posted by dpm on 02/16/2011
Ambrosia, located in Bishop California’s Buttermilks, blurs the line between highball bouldering and free soloing. Most of you will remember the problem from the movie Progression. We watched with sweaty palms as Kevin Jorgeson stuck the move to the hueco, rested briefly, and then shook his way to the top of the 45-foot wall for its first ascent. The grade of this problem has always seemed irrelevant. “Hard and death-defying” seems to be the grade settled upon and until now a problem of this stature was reserved for the uber-experienced like Jorgeson and Alex Honnold.
Isaac Caldiero on the third ascent of Ambrosia. Photo: Devlin Gandy
Yesterday, 15-year-old French(man?) Enzo Oddo topped out in fine style for the fourth ascent. Adding to this already remarkable ascent is the fact that this is the first ascent since a crucial foothold broke in the technical crux section at the bottom. Read about that here. The original grade of the problem was thought to be somewhere in the V14 range then Alex Honnold found a different sequence and thought V11ish. Enzo’s ascent is the first since the hold broke, similar to his ‘first broken hold’ ascent of Realization.
Some chatter and mystique surrounded the details of the ascent for a while and it was unclear if Enzo completed a ropeless free ascent. A few hours after a post was left on the DPM forum, it was confirmed that Enzo did in fact send Ambrosia. Prior reports from Bishop local Wills Young stated that the young climber had clipped in during the upper section of the climb, but Enzo had stated that he intended to come back, after the winds died down and claim a clean ascent (solo). After several hours of back and forth and listening to hearsay it has finally been confirmed that Enzo did in fact send (solo) Ambrosia. Watch the video HERE