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:
Nice fall day at the Basin yesterday. @dave_graham_ took down the Swizzy roof proj in good style naming it Topaz 8C. This thing is 8 hand moves with 5 intense foot moves thrown in. The crux revolves around a big move to a left hand flat mini pinch off of a right hand quarter pad crimp. 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 everytime. Just had to trust that the toes were solid and quickly gain the lip. @dave_graham_ with the video of me sending (starts one move in) right after he put it up ???? @thenorthface @sanuk @lasportivana @petzl_official @organicclimbing @frictionlabs @gnarlynutrition @island_io
A video posted by Daniel Woods (@dawoods89) on