posted by dpm on 07/09/2014
It's been a long time coming for this one... Dan Smith, has claimed the 2nd ascent of Chris Sharma's Trifecta Middle (V13) at Flock Hill, New Zealand. Established in 2005 and originally thought to be possibly V14, the problem has settled at V13, which still puts it as the hardest boulder problem in the country.
Dan moved from the UK to New Zealand recently and spent about six or seven sessions on the climb over a three month period, according to New Zealand climbing site "The Climber." They wrote of Dan's ascent:
"On the afternoon of 19 June conditions were perfect: 4–6 degrees Celsius with 35–40 per cent humidity and a freezing wind. Having spent some time previously working out a sequence on a rope, Dan sent the problem on his first day of attempting it with spotters and multiple pads, but not before falling three times from the top section."
Dan's not the first to attempt this coveted repeat either. In 2009, Pete Allison came agonizingly close to ticking the problem but, as "The Climber" put it, he "flew off, landed awkwardly, and spectacularly snapped his tibia and fibia in half."
I'm not one able to stomach gruesome bouldering injury videos so I haven't watched it, but if you are, there is footage of Pete's near send and "spectacular" leg-snapping on YouTube.
A more pleasant alternative is to watch some old school footage of Sharma on the first ascent from the movie "Big Game." This was from way back when bouldering was just starting to matter and Sharma was sporting dreadlocks. Check it out.
And, of course, here's the footage of Dan on the 2nd ascent from just a few days ago...nearly a decade later.