New V13/14/15 in Minnesota?

New V13/14/15 in Minnesota?

One of the other strong men in the Minnesota bouldering scence, Nic O., provides some analysis on Jim Merli’s recent ascent of L’ Étoile du Nord.  Enjoy!

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The Hardest Boulder in the Midwest

A few weeks ago Minnesota strong man Jim Merli sent the sit start to what is one of the hardest problems in the Midwest, The Amateur(V12/13) at Sawmill Creek Dome in northern Minnesota. Jim dubbed the complete line “L’ Étoile du Nord”, french for “The Star of the North”.

Fun Day at Sawmill

This Saturday I went up to Sawmill Creek Dome on the North Shore of Lake Superior for a fun day of bouldering. It was only my second time climbing in the area. My first trip to Sawmill was a somewhat miserable affair. The weather happened to be colder than expected, with snow falling sporadically throughout the day, and I, unfortunately, had neglected to pack sufficient clothing. So I froze my ass off. For this trip the weather was much warmer, but that also meant the friction was not as good. That made some of the harder climbs even more difficult, as success on these problems can greatly depend on how well your skin can adhere to the course textures of the Anorthosite rocks. It was a lot of fun though. I got on a couple of problems I hadn’t tried before such as Absolution, a tenuous V5 high ball, and The Warmup slab. This photo is me trying out a project, which Kris Johnson nabbed the supposed FA of minutes after this photo was taken.