Peter Hoang just sent a project that was equipped by Matthew Sapiecha in 2014 and named it Van Gogh’s Ear.

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Peter Hoang on the first ascent of Van Gogh’s Ear 5.12+. Photo Peter Hoang

“Dude, can you check out my ear?” said Sapiecha after a directional nut pupped out and hit his head during the route cleaning stage of the project. “I’m pretty sure it’s gone.”

Luckily his ear wasn’t gone, but the accident left quite the bloody mess and a bruised temple. The end result was a fully recovered Sapiecha and a clever route name, Van Gogh’s Ear.

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Matthew Sapiecha’s ear after the nut popping accident.

The new 5.12+, nine-bolt route climbs some of the cleanest granite at the cliff. Starting on a ramp, it goes over a series of overhangs before the headwall crux.

A roof caps the top of the climb, keeping it bone-dry during any rainstorms, which was the case for the first ascent.

A gym-generation climber may find themselves at home on this line with the steep and pumpy moves.

“A great line for anyone pushing the 5.12 grade,” said Hoang.

You can find more of Hoang’s routes, photos, and writing over at www.peter-hoang.com.

Van Gogh's Ear at Eagle's Nest.  Photo Peter Hoang
Van Gogh’s Ear at Eagle’s Nest. Photo Peter Hoang

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