Making the most of the crisp autumn temps, Dave Graham has managed the first ascent of Topaz, a new V15 (8C) in
Wild Basin, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Topaz was a dormant project of Graham’s that he came back to and began making progress on last spring. Despite finding better beta, he knew he
would need “much colder weather to make any real links,” he writes on Instagram.
In the same post, Graham says the boulder is “somehow long-winded”—a fitting label for his description of the boulder’s sequence, as well: “It begins
with some strange technical footwork and a tedious setup for a punchy frontal divisive move to a pinch, the gateway to the last precarious sequence
of foot moves and hand shifts and mini bumps.”
Graham was in Wild Basin with fellow climbers Daniel Woods, Paul Robinson and Jimmy Webb, scoping out new boulders and shooting footage for Robinson’s film, Uncharted Lines.
Woods quickly claimed the the second ascent of Topaz, ticking the problem right after Graham’s FA. Shedding more light on the beta, Woods writes
on Instagram, “The transition to double toe hooks on the lip builds suspense and then the final left hand bump again to the arête gives a falling sensation
Before his ascent, Graham was in nearby Upper Chaos Canyon, gunning for the second ascent of Woods’ recently established V16 (8C+), Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Riding high from his ascent of Topaz, Graham hopes to squeeze in one last trip to try Creature from the Black Lagoon before winter arrives
in earnest. “[It’s] time to keep the ball rolling and get back to Upper Chaos,” he writes on Instagram, “before [the weather] completely goes to hell!!”
Watch Daniel Woods on the repeat:
Daniel Woods Climbs Black 90 Project at V16
V15s for Cardwell and Graham
VIDEO: Dave Graham - The Phoenix (V14)