Steven Roth and Ethan Pringle Go Big

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Touchstone athletes Steven Roth and Ethan Pringle claimed the 3rd and 4th ascents of Alex Honnold’s highball Too Big to Flail at Bishop, California’s Buttermilks. DPM magazine photographer and gym favorite Anthony Lapomardo chronicled the historic day.

The pair spent two (half days) on the line sussing out the beta on top rope and building their psyche before committing to the send, fighting both the mental crux and the weather.
A storm had been brewing on both days and offered the climbers high winds and small bouts of rain throughout each session. After the first day, both climbers rallied friends and pads for a possible ropeless attempt of the full line.

The crew managed to rally a total of 18 pads to the Luminance block for “protection” of the opening crux which was the bottom half boulder problem estimated to be V10/11. After this section, the top half finishes with a hard 5.12 slab on credit card edges, well beyond any protection the pads could offer. Pringle suggested that the problem in its entirety might be 5.13c/d.

roth climbing

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