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Sixth Ascent of Too Big to Flail V10 Highball

Alex Honnold made the first ascent of Too Big to Flail V10 in Bishop back in 2012 and Lonnie Kauk made the second ascent.

Now, Nick Hausen has made the sixth ascent of the massive highball on the Luminance Block at the Beehive Area of Buttermilk Country. He worked the problem over four days with a rope.

Honnold’s first ascent was featured in the popular Reel Rock 7, he used 36 pads. Steven Roth and Ethan Pringle made the third and fourth ascents. Pringle suggested that the problem in its entirety might be 5.13c/d.

I've seen some impressive stuff in my time out here in Bishop… but I've never seen anything as impressive as watching Nick become the sixth ascentionist of the proudest line in Bishop, the 50 foot mega-highball, Too Big to Flail (V10). He had an unexpected crowd, and I'm sure he felt the pressure to perform. But even after taking a 25 foot fall (that's 25 feet of air under his damn feet, not hands at 25 feet), he calmly and confidently executed this monster five minutes later. This clown even took a quick pause, 35 feet off the deck, to look over and stick his goofball tongue out when he knew the final 5.12 slab to the top was in the bag. You're a maniac, buddy. Congratulations doesn't cut it with this one. #bishopbouldering #bouldering #buttermilks #tbtf #highball

A post shared by Daniel Winsor (@professionalvagrant) on

Nick wrote a lengthy post-send social media post which is shared in its entirety below.

Too Big to Flail

Prepare yourself. This post will be as long as Too Big is tall. First thing first, the support I received from my tightly knit bishop family is what makes this achievement something that I will surely never forget. To share something like this with people that I truly care for is a gift. They’re the reason I get to share my moment with the rest of the world. Too Big was, in my mind, a test, it was my ultimatum, to see if I’m fit to find who I truly am thru risk or to drop it all and become a casual passionate climber.

I wanted to push myself on something that was cusping my limits. To see what I can achieve with a wholehearted obsession that I let take me over, mind and body. I’ve been trying to understand why I’m driven towards the routes that show risk with an open hand. For some odd reason it’s the only thing I’ve found that makes me feel real. In those moments of calm precise movement in a potential life altering position, I feel the most alive! With Too Big, the part that blew my mind while sending was how calm and stoked I was grasping onto its tiny holds in insecure positions. I had ground the moves into my body over the course of four days, but those sessions were maybe one or two goes roped and pre-send, I had only successfully climbed it from bottom to top once on a rope. But with that small hurdle achieved I felt an immediate sense of confidence.

The morning of I went for a run around 7 o’clock out to the climb. I had a small amount of nervousness, which I believe was more so the organization of people, pads, cameras etc, than the climb itself. “Is today the day? Am I sure? I’ve only sent it once. Is that enough? What if it’s not and I’m dragging all of my friends into a bad situation?” These questions flooded my brain on my way over to The Secrets and started to push doubt into my brain, but the second I rounded the corner and glared at the route. I no longer had any doubt on my mind, “you’re mine today mother fucker!” I felt slightly ridiculous for yelling at a boulder but it served as a message to myself. All doubt was gone and I KNEW I could do it.

I rushed my warm up just a little due to excitement. And as a result when I gave it my first ground attempt I found myself halfway up the climb feeling pretty good but my hands were numb and I knew getting warmth back while sitting on the “jug” of the route was going to be hard. Mainly because the “jug” is a two finger half pad nub that is not the most relaxing to just hang out on. I tried to keep moving, grabbed the next two small two finger crimps and realized I couldn’t feel my right hand.

I hesitated and thought about what could happen with cold hands higher up and decided this was a good spot to bail. I took the biggest fall of my life, about 25 feet, stomped the pads and popped up yelling “fuck” and stared at my fingers, but I wasn’t upset or injured so my eyes went right back to the climb, “you can do this man, change the music and send this thing.” I waited a couple minutes and got right back to it. With warm hands and an even more focused mind I cruised almost auto-pilot to the same spot.

Told myself to relax and only proceed when I KNEW I was ready. I made the moves, got to the next stance and was calm enough to throw out a goofy face to cameras. I knew I was going to send. It’s still hard for me to describe what I felt on top of the climb or for the rest of the day, it felt as tho I had dreamed it all. Almost became annoyed with the cruelty of this joke and how I wasn’t able to wake up… it took until this morning to fully understand why it seemed so bitter sweet, so otherworldly. I wanted to enjoy the elation of sending such an epic technical route, but in the back of my mind it solidified that I am surely not finished, and that I have no choice in going full speed ahead towards even greater goals.

Huge thanks to everyone that came out and supported and to all the people that have been major players in my life. I can’t express what it means to me and I’m sorry that it’s not the last time I’m going to make your palms sweat.

Watch Kauk Send Too Big

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