Southern powerhouse Jimmy Webb has cranked the first ascent of The Wheel of Wolvo (V15) in Mount Evans, Colorado. Webb, who recently moved from his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Boulder, Colorado, has wasted little time establishing one of Colorado’s hardest testpieces.
“Comparing The Wheel to my other ascents … I do see it as a step up,” Webb recently told Rock and Ice.
The problem sits high at the Lincoln Lake area and, according to Webb, consists of a 10-move V14 into a 15-move V11/12. “A pumpy one for sure and suited my style/height perfectly,” commented Webb on his 8a.nu scorecard.
Webb has been on a tear recently. While visiting Rocklands, South Africa, this summer, Webb managed to flash three V13’s (check out the video). After returning to the U.S., Webb then took the win at the 2013 Psicobloc Masters Series in Park City, Utah.
Today, Webb has taken the time to give Rock and Ice readers the low down on his new V15 and more.
Q&A with Jimmy Webb
How was The Wheel of Wolvo discovered?
Dave Graham technically found the line a few years back, but I think he didn’t quite see the possibility and decided to wait and come back to it. This year he went down for a look and put some work into cleaning the line and getting it all set up. I showed up two days later and helped him clean it some more and we started working out all the moves.
How long did it take you to send the problem?
I tried The Wheel for three full days, working on it a lot with Daniel Woods and Dave Graham.
Is The Wheel of Wolvo an endurance problem or is there a definitive crux?
Well, it’s kind of both actually. The first 10 moves are a very powerful yet technical 8B+ (V14). Linking the bottom boulder is definitely the most difficult part of the bloc, but after you complete this you have to put yourself back together and execute the final 15 move 8A/+ (V11/12) endurance section.
How did the send feel? In the photo it looks as if you’re just chilling!
Haha! Well I was hanging out in the rest that separates the two boulders so yeah, you definitely gotta chill. The send felt hard, man. It’s a battle from beginning to end and there are multiple points on the climb that you can fail. The difficulty of lines like this are just being able to clear your thoughts and execute. A lot of times the hardest part of climbing at your limit is allowing your mind to roam free and just let your body do the work.
Is this your hardest first ascent? How does The Wheel compare with your other hard ascents?
I think this is definitely my hardest FA, as I believe it to be the first true 8C (V15) that I have ever climbed. Although it’s really hard to say if this is the hardest problem, for me, that I have done. Climbing is so strange, so style specific, and so personal that it’s really hard to explain that it is, in fact, the hardest thing I have climbed. I honestly have done some 8A+’s (V11’s) that are outside my style that felt harder than some 8b+ (V14) that suited me perfectly. Comparing the Wheel to some of my other ascents, however, I do see it as a step up. This problem is really tough and I feel lucky to have been able to to piece it together.
Finally, you just moved from the South to Colorado. Why?
Well first of all I’m a southern boy at heart and that will never change. Chattanooga will always be my true home and I’m positive one day we will return. For now my girlfriend Kasia and I were just looking for a change of pace. We wanted to move here so that we could expand our climbing and experience what CO. has to offer. Which really is a TON of climbing. There are so many things to climb here and so many cool people to climb them with. It’s a great place for us now and we’re stoked for what the future holds.