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Canadian Sean McColl snuck in an ascent of Goldfish Trombone at the Happy Boulders in California, as major storms pounded the Sierra. McColl spent two days on the problem, completing it January 6. A roof protected the crux holds from heavy rains, but the finishing holds were wet, and by the next day up to 18 inches of snow lay on the ground in the nearby Buttermilk Country near Bishop.
Since the end of December, McColl has sent Direction (V13) and Xavier’s Roof (V12) in the Buttermilks; he also flashed a couple of V11 problems and added V11 sit starts to existing routes at the Sads. McColl reportedly is close to completing The Mandala SDS (V13)— once the snow melts. The Bishop forecast is mostly good for this week.
McColl, 20, a former youth world champion in lead climbing, also had a superb autumn of roped climbing. In October, he made the second ascent of Lucifer (5.14c) and flashed Thanatopsis (5.14a/b) at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. Before that he completed half a dozen 5.14a and 5.14b routes in Rodellar, Spain, including two on his second go.
Dates of Ascents: December 28, 2007–January 8, 2008