Ethan Pringle has made the first ascent of Everything Is Karate (5.14+) in Pine Creek, Bishop, California. The overhanging granite face was bolted by Patrick O’Donnell, who introduced Pringle to the project in 2015.
“I pretty much fell in love with the route at first sight,” Pringle tells Rock and Ice, but he knew that it would be a tough ascent.
Pringle returned to Bishop this month with the sole intention of sending the line and was successful after only five days on the project.
The granite of Pine Creek is quite unique as it has sufficient features to produce, what Pringle describes as, an “all natural” climb—without chipped or aggressively cleaned holds.
“It’s really hard to find a sustained, overhanging granite wall with holds the whole way,” Pringle says. “There are tons in the Zillertal in Austria, I guess there are some in Sweden and of course all over Norway and in Flatanger.
“But in North America there are so few. Yosemite has some steep rock but a lot of it is blank besides the splitter cracks. The rock in Pine Creek just seems to be quite featured and pretty solid!”
Everything Is Karate is a stacked assortment of four boulder problems in the V8 to V10 range, with a rest in the middle, Pringle says.
“A lot of the climbing is pretty delicate and insecure, with big spans between decent, albeit mostly sideways-facing holds the whole way,” he describes. “I went back time and time again to refine beta to make the sequences as efficient as possible because the beta is not super straightforward and there are really specific ways to grab many of the holds to actually make use of them. It’s amazing!!! I can’t wait for other strong climbers to go give it a try!”
The crux of the route for Pringle turned out to be dialing in and learning all the micro beta, which he kept refining right up until the send.
“If something was amiss, like I grabbed a hold wrong, or stepped on a foot differently, moves that had felt easy before all of a sudden felt really hard,” he says. “After that happened I would go back and zero in on the smallest details to figure out how exactly to do the move to make it feel easy.”
A few days after sending Everything is Karate Pringle tucked another FA under his belt with an ascent of a project bolted by Peter Croft on the
Eldorado Roof in Owen’s River Gorge. Pringle feels that the route is in the 5.13d/5.14a range.
Stay tuned for the Everything is Karate video footage by Three Peak Films.
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