Derek Hersey Masterpiece Repeated


Matt Samet and Tim Kemple made the probable second and third ascents, back-to-back, of the late Derek Hersey’s run-out masterpiece To RP or Not to Be (5.12a X) in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado. This long pitch takes the vertical wall between the third pitches of Vertigo and Doub-Griffith on the towering Redgarden Wall. Hersey, who soloed hard routes in Eldorado nearly every day until his death in 1993, led To RP or Not to Be in 1987 after inspecting it on rappel. It remained unrepeated for 15 years, despite renewed interest in “headpointing” in Eldorado. Samet and Kemple toothbrushed and toproped the climb, and then each led it while placing the gear — a handful of RPs and small wires. Kemple, who lives in New Hampshire, had never climbed in Eldorado before doing To RP or Not to Be. “It was scary but all there — mostly positive edges,” he said.