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Kevin Jorgeson making the second ascent of Transporter Room (5.12/v5 X), the highball boulder problem on the Grandpa Peabody established by Dale Bard in the late '80's.
Photo by archive Kevin Jorgeson
Kevin Jorgeson making the first ascent of the super highball Ambrosia at Bishop, California, USA
Photo by BigUp Productions

Kevin Jorgeson & Transporter Room, repeat two decades on

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American climber Kevin Jorgeson has carried out the probable second ascent of Transporter Room, the highball boulder problem on the Grandpa Peabody at the Buttermilks, USA, established by Dale Bard in the late '80's.

Top American boulderer Kevin Jorgeson went on an interesting trip down vertical memory lane the other day and repeated Transporter Room, a problem which is recognised as having played an important role in the development of the highball phenomena - soloing extremely high problems - in the world-famous Buttermilks bouldering area close to Bishop, California.

The problem has a chequered history and had been originally been rap-bolted by Dale Bard during his attempts to free the moves in the mid 1980's. On returning to the car park the very same day this action was contested by other climbers and Bard immediately returned to the Grandpa Peabbody and, despite never have linked all the moves previously, freed the line, solo. The bolts were later chopped by Tom Herbert and this episode clearly indicated the way future ascents were going to be carried out at the Buttermilks: bolt free.

More than two decades have passed and in the meeantime the Grandpa Peabody has evolved into one of the biggest and baddest boulders - not only in the Buttermilks - with some seriously high and hard problems such as Lucid Dreaming (Paul Robinson 2010, FB8C+) and Amrosia (Kevin Jorgeson 2009) to name just two of the most recent and most famous.

Like Transporter Room these were freed, solo, after the moves had been worked on toprope and while Jorgeson's recent repeat certainly isn't in the same difficulty league, his conclusive remark is worth noting: "Honestly, I'm a little ashamed it's taken me this long to repeat Transporter Room! I don't mean that in a pretentious way either. I'm honestly disappointed in myself! It is a right of passage to complete the testpieces of the past...a nod of the hat if you will to the visionaries before us. Every time we (climbers under 30) start to think we are the shit, let us not forget: we stand (humbly and gratefully) on the shoulders of the climbers before us. Without their vision and balls, we would be nowhere near where we are today."

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