.


... about to reach through to the high undercut on Auto-Roof, Glen Nevis Posted by Picasa

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