2nd Ascent Of Monkey Wedding (V15) By Paul Robinson

2nd Ascent Of Monkey Wedding (V15) By Paul Robinson

It sounds like Paul Robinson ended his 2 month trip to South Africa’s Rocklands with a bang today.  According to 27Crags he pulled off the 2nd ascent of Fred Nicole’s Monkey Wedding (V15) calling it “a huge mental and physical struggle” and the “second hardest send I have ever accomplished” (with Lucid Dreaming, Paul’s proposed V16 FA in Bishop, CA, ostensibly being the hardest).  Look for media from the ascent soon.

27Crags report

Update:  To give you some more background, here’s a page on 27Crags where you can see a topo photo of Monkey Wedding.  Thanks to commenter Fred for pointing that out.

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41 Responses to 2nd Ascent Of Monkey Wedding (V15) By Paul Robinson

  1. Jesse August 25, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    So cool. I’m curious to see what a Monkey Wedding looks like.

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    • Narc August 25, 2010 at 7:50 am #

      It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it but doesn’t Daniel Woods try Monkey Wedding in Specimen?? Or was that a different Fred Nicole V15??

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      • jesse August 25, 2010 at 9:20 am #

        I’ve never seen Specimen. Is it worth watching?

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        • Narc August 25, 2010 at 9:29 am #

          It’s been a long time since my 1 and only viewing of it but I don’t remember it being my favorite. The climbing was good but there were several quirks with the editing that I found annoying. Something about the scraping of shoes and some less than interesting climber interviews are what stick out in my mind.

          Perhaps someone who has seen it more recently can weigh in with their opinion.

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        • sg August 26, 2010 at 10:43 am #

          No.

          Don’t waste your time watching Specimen. From 4 years ago or so, I still remember how disappointed I was in that movie!

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          • toothbrush August 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

            Specimen depicts a decent Fred Nicole piece and some fairly cool footage of Lisa Rands sends and some early DW work. You can also watch Cedar Wright attempt to boulder which is pretty funny. Not cause he’s bad or anything but he’s a dork in a cool way. It lacks climbing porn and focuses on boulders which I thought people wanted more of but apparently not.

            It also shows the only footage of Fred Nicole’s FA of Shosholoza which is quite stunning IMO. I’ve seen many other sends of this problem in various videos but none in the manner that Fred does it. He’s one of the few I recon can static move 1 – or have the patience to work it that way. I happened to find it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QBIkFsObLk and you can watch it at the 47 second mark. The vid gives credit to the movie excerpt thankfully. Even though it appears no one liked it but possibly me. Maybe I shouldn’t get stoned and watch these things. I must think they are cooler than they really are. Scratch that.

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          • Jesse August 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

            Thanks for the tips guys. I guess I’ll pass on Specimen. Although I fear that one day I’ll be bored and have my credit card handy….

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  2. w00ter August 25, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    Yeah there’s footage of DW working it in specimen.

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  3. Paully August 25, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Yes he does and he falls off the last hard move. Extremely impressive showing for a 16 (?) year old.

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  4. Fred S August 25, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    Here is a topo http://27crags.com/crags/roadside/topos/nutsa

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  5. AK Jessie August 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    I think that if he had done this problem FIRST he would have said it was the hardest thing he has done. It is a problem that has thwarted efforts of some of the strongest climbers in the world for several years. Big ups to Fred who had the vision and most likely doing it in exceptional style. Either way I cant do it so good for paul

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  6. Andy August 26, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    consider that fred probably weighs something like 50 lbs more than paul as well…

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  7. b3 August 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Dare I say it? Having seen Monkey Wedding I was not impressed. The rock is good, but it’s low and contrived. It’s certainly hard. Let’s not forget that Fred did the FA in 2002 (does this then make it the first V15?) and graded it 8b+.

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    • AK Jessie August 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

      Way to use the mans own words. Its v14, just harder than some other v14s. Sponsors ruin the integrity of athletes. Its not about a number they should just enjoy a beautiful, difficult problem and take the number with a grain of salt

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    • joeyjoejoe August 28, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

      Is this Mr. Emerson? Come to talk shit about P Rob yet again! If this was Dan Woods’ send instead of P Rob’s, Jamie’d be breaking out the champagne. Instead, he’s here to tell us how “unimpressive” the boulder is. Blah.

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      • Phunk August 29, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

        joeyjoejoe, Mr. Emerson wasn’t “talking shit about P Rob yet again.”

        He wasn’t impressed *with the problem* in that it didn’t look attractive to him. He then admitted it was a hard problem.

        You need to simmer.

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  8. b3 August 29, 2010 at 5:02 pm #

    This is Mr. Emerson. I thought I was giving an objective opinion. If you don’t want to take it as such so be it. I don’t think Daniel, or Paul, or anyone is above objective criticism. In any other serious field (professional sports, science, art, literature, etc) the work of others is reviewed and critiqued by their peers. If climbing hopes to be the best it can be, then it should expect no difference.

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  9. b3 August 29, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    Sorry, let me clarify. I did give an opinion “I was not impressed”, because someone asked for it and I have actually tried the problem. The rest I think would qualify as objective statements, for the most part.

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  10. joeyjoejoe August 29, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    There is just this pattern that I’ve seen with Jamie that I don’t appreciate.

    DWoods sends v16, and Jamie is ecstatic, writing about the ascent on his blog in glowing terms. Then PRob sends v16, and he suddenly calls into question the whole notion of assigning such a grade to anything, as though he hadn’t simply automatically accepted its validity with his friend, Mr. Woods, a couple of months earlier.

    Now he is on this blog, bringing more unnecessary negativity where PRob’s accomplishments are concerned. Normally I wouldn’t care, but Mr. Emerson has exerted his presence as a prominent voice in the online climbing community, and I, for one, would appreciate some consistency. I mean, Daniel Woods’ “The Game” is an ugly pile of rocks on the side of a highway, but you don’t see Jamie complaining about how “unimpresive” its aesthetics are, do you?

    I suppose since my point here is a negative one, I’ll inevitably come across as being negative. But my point is really that we should all try to be more positive about the accomplishments of our best climbers. But if you’re going to dole out criticism, try to think about what kinds of biases you may unknowingly be demonstrating.

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  11. b3 August 30, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    I am not going to delve into this any more than one final comment, but please remember that this is what I did write, verbatim, about Lucid Dreaming.

    “This is a classic and difficult problem and it’s great to see it finally get climbed. I want to emphasize that much more than the grade of the problem, the classic and difficult nature of the boulder, and it’s central location in one of the best bouldering areas in the country make this a significant contribution.”

    The grade of the problem was clearly in question in my opinion (which I do have the right to express), as both Paul and Daniel, and Tim Clifford and Matt Birch, had all tried it and all suggested previously that is was V15, from what I had heard and read. If I recall correctly, Birch suggested it was V14. I think that all of the climbers listed had done all the moves on Lucid Dreaming, but I may be wrong about that.

    In comparison, I watched many of the best climbers go try The Game and get totally shut down. I don’t think a few of the moves on The Game had been done until this spring. It seemed that when this was climbed it could possibly be a new level. Having seen Daniel and Paul climb together on numerous occasions, in the gym, in the weeks prior to Daniel climbing the FA, DW seemed to be on another level.
    Additionally, Paul has only climbed one problem graded V15, Terremer, and Daniel has climbed several, so his understanding and experience at the grade is better.
    All of this information added up in my mind that the grade of LD was something that could be questioned.

    I don’t know that I have ever personally attacked Paul, although I have often been accused of such. If there is evidence for this, I would like to see it.

    I will reiterate. Being objectively critical will help our sport, as soon as climbers stop being so concerned about their fragile egos and start examining the unquestionable information surrounding their ascents.
    What will push them more, questioning them and demonstrating how they can do something better, or patting them on the back every time they climb a V10?
    I was “critical” of Angie Payne here in regards to her failure to find new problems and do FAs:

    “The men sharing? Wolverineland is survival of the fittest. How about Angie goes and finds her own new boulders to climb on and truly lead the way? There are plenty of unclimbed boulders there.”

    and here is her response

    “jamie is 100% correct here– no one should “share” a new line with me, i should go find one myself.
    @timpson– i am interested, i guess i just haven’t been motivated enough. i have seen the hard work that goes into an FA, and i have a great deal of respect for it. my motivation to do an FA is definitely growing, and as jamie said, that would be leading the way.”

    Angie is one of the most driven climbers I know, and I also know she appreciates that kind of constructive criticism, as it makes her better.

    I have thought long and hard about the perception of bias, and I am generally very careful about the words I choose. I think living in Boulder gives me a unique perspective on things and there are many details that are lost to the greater audience.

    Having climbed on both problems, I think The Game is a much better line and I’m not sure why being critical of the quality of Monkey Wedding is a slight on Paul. It seems that if someone has a different opinion, you’d rather not hear it? Again, let’s not forget that Fred did the FA 8 years ago and graded it V14.

    And finally, Livin’ Large, which is far more impressive than both problems, remains unrepeated.

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  12. anon August 30, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    evidence?
    careful with your words?
    come on.

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  13. SP August 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    B3 – I find a similiarity between your comments and those by Jens at 8a. Almost like you would say anything to get more traffic to your website. Whether or not a problem is “impressive” or “proud” is a completely subjective thought, so I’m not sure why the critique is necessary. Paul was psyched to get on this problem before his trip, so kudos to him for realizing his goal.

    In regards to grades, it’s bouldering. One persons v10 is anothers v12.

    I also find it inappropriate to call a problem soft or over-graded, if the person making the critical comments has not sent the line. Any argument or opinion seems empty and inane at best.

    And since when does Fred Nicole assign grades to his FA’s? Granted this was done almost a decade ago, but I don’t ever recall Fred grading this problem.

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  14. Devil's Advocate August 30, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    “Additionally, Paul has only climbed one problem graded V15, Terremer, and Daniel has climbed several, so his understanding and experience at the grade is better.”

    Just to throw it out there, directly from their 8a cards:

    Daniel – Desperanza, Terramer, In Search Of Time Lost, Jade.

    Paul – Terramer, Jade.

    Not exactly a ton of difference between either of them and certainly not “several” problems. Two of Daniel’s are unrepeated FA’s by the way.

    All in all a very pointless argument to be having. It just doesn’t matter.

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  15. b3 August 30, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    It saddens me that you don’t think I am simply that interested in climbing. I blogged when no one went to my site, and I will continue to do so if no one does. I don’t blog for everyone else. I do it for my own selfish reasons.

    Correct me if I’m wrong. You’re argument is that if there is a subjective thought about something, no one should give their opinion? Critique is unnecessary, especially when backed by information, for subjective things, like art, literature, etc?
    Is it unnecessary because we don’t understand it as well as Paul? Wouldn’t we understand it better if we asked questions?

    You’re next argument is that if I haven’t climbed the problem I haven’t earned the right to comment on the grade. I didn’t climb the problems I set for ABS Nationals, but I did climb on them, and the result of the comp depended upon my opinion of the difficulty. I disagree that I can’t give an opinion. I also think everyone has the right to give an opinion. Do you think they don’t?

    And finally, I was pointing out that Fred did the FA 8 years ago and found it to be easier than Paul, which begs the question, why did Paul uprate it, among other things?

    Although I encourage the criticism of myself, I don’t understand it. I have given countless reasons how being critical of top climbers ascents helps the progression of climbing, but I would like to know what evidence there is that not being critical helps, which seems to be your argument?

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    • SP August 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

      Certainly everyone is entitled to their own opinions and thoughts, and they can post them freely. I’m not arguing against this, simply stating that it is poor taste in this scenario.

      I am pointing out that you have something against Paul, or at least it appears that way. The guy just realized a long term goal of his, a hard send at the top of the sport, and without anyone asking for your opinion, you trash the problem, the send, and the climber. How is any of that “constructive” or helping with “progression?”

      Should problems be graded based on internet conjecture by those who have touched or tried the problem? Some problems get upgraded, some problems downgraded, and the only way that should be accomplished is by those repeating the entire line.

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  16. optimistic August 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    come on y’all. lets just go top rope together and have fun. remember? when climbing was fun? remember!?

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    • Steve Schultz August 30, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

      love me a good toprope….

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  17. b3 August 30, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Thinking about things and constructing arguments is more fun than climbing, for me, especially when I have a rest day.

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  18. Justin August 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    I didn’t paint the Mona Lisa so I have no right to critique it, I wasn’t playing for the Yankees so I have no right to critique the Manager….BULL SHIT!!!

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  19. joeyjoejoe August 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    I’m with SP. The critique in this instance just seems to be in poor taste.

    Now, to avoid seeming biased myself, I also thought it was also in terribly poor taste for Paul Robinson to say on his blog that he was “unimpressed” with Nalle’s “Livin Large”. I completely agree with Jamie that “Livin Large” looks “more impressive” (certainly the hardest-looking problem I’ve seen), and for another top climber to so casually dismiss this amazing boulder was, simply, in very poor taste.

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  20. the tall one August 31, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    I am pretty sure that Daniel was also under the assumption that Monkey Wedding was around the grade of 8C. He did try the line his entire last trip to Rocklands and did not send the line. I do not think he would say that it is not 8c.

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  21. dont forget what you wrote in the past August 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    Hey B3, it is VERYYYYYYYY interesting for your quote “Fred Nicole has left his mark here, with such classics as Nutsa V12, Madiba V14 and the unrepeated Monkey Wedding V15.” from your last trip to Rocklands. I think EVRYONE should take a look at your insane hypocrisy…

    http://www.b3bouldering.com/2009/07/29/day-4/

    the post for anyone that wants to see!

    and more lower in the post “Monkey Wedding V15 climbs behind the tree on the left side of the boulder, Nutsa V12 climbs the right arete.”

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  22. b3 August 31, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    There is absolutely nothing hypocritical about this at all. Your argument is illogical. How is it hypocritical to write that Monkey Wedding is V15 and then state a fact that Fred graded it V14? Read what I wrote.

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  23. b4 August 31, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    “It saddens me that you don’t think I am simply that interested in climbing”

    “Thinking about things and constructing arguments is more fun than climbing, for me,”

    lolz, teh internetz.

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  24. ejw August 31, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    Constructive debate shouldn’t be stifled by the hero worship of the climbing community. I have come across several debates about Adam Ondra wherein anyone that chose to question or dissent from the prevailing opinion was instantly slandered, quickly and without warrant in most cases. This case seems similar, as have others in the past I have encountered. I have not seen any disrespectful or insulting comments from B3 (Jamie) in regards to this situation, despite the continued inference otherwise. When did harmless criticism come to equate a baseless personal vendetta against someone?

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  25. dont forget what you wrote in the past September 1, 2010 at 3:26 am #

    ok buddy dont get all butt hurt. you wrote it as 8c so why does it change all of a sudden. were you reporting untrue news!?

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  26. Phunk September 1, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    How do some of you guys climb at all with such thin skin?

    Incredible.

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  27. andy September 1, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    this cracks me up. Its a blog, if you don’t agree with what it says don’t read it. unless you have nothing better to do than talk shit on other people. i think there is nothing wrong with commenting on a problem. I am willing to bet every one at some point has come along a boulder they thought just wasn’t that cool when every one else thought it was the bees knees. just cause its hard doesn’t make it awesome. Let the man(jamie) have a voice, let every one have a voice, until some one is called out by name and then bashed, its all just nonsense. oh and isn’t Jade V14, hence the only one V15.

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  28. b4b3 September 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    i think, quite obviously, what we, as a climbing community need, is a “Jamie Emerson approved climbs” list. Sends, however otherwise noteworthy, of climbs not on this list should not be reported.

    One of the top climbers in the world climbing what is apparently one of the hardest climbs in the world is not worth writing about because Jamie thinks it is “Having seen Monkey Wedding I was not impressed. The rock is good, but it’s low and contrived”

    Now I have not seem the problem is person and the “contrivedness” is somewhat difficult to tell from the video, but I’m not sure that I saw the “low” part… perhaps Jamie, you should spend sometime back in school, or looking at the dictionary to learn the meaning of words, such especially the short ones like “low”

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  29. Narc September 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    First off I want to make clear that I appreciate the opinion of anyone who takes the time to comment here. I think the B3 hating has gotten a bit out of hand though. Jamie is one person with one opinion. In this instance in particular I think his opinion was especially worth sharing since he was pretty much the only person commenting that had seen and tried the problem in question.

    That said, after seeing the video I’d be curious to know more about why Jamie says the problem is “low and contrived”. It certainly starts low, but it doesn’t seem to stick to an absurdly low or contrived line.

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  30. witness protection September 10, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    it’s all out of hand.
    reapin’ and sowin’, that’s all.

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