|The famous photo. Bryce on The Breeching Whale Project|
I’ve been seeing pictures of this one boulder for five years, since the original was posted to 0friction and even though I spent much of my free time wandering Prescott National Forest, I never found it. Not until yesterday.
When we all began building Beta, Chris Hahn and the owner of the gym, Bryce Snyder started to talk up The Breeching Whale. “It’s hard,” they said, and featured uniquely for granite, especially of the kind found around Prescott.
Matt Gentile and I wanted to go, but with winter in full swing and a probably wet top out, we couldn’t get anyone to draw up a map. Not until last week, when I brought my computer into work and got Bryce to point out the area. He wasn’t sure where The Breeching Whale was though. Matt and I were already planning on driving down on Wednesday and as soon as I mentioned the trip to Ethan Gia, he and Andrew Rothner were on board. Soon there were five of us planning to drive for two hours for a single problem whose exact location was still somewhat of a mystery.
|Ethan scoping out the line|
Then on Tuesday night, Andrew Sweeney came into Beta. Sweeney had the previous highpoint on The Breeching Whale and knew the road there a little better. I got out my phone, and pulled up the boulders. He pointed right to it. Bryce agreed and I dropped a pin.
|Matt on the right hand crimp|
|Matt setting up to hit the crimp|
|High heel hooking|
Photo: Danny Mauz
Soon the pads were organized and Andrew, Ethan, Matt and I all had out shoes on. The problem starts high on a right hand pinch and a crimp undercling and makes a couple of fun, technical moves up to a right hand crimp before moving out to the arête, up to a good crimp, a fin, and finally a jug and the top.
The crux of this problem is to hand-heel match and bump over to the good crimp below the fin. I took the fall with my heel up a few times, which at about 10 or 12 feet, was pretty scary. It’s not often that you fall flat on your back from that height.
Andrew, fresh off a season in Hueco, sent The Breeching Whale quickly. He named it Dose of Thunder and gave it a solid 10 points on the V-scale.
|Andrew on The FA|