Heal and Faber Climb Hard on Bishop's Grandpa Peabody

posted by dpm on 12/17/2012

Bishop California's Grandpa Peabody might be the biggest, baddest boulder in America and certainly one of the most well-known in the world. World class problems ascend all sides of the behemoth boulder that sits front and center at the Buttermilks. Some of the proudest ascents in bouldering have taken place on the 45-foot giant including Jason Kehl's Evilution, Paul Robinson's Lucid Dreaming, and Kevin Jorgeson's Ambrosia.

Grandpa Peabody dwarfs a few climbers standing below Evilution. Ambrosia climbs the steep face on the right side. Photo: Nate Tack's blog

Mark Heal, a recent California transplant from NYC, was quick to get in on this season's Peabody action.  Heal has been making weekend trips to Bishop, California and coming home every weekend with a new line to add to his tick list.  Last week, Mark came away with ascents of Luminance (V9/10) and Direction (V13) and this week he made an ascent of Haroun and the Sea of Stories (V12) and Grandpa Peabody's Blood Meridian (V13). 

Mark Heal eyeing the Swarm (V14). Photo: Brian Hedrick

Blood Meridian is located just to the right of Evilution near the right side of the steep face seen in the photo at top. The original line was put up by Matt Birch and follows tiny crimps up an overhanging face to the mid-point and then drops off. Last season Kevin Jorgeson and Dan Beall put in some serious work to extend the line to the top of the boulder, but it has yet to see an ascent.  On his 8a scorecard Mark gave the line 8B (V13) and called it “soft” with the comments, “Crimp, crimp, crimp. Great moves, glassy ass feet.”

Mark Heal deciding to skip the "glassy ass feet" on Blood Meridian. Photo: Brian Hedrick

Wills Young reports on the Bishop Bouldering Blog that Elliot Faber has added another terrifying highball/solo to the Grandpa Peabody. His new line, The Elevator, climbs through some large huecos to a shared finish with Transporter Room (V5) which Faber had previously climbed. The Elevator starts just right of the steep shaded face in the photo at top but stays left of Transporter Room which follows a blunt prow where the wall curves around to the flat overhanging wall of Ambrosia. Faber has suggested the difficulty is about the same as Transporter Room which puts it in the V5 range. 

-Anthony Lapomardo