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Weekend Whipper: Ground Up Highballing, Craters Onto Spotters

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This Weekend Whipper is free for you to enjoy. Sign up with an Outside+ membership, and get unlimited access to thousands of stories, videos and articles on climbing.com and rockandice.com, plus a print subscription to Climbing and our annual coffee-table edition of AscentOther valuable benefits include a Gaia GPS Premium membership. Join here.

This week’s whipper comes from Carlo Nasisse in Pico Blanco, Costa Rica. Nasisse, alongside his friends Ry Morrison and Manrique Alvarado Soto, found this boulder protruding from the jungle-bound mountainside and began deciphering its moves. In Pico Blanco, thorough scrubbing is critical to the first ascent process because “things get dirty fast in the jungle,” Nasisse wrote to Climbing in an email.

“My lesson is to always practice a climb this high on top rope even if it looks easy and to rappel and clean holds,” Nasisse said. His friend rappelled in to briefly scrub the top section while Nasisse stayed on the ground and did the same. Satisfied they had done enough prep, Nasisse stepped up.

He hangs on through the boulder’s V8 crux—several long moves to a powerful bump—before arriving at the quickly-brushed top section. The once-horizontal landing now tilts steeply below him and you can feel his hesitancy to commit.

Hats off to Nasisse for going for it, and to his friends for keeping him in one piece. “[The] most important [part of highball bouldering] is to have good spotters you trust with your life! Everyone was okay although we ended up intertwined like pretzels,” he wrote.

Happy Friday, and be safe out there this weekend.

Many thanks to Jonathan Ruíz for the video. Readers, please send your whipper videos and information—and any lessons learned—to Anthony Walsh, awalsh@outsideinc.com.