I am sure you are saying "it's summer, that's not possible".. Well if you are syked you can make anything happen.
Jim Merli is a local legend of climbing and last week his myth grew large with his addition of L' Étoile du Nord. This was one of the least great projects left in Minnesota and probably harder than anything that I've seen from here to New England (*yes including the hard stuff from ARKANSAS). Am I talking it up? hells yes. I've been trying the stand since October 2007 extensively. I can't do all the moves. In other words its hard, and was the standard of hard climbing in the Midwest until Jim raised the bar once again.
L' Étoile du Nord FA- Jim Merli from Jim Merli on Vimeo.
Jim's Video sums up 10 years of trying into 1 perfect send..
Here is a video of me failing… so you can see how hard the moves are…
This is me trying over the last 3 years.
SO HARD., from Nicros Club-JA on Vimeo.
Jim is not saying a grade and being very Sharma about by saying it's ungraded but harder than Amateur. The full story and grade are much more to this problem. (all grades that follow are my opinion after trying and doing some of the moves) From the sit you climb a hard and sharp 3 move V9/10 into the crux (which I cannot hold the positions) of 2 moves that I'll estimate around a 2 move V13 then you continue into the start of Amateur which is 3 moves of hard V12. This is a beast of a climb and for a long time I never thought it would get done.
When I started climbing in 2004/5 one of the first areas I went to was Sawmill. Jim, Brian, myself and a few others headed up to climb. I learned a lot from Jim that day. Jim is calculated, smart, focused, and devoted. During that trip Jim worked the sit to Amateur but had a hard time with the crux link between the 2 sections. I was in awe of his power and how small the holds were.
I'm not sure when Jim started working on the start but I guarantee that he spent at least 10 years trying it. His dedication was finally rewarded and now I'm interested what will get done with Jim's free time.
Thanks Jim! I'm syked to work on it!
5 weeks ago