Bishop was one of the last big bouldering areas I had not previously visited, so It was cool to be able to climb lots of problems each day. That's something I rarely get to do these days. Repeating the area classics was great, but did not leave much time for projects.
FA of The Swarm Direct (V13)
I did however get the first ascent of the direct finish to The Swarm after rappelling down and cleaning it. The first two moves are the same as the original line, but after the crux instead of doing the double gaston move you cross over to a good gaston with the left hand, get your right foot up on the rail. and lock off to a good crimp. After that you have a few crimpy but not so hard moves leading to a mantle on to the slab. This way you stay on the wall the whole time instead of traversing out right to the arete. For the grade I suggested 8B as for the original version. It's hard to grade this one because every time I did the crux move it felt easier and easier. A few days ago we went to film The Swarm with Chuck Fryberger and I did the whole problem again first try without warming up, so who knows.
This Side of Paradise
Trying Evilution ground up with no chalk or tick marks on the holds was a quite mission. First I tried the direct finish, but after climbing three times to the very top and taking big falls when I couldn't find the holds, I decided to do the original version. It's slightly harder, but you can actually locate most of the holds from the ground. It's definitely one of the coolest highballs I've climbed. Another amazing highball that I did was This side of paradise!!! This one I checked out with a rope first. Still, I was scared topping it out after a hold crumbled under my foot in the no-fall zone.
Maze of Death (V12)
Xavier's roof (V11), Golden Shower (V10), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (V11), Southwest Arete, Maze of Death (V12) all deserve a mention too as they were amazing along with many more problems.
3 weeks in Bishop
It was a very good trip for me, but I'm a little disappointed I didn't really get to try Lucid Dreaming. I tried it one time for about 15 minutes and split three finger tips and didn't really get another change with all the other problems I wanted to climb. Right now I'm in Las Vegas. I'm flying back to Finland for three days and then I'm off to Sheffield for a competition and a couple days on the grit. Font and/or Switzerland is in the plans after that.