Ethan Pringle and the fifth ascent of Kintsugi
The 8C by Hukkataival in Red Rocks13 January 2019
After The Nest, Pringle sends another big lines in the desert
Kintsugi is a king line by Nalle Hukkataival in the area of Red Rocks, high, exposed and hard, practically the trademark of the legendary Finnish boulder.
Repeated by James Webb, Nils Favre and, just a few weeks ago by Keenan Takahashi, now comes another ascent, the fifth, thanks to Ethan Pringle.
Ethan describes in detail his trip on Kintsugi from his instagram page:
“I’m through the roof amped to have ticked this life-list boulder. It has it all- pleasing features, bullet rock, committing moves up high, on a big, beautiful block that’s far from the road. When I first saw photos of Nalle Hukkataival on it, I knew I just HAD to do it someday. But going into this trip, I had kind of low expectations for actually sending it. I thought it would take a lot more time.
I tried to keep an open mind, and remember that climbing a boulder this hard is always a process. Then, after just a few top-rope sessions with Facundo Langbehn, I figured out some micro-beta that helped me link the crux, using a variation of the ninja-toe-catch-method Nils Favre used to send it. It’s a crazy, comp-style move, that’s oh-so satisfying to stick! And it basically allows you to climb the crux with a third as many moves... Now I just needed to pull the rope and execute with 100% commitment. I had butterflies.
Yesterday, on my fourth session, I dispatched the rig on my first ropeless effort. The further I got through the crux, the more surprised I was, but I kept fighting and somehow managed to stay on the wall! It was awesome to have the support of so many friends up there, and share the experience with all of them. Definitely one of my proudest sends, ever.
I was lucky enough to be able to use the Nils toe-catch, and lucky enough to work on Kintsugi with a friend who’s psyche and creativity I could feed off. FOR ME, it felt a lot easier than The Nest, and even a dash easier than Meadowlark in its previous state. I think a lot of the difficulty, lay in the committing nature and height of the crux.
Here my advice: don’t chase grades, chase king lines. Try what inspires you AND intimidates you. The fun, is in talking yourself into the possibility of doing something you previously thought impossible, by continuing to suspend your disbelief, and continuing to try. Eventually, you’ll be convinced it’s possible. Do that once, and you’ll be chasing that feeling forever.”