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A New Route on Meru, a V16 Downgrade, and Two (Very Different) Endurance Feats

This article originally appeared on Climbing

In an attempt to make space for the newsworthy ascents that occur with ever-increasing regularity, our weekly news series tries to celebrate a few outstanding climbs (or interesting events) that for one reason or another caught our attention. We hope you enjoy it. --The editors

A New Alpine-Style Route on Meru South, India

The ace trio of Roger Schaeli, Simon Gietl, and Matthieu Maynadier have established a beautiful new route on Meru South (21,850ft) in the Indian Garhwal Himalaya. They named their 2,620-foot line Goldfish (A1 M6+) as a playful nod to the nearby "Shark's Fin" feature of Meru Central, made famous by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk's first ascent and their subsequent award-winning film.

Schaeli, Gietl, and Maynadier left their base camp on May 11 and weaved a careful line through an avalanche-prone icefall to their first bivouac. Day two began at 3 a.m. and the trio slogged up steep snow and then technical mixed terrain late into the night, hoping to find a flat place to camp. "The plan worked and we were able to pitch our two-man tent on a spectacular mushroom just before midnight at the base of the last crux," Schaeli wrote on Instagram.

A brief and cold night inspired them to leave their tent early on May 13 and tackle the steepest part of their objective. Schaeli reported that, after one challenging mixed pitch, an unlikely ice tunnel presented itself as an easy passage, and "in three spectacular pitches, the route we chose led us over the ridge and, in icy winds, [650 feet] up a steep snow-ice slope to the top of the Meru's summit ridge."

The team topped out at 9 a.m. to a spectacularly clear day, and returned to base camp by late afternoon: concluding a fast ascent done in excellent alpine style. --Anthony Walsh

Amity Warme Climbs Father Time (5.13b; 2,000ft)

Amity Warme just came off of a proud free ascent of Mikey Schaefer's Father Time (5.13b; 20 pitches) on Yosemite's Middle Cathedral. Warme reported on Instagram that she had gone ground-up on the route over four days, leading all of the pitches except for three 5.10s. Warme had climbed up to pitch 13 (the first crux) once before, but attempted the remaining seven pitches onsight.

Father Time is a stacked route--five 5.12s and three 5.13s--and notoriously tough. The third and featureless 5.13, which Schaefer described as "classic granite houdini climbing," famously shut down Jonathan Siegrist, who couldn't figure out many of the moves.

But what I find most compelling about Warme's ascent is her adherence to a strict ground-up style. Like Schaefer did while establishing Father Time over the course of 60 days (neglecting life, money, and professional opportunities in the process), Warme also opted to increase the adventure quota of her ascent. She wrote that the cruxes are well protected, but the final 5.12s held plenty of spice--especially while onsighting after four days on the wall. (Fair enough; after all, even Alex Honnold called pitch 18 kinda "real.") --AW

How Many V6s Can You Do in a Day?

My favorite piece of recent news comes from Fontainebleau where Hugo Parmentier and Sebastien Berthe just did--wait for it--100 boulders V6 and harder, in one day, linking them all together by foot or bike.

This "mega circuit" took them on a 43-mile voyage, "starting north of the forest in Rocher Canon and finishing south in Nemours," and was built around the idea that each boulder needed to be sent by both climbers before they could move to the next one.

"The idea was to climb only during the daylight as it's forbidden to climb at night in the forest," they wrote in a joint Instagram post. "From waking up at 4h30, starting climbing at 5h30 to finally reaching home at midnight, we biked (70 km), climbed and ran our way through the deepest and most well known parts of the legendary forest of Fontainebleau. Climbing our selection of the most delicate, stunning and classic boulders of the 7A/+ [V6-7] range. We laughed, screamed, sweated (a lot), struggled and shared an ultra intense journey."

They added that they hope their adventure "will give ideas to others to try their own low-CO2-emission locals projects." --Steven Potter

Drew Ruana Does his 10th V16

Drew Ruana has had a productive several weeks--getting the second ascent of Griffin Whitesides’s Howl at the Moon Sit (V16) and sending his 75th V14. He worked on Howl at the Moon stand, which is a much harder variation of The Ice Knife (V14), for multiple days last year; this year he sent on his second day and returned the following day to do the sit start. At the time, he thought the sit was an FA, but it later turned out that Whitesides (who FA'd the stand) had also done it from a sit. (A question for the world: what hasn't Griffin Whitesides quietly sent yet?) In an interesting short interview on 8a.nu, Ruana also noted that--in addition to studying full time and sending all of Colorado--he's writing two books. One is about "outdoor bouldering at or past your limit"; the other is about "building climbing intuition," which he describes as "the difference between a beginner climber and a climber that 'gets it.'" Psyched to see those. --SP

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Will Bosi Repeats Isles of Wonder Sit--Downgrading One of the UK's Hardest Boulders

Will Bosi continues his mind-boggling tear by nabbing the second ascent of Aidan Roberts's shoulder-breaking V16 in Wales. Roberts considered the problem one of his hardest, training specifically for the shouldery crux on a replica on his home wall--but Bosi found some easier beta (he keeps the heel in for the crux move), which he thinks bumps the grade down from hard V16 to V15. Grade aside, it's a great-looking problem in a stunning absolute location. You can watch Roberts do the climb in Wedge Climbing's excellent film, Mastery. And you can watch Bosi below. --SP

Niky Ceria Does New Stunner: Ghost of the Navigator

The Italian sage Niky Ceria has done the first ascent of Ghost of the Navigator in Valle d’Aosta, Italy. The problem--which, as with many of his FA's, he's decided to leave ungraded--is some 25 feet tall over a pretty miserable landing and required 22 pads to protect. "Ghost of the Navigator was a lot about preparedness," he wrote on Instagram, adding that some 70% of the time he spent "working" on the line didn't actually involve climbing.

"The height and the steepness made me very concerned about the fall," he wrote in one of three lengthy posts about his process of finding, studying, and working on the line. "Differently than on other occasions, and due to the huge size of the problem, I opted to use some of the dead branches to flatten the landing a bit. ... A total of 22 pads was probably a bit too much and I could have probably used less with a bit more courage. The very unpredictable fall at the top made me scared about a dangerous spin. A move that I couldn't control at +6 meters with an edge below my ass, in addition to the other factors, made me realize that this was the best way to adapt. Eventually, I feel that the extra safety I got was well deserved after the carrying efforts." --SP

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