Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

News

Taylor McNeill Repeats Webb’s Engine Bloc (V14), Makes V14 First Ascent

Taylor McNeill makes the second ascent of Jimmy Webb's Engine Bloc (V14), and establishes Third Eye Awakening (V14) and Spreadin' Razor (V13) in Boone, North Carolina.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and bundle up with Outside+

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

40% Off Holiday Sale, Ends Nov. 28
$4.99 $2.99 / month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.


  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Taylor McNeill on <em>Spreadin’ Razor</em> (V13), Boone, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Aaron Parlier.” title=”Taylor McNeill on <em>Spreadin’ Razor</em> (V13), Boone, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Aaron Parlier.”>    <b>When Taylor McNeill unlocked</b> a backyard boulder problem, <em>Spreadin’ Razor</em> (V13), in Boone, North Carolina,<br />
    it set him in motion. Later that week, he made the second ascent of Jimmy Webb’s <em>Engine Bloc</em> (V14) and the first ascent of <em>Third Eye Awakening</em>    (V14), which he described as his “hardest and best first ascent to date.”</p>
<p>“When I ticked this one off it started a chain of events, and I took down <em>Engine Bloc</em> and <em>Third Eye Awakening</em> that same week,” McNeill<br />
    tells <em>Rock and Ice</em>. “Without a doubt that was the best week of climbing I’ve ever had!”</p>
<p>McNeill’s week began with <em>Spreadin’ Razor</em>, which is literally in his backyard. “This is one of the thinnest, hard climbs I’ve done,” he says.<br />
    “All of the feet and hands are just barely there.”</p>
<p>It took McNeill “countless” days of effort to finish the boulder problem, he says, due it a low-percentage sequence. “This climb was so frustrating to<br />
    work, because it almost felt as if it came down to pure luck,” he says. “Every move is hard, and the feet are so awful you never know when you’re just<br />
    going to get spit off.”</p>
<p>With <em>Spreadin’ Razor</em> complete, McNeill moved on to <em>Engine Bloc</em>. “It was the ‘last great project’ smack dab in the middle of one of Boone’s<br />
    most popular areas, Grandmother Mountain,” McNeil says. “[James] Litz had tried it, [Chris] Sharma had tried it, but it remained a project. When Jimmy<br />
    Webb made the FA last year, it sort of opened my eyes that this thing was actually climbable.”</p>
<p>Webb opened the boulder problem in October 2015. “Long time coming for this one!” he wrote on his <a href=8a.nu scorecard. “One of the craziest low percentage moves I’ve ever done. Huge throw to a terrible sloper that has to be stuck perfectly.”

Grandmother Mountain, home of Engine Bloc, was one of the first places where McNeill had bouldered outside. “I remember being shown Engine Bloc and thinking how impossible it looked,” he recalls. “Throughout my climbing career, every season I would give it a few goes here and there, without
much luck. This climb is only like six moves or something, but really it all comes down to one move—an insanely huge jump to a terrible sloper.

“To be honest I’m still not exactly sure what happened. I jumped, slapped, and holy shit I was on the wall!”

McNeill on the first ascent of <em>Third Eye Awakening</em> (V14). Photo courtesy of Taylor McNeill.” title=”McNeill on the first ascent of <em>Third Eye Awakening</em> (V14). Photo courtesy of Taylor McNeill.”>A<br />
    few days after climbing <em>Engine Bloc</em>, McNeill put up a testpiece of his own. He first spotted the roof from a distance last year, but the area<br />
    was notorious for choss, so he “blew it off” without checking it out up close, he says. This year, after returning home to North Carolina after a month-long<br />
    trip to Japan, he was “itching for new rock,” he says. Joey Henson, a friend of McNeill’s, kept telling McNeill that he “had a feeling” about the roof,<br />
    so they finally went to check it out.</p>
<p>“I found myself under the biggest, baddest roof I’d ever seen in North Carolina,” McNeill says. Their joke is that Henson found the roof with his “third<br />
    eye,” which gave name to the boulder’s proud line.</p>
<p>After three days of effort, McNeill made the first ascent of the V11 stand start, <em>Third Eye</em>. After three more days, he had managed the eight moves<br />
    of the low start, yet couldn’t quite link it all together.</p>
<p>“I had the stand pretty dialed at this point, and truly believed that if I made it into the stand I would send. But after my first time climbing into the<br />
    stand, I realized how wrong I was,” he says. “I would have to climb so efficient to still have energy for the final crux, which involves getting really<br />
    extended with a terrible heel-toe cam.</p>
<p>“On my ninth day of effort, my heel finally stayed and I took it to the top!”</p>
</p>
<p><strong>Watch Taylor McNeill on </strong><strong>Third Eye Awakening (V14):</strong> </p>
<blockquote class=

Related Articles

Southern Rampage – Jimmy Webb Establishes Four V14s