Regular Dude Who Doesn’t Care If You Know About It Climbs V13

Regular Dude Who Doesn’t Care If You Know About It Climbs V13

There are really only two words you need to know about my buddy Kevin:  Brave & Humble™.

Brave.

And Humble.

Ok, three words.

Anyway, Kevin is a regular guy with a regular job, living in the Midwest and climbing at gym where the highest acknowledged bouldering grade is V7 1.  It’s well-known around the gym that Kevin is a pretty strong climber, but he keeps a relatively low profile both at the gym and on the internet 2.

Kevin has made several trips to Hueco Tanks over the course of the past few years, with much of his time spent working the Chris Sharma problem Diabolique (V13) on North Mountain.  Since Diabolique is V13 and Kevin lives and climbs in Wisconsin where there are basically no double-digit boulders to climb on, I always thought he was a bit nuts for even giving the problem a go.

As mentioned, Kevin doesn’t really do the whole internet climbing thing, so I always threatened that if he were to actually send Diabolique, I would have no choice but to make him famous on the internet.   Fortunately or unfortunately for him, that day has come.

During his annual early-November pilgrimage to Hueco, Kevin managed to clean up several projects, chief among them the aforementioned Diabolique.  Here are some pictures I grabbed of Kevin on our trip last November during which he had the audacity to send none of these projects while I was there to be his personal photographer.

El Techo de los Tres Bs (V11)

El Techo de los Tres Bs

Loaded With Power (V10)

Loaded With Power

Diabolique (V13)

Diabolique

Kevin’s repeat of Diabolique is almost certainly a world record for a male who lives in Wisconsin, learned to climb in Illinois, works a full-time job and mainly subsists on a steady diet of Coke.  Well done, Kevin.  Hats off to you for your dedication and unwavering positivity…now, can we go climb somewhere else next year???

  1. Problems are taped based on difficulty, and the highest acknowledged tape level is simply V7 & up…
  2. Basically the opposite of me

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28 Responses to Regular Dude Who Doesn’t Care If You Know About It Climbs V13

  1. JMB December 10, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    Debate/Jens: someone who does not train on anything harder than V7 cannot be expected to climb V13 based on my grading scales (showing how time spent on a problem corresponds to maximum possible grade). This shows that grades at Hueco Tanks are inflated and more climbers should give Brave and Humble personal grades.

    Oh, and grades are not important.

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    • John December 10, 2012 at 8:43 am #

      “Problems are taped based on difficulty, and the highest acknowledged tape level is V7 & up” The problems can be harder than V7 at the gym. They are just grouped together into one tape category.

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      • Cody Jones (@DrJones13) December 10, 2012 at 10:49 am #

        If we are talking boulders in madison…that is not realy the case anymore. there are some v8′s and v9′s that get put up now and again. whether or not people climb them, or if they are actually the grade, is a different story. Either way…there have been ZERO double digit grades/

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        • Narc December 10, 2012 at 10:55 am #

          We are not, but it’s not all that different at Boulders. I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that the hardest grades both inside and outside in WI don’t get much higher than V8/9.

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          • tonlerbone December 10, 2012 at 10:59 am #

            For the record, there are no problems at the gym harder than V7. Some problems are just hard for the grade ;)

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  2. Eddie December 10, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    Kevin is a beast! Literally, the man is the size of an adolescent brontosaurus! Not surprising and nice work!

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  3. jackgeldard December 10, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    Very good. Keep up the excellent work with the site. Thanks, Jack.

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  4. Phil Wilkes December 10, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Wow, I remember when he started climbing years ago. I had no clue he was cranking so hard. strong work!

    Just because they don’t explicitly have problems labeled as double digit, doesn’t mean they can’t exist at the gym

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    • Doug Lipinski December 10, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      I also remember Kevin from back in the day. Apparently he’s turned into an absolute beast in the almost 10 years I’ve been gone. Strong!

      The gym here refuses to grade anything above V8. That’s ok though, I can’t do any of the V8s anyway.

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  5. Blake December 10, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    Props to KRom! One of my favorite climbing partners. Proof that flat landers can pull down hard.

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  6. Chad December 10, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Nice work Kevin!!

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  7. Ian Hill December 10, 2012 at 10:09 am #

    THIS IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER READ.

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  8. ironic spray guy who doesn't care December 10, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Amazing amount of grade spray for not caring about the grades

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    • Narc December 10, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      I never said I didn’t care

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  9. John December 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Woo! Go Kevin!

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  10. Hanson December 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Awesome post Narc. It is great to hear about an everyman doing world class problems. Props to Kevin.

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  11. ryan j December 10, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    who made that kneepad? looks like solid work!

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  12. Markku December 11, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    “Bouldering is unique (again)”. See Debate/Jens at 8a.nu :)

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  13. andré December 11, 2012 at 1:55 am #

    I have been following your blog for quite some time and I have finally decided to comment. This s a great post. I love the pace, the humor, the intimacy and, most of all, I really like the feeling: in some years I will also be able to send a V13 albeit I don’t boulder or drink cola :)

    andré

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    • seamus December 11, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      V10 is the new V8, and V12 is the new V10. Seems like everybody is doing something hard now a days. Gyms are better and we train more scientifically. In 10 more years, I’m sure V14 climbing will be fairly commonplace (it is already starting to seem that way).

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      • Slopers December 11, 2012 at 10:40 am #

        The grade is subject to the conditions of the boulder field. Take for example, climbing in the south. V10 will never be the new V8 due to the humidity and dependency on conditions. The going joke here is that if you climb hard in the summer, you can pretty much annihilate anywhere else where the conditions are pristine. *cough* the west coast *cough*.

        but props to this guy. Heuco or not, I can really appreciate his humility, especially when this sport seems to be plagued with “look what I can do” as of late.

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        • Guidoprincess December 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

          The south is harder than the west coast? Have you ever climbed in California? There are 5.9s in Yosemite which would be 5.12 in the south. Oh, you only pebble wrestle? Fine, go do Saigon (v6) or Juniors Achievment (v7) in the buttermilks, or blue suede shoes, (V5) in Yosemite, and then your precious Orb (Rocktown) Millipede (HP 40) and Deception (LRC) will feel like warm ups.

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          • zoltan December 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

            hahahahah thats just ridiculous..

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  14. PBC December 11, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Spoken like a true sandbagging southeast climber! I do love the guidebooks though, the HP40 one very clearly states: “This grade assumes that the weather is perfect, its your style of climbing, and that you have intimate knowledge of the route”. Props to Kevin for sending hard and inspiring this guy who works way more than he climbs!

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  15. Trento December 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    This dude is a solid climber ! I live in Ohio and I work full time and have a 8 month old daughter. I am pushing the V7 range. Amazing story!

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  16. eg December 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Everyone has times when a boulder problem is well suited and they climb way above their normal grade. Give the guy a break, He did the problem and was probably very stoked to finish it. Nice send man!

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  17. JeffH December 13, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Great send Kevin you are a truly humble and personable guy as well an amazing boulderer!

    As to those who immediately go to this as evidence that Hueco grades are soft, grow up, when did we stop appreciating a great tick for what it is.

    The pedigree of this problem speaks for itself. Put up by Sharma, 2nd send by Fred Nicole, nuff said.

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  18. Trento December 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Totally agree! For me climbing is an outlet from normalcy! People start downgrading other people’s accomplishments is disappointing.

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