Two Quick Ascents of The Fly

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Video still of Kevin Jorgeson about to soil his trousers while falling from the top of The Fly (V14) at Rumney, New Hampshire. Jorgeson was unharmed and sent the route/problem on his next try. Courtesy of Tim Kemple / Kemplemedia.com.

The Fly, a short 5.14+ route or V14 boulder problem in Rumney, New Hampshire, has seen two quick repeats, including the second bouldering ascent and the second one-day ascent of the climb.Chris Sharma was the first person to send The Fly in a day when he nearly flashed it in 2003.

Dave Graham first led The Fly in 2000, with two bolts for protection. Despite a poor landing, with two tiers of jumbled boulders below the smooth, overhanging wall, Jason Kehl managed to boulder the route in 2003.

Kevin Jorgeson became the second person to boulder The Fly when he succeeded on his third ropeless attempt, after working the route briefly on a toprope a few days earlier. Jorgeson took a heart-stopping fall from high on the climb, but pads and an expert spot by Pete Ward saved the day.

“My first ropeless attempt was a timid one,” Jorgeson said in an e-mail. “I was not super-psyched on the landing potential, but after taking the initial fall I realized it was fine. This gave me the confidence to really go for it on my second attempt, and that I did. Despite hitting a lot of the holds wrong, I was soon adjusting my foot for the last move, a long pull to a sloper. Just as I was about to go for it, my left hand dry-fired, pitching me forward as I fell. I remember looking down at the pad, realizing that I was going to belly flop, and hearing myself scream. I landed squarely on the pad however! After hugging my spotter, Pete Ward, I did my best to shake it off and let my heart rate return to normal. My next attempt went perfectly, and despite another close call with the last move, I was soon enjoying the view of the valley and incoming storm clouds from the safety of the ledge. Psyched!”

You can read more of Jorgeson’s description of the ascent at Kevinjorgeson.com, and see video of his unsuccessful attempt at Tim Kemple’s blog.

A couple of days later, Paul Robinson repeated The Fly in a single day, using a rope. “I did it…in a matter of a few hours,” Robinson said in an e-mail. “I did end up leading it because we didn't have any pads that day and had no choice. I worked the top section for like 20 minutes, then worked it from the bottom in not that many tries. Probably around 10 or so.”

The Fly now has had more than half a dozen ascents, all but two of them with a rope. Jorgeson and Robinson both graded The Fly as V14 as a boulder problem.

Dates of Ascents: April 11 and 13, 2008

Sources: Kevin Jorgeson, Paul Robinson, 8a.nu, Kemplemedia.com

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