Buttermilks:  Soulslinger

Buttermilks: Soulslinger

Soulslinger.  One of the Buttermilks’s most iconic problems.  At V9 it is tops on the ticklist of many who aspire to climb hard problems, but cannot pull down on double digit testpieces like The Mandala (V12) or Stained Glass (V10).

Going into my 2006 trip to Bishop, I knew that Soulslinger was probably too difficult for me, but I wanted to have a go at it anyhow.  Fresh off quick sends of Saigon, Cave Problem and High Plains Drifter on our first day, I felt ready to give it a go.  We joined in with a group of guys from Idaho working it with the hopes that added pads and group psych would help propel us to the top.

After quickly working out the opening moves, I found myself getting shutdown by the tricky final moves.  Unfortunately, Soulslinger is one of those power sapping problems that requires a ground up effort every time.  No working out the high crux moves by skipping the beginning.  Each go began to feel more difficult just to get to the crux so I eventually left empty handed.
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You can see the aforementioned crux move in the last photo below.  It revolves around pasting your left hand on some small, glassy crystals.  Then you have to shift your weight over your right foot to reach your right hand up to another set of crystals that pass for a hold.  My explanation for the beta ends there because I couldn’t figure out the right combination of pulling harder and/or shifting my weight to reach the penultimate left hand gaston crystal that is ticked in the pictures.
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  I know from there you get to do a really fun and satisfying looking dyno up and left to a large jug.  If you want to see someone actually climbing it, check out Lisa Rands in Dosage 1.  If you want to see epic fail, see below:

Could I have sent if I dedicated a couple of days worth of work during our 4 day trip?  Maybe.  However, I decided that I would rather climb a higher quantity of easier problems than get caught up with one project on that trip.  That plan ended up working out really well, and I figured I would probably be coming back to Bishop much stronger in the near future.  That was in 2006…

Hopefully the future will yield another opportunity to work on this problem some more.  Along with Midnight Lightning in Yosemite, it is tops on my list of harder problems that I wanted to send before becoming ‘crusty old trad guy’…

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6 Responses to Buttermilks: Soulslinger

  1. sock hands July 17, 2008 at 9:05 am #

    doing more, fun problems is always a better decision than getting tunnel vision for one line when you’re on road trips or visiting an area for the first time… for you AND your friends!

    i had two separate plane tickets to vegas to catch a ride to bishop… 2002 and 2003…. both trips got killed by a perfect storm of…. well… storms… and idiocy.


    so psyched to check out bishop someday! regardless of smacktalk i’ve heard about it, photos from the granite areas of bishop get me a million times more psyched than photos of anything at hueco.

    maybe i need to spend some major time at lumpy ridge, ute pass, and vedauwoo before i ever go to get back into crystal pimping mode for topouts of despair?

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  2. Jamie July 17, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    When Angie and I went to Bishop this was one of the only problems she would try and after dispatching it she renamed it “Poopflinger” because “the rock is so bad someone might as well just fling poop up there and climb on it”

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  3. sock hands July 17, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    see, if you kids would spend more time at ute pass, castlewood, etc, you would get greater enjoyment from lines like this.

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  4. tim July 18, 2008 at 10:28 pm #

    haha.. this problem was dead-in-my-sights when i was living out there… i was starting to put the whole thing together, and a send was in sight.. then i decided to hike around the mountain and take a shot at ‘Jedi Mind Tricks’ because I thought it’d be a easy tick…

    if there was ever a point in my life i wanted to declare a mulligan. this was it. 😀

    but yeah.. i’m heading back out there to send that one too!

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  5. Narc July 22, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    Jamie, I can definitely see that. The level of polish on several of the problems in bishop is a major turnoff.

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