Jimmy Webb started off 2020 right: After nine days of projecting, he sent Lucid Dreaming (V15) on the Grandpa Peabody boulder, Bishop, California.
On Instagram yesterday, Webb wrote, “Throughout my climbing life I’ve always considered myself a terrible crimp climber. I convinced myself long ago that I was either too big, or just to weak to be able to push myself in this style. So with this in mind I’ve simply stayed away. I feel like I’ve always been scared to try these types of boulders because deep down I believed I was going to fail. Sometimes though, you just want to prove to yourself that you can do it. Or at least try damn hard.
“This was the case for me this winter season in Bishop. I arrived with zero expectations and on my 9th day of battle I was able to make an ascent of ‘Lucid Dreaming’ V15.”
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Webb might be the strongest boulderer in the game today, so when a problem takes him nine days, you know it’s something serious. But then again, with Lucid Dreaming we already knew that—it has a well-documented history of hard climbers doing battle with it.
Paul Robinson established the problem back in March 2010. He originally suggested V16—a rare grade even more-so a decade ago than it is today—only to revise that to V15. Lucid Dreaming definitively took over the mantle from Kevin Jorgeson’s Ambrosia (V11), established in 2009, Jason Kehl’s Evilution Direct (V11), established way back in 2002, and Jared Roth’s Rastman Vibration (V12), also established in 2002, as the hardest line on the Grandpa Peabody boulder.
[Also Read Jason Kehl: What I’ve Learned]
The crux of the route revolves around a short sequence: a large move from the “shark’s tooth” undercling to a small pinch, and then a dyno to a small crimp. After that, any ascentionist has to quest up V6 territory and a heart-stopping 40-foot slab finish.
The second ascent came in 2014. Daniel Woods topped out the boulder after about four or five days of working the moves over a couple seasons. He then went on in January 2015 to establish The Process, which, at V16, took over the title of hardest highball on the boulder—and in Bishop in general.
Watch Daniel Woods on the Second Ascent of Lucid Dreaming
Prior to Webb’s ascent, Lucid Dreaming has seen two other repetitions, first by Alex Megos, in January 2015, and next by Toru Nakajima, in February 2017. Nakajima, from Japan, traveled to Bishop three separate winters to finally sent the problem.
Even if pure crimping is Webb’s weakness, as he writes, for some perspective, it took him 11 days—just two more than he spent on Lucid—to make the first ascent of Sleepwalker (V16), Red Rocks, Nevada.
Watch Alex Megos on the Third Ascent of Lucid Dreaming
Watch Toru Nakajima on the Fourth Ascent of Lucid Dreaming