Type: Boulder, Alpine
FA: Bill Patton, late '90s.
Page Views: 5,403 total · 47/month
Shared By: Pat McGinn on Sep 29, 2009
Admins: Luc-514, Kris Fiore

You & This Route


23 Opinions

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Description

I spent a number of days trying this route and was shut down by weather.

This is the climb to do in Smuggs. It starts off on a two positive crimps at about head height. You make a move up to a terrible two finger pocket that nearly ripped all of my skin off. Then slap your feet on terrible edges and smear on the left part of the arete. Make a very difficult move up to a terrible hold on the lip. Slap a large bucket and finish.

Protection

Crashpad and a spotter

Photos

Chris Duca
Downingtown, PA
Chris Duca   Downingtown, PA
FA: Bill Patton, late '90s. Sep 30, 2009
Jeremiah Johnson
Contoocook, NH
  V7+
Jeremiah Johnson   Contoocook, NH
  V7+
Felt really hard for the grade to me. That polished schist... Feb 25, 2010
Colin R
Ottawa, ON
  V8
Colin R   Ottawa, ON
  V8
If you can do this problem you will have some street cred in VT Apr 8, 2010
Lanky
Tired
 
Lanky   Tired
 
This description is a little odd: the pocket is definitely sharp, but you can easily get four fingers in it, and it's even crimpable.

Also - anyone think that the right exit (which I've heard referred to as "the Improbable Problem") is worth it's own entry? I think it's probably a touch harder than Impossible, but not a full grade harder. Jun 1, 2010
Chris Duca
Downingtown, PA
Chris Duca   Downingtown, PA
Julian--

"The Improbable Problem" is a separate problem unto itself, not just an alternate ending our right. "T.I.P." starts on the steep arete/roof around the corner and to the right of "The Impossible Problem". It is an independent line that ends a few feet to the right of the prominent prow. FA--Ethan Peck, 2004. Jun 2, 2010
Lanky
Tired
 
Lanky   Tired
 
Cool. Thanks for the info Chris. I assume it starts sitting on the big block just to the right of Impossible and climbs slopers up the arete/roof feature. Jun 2, 2010
Colin R
Ottawa, ON
  V8
Colin R   Ottawa, ON
  V8
So it seems the sharp crystal pocket has broken as of two weeks ago. I can't say that it suprises me this has happened as it had been flexing for years. Regardless, what remains is a crimp that isn't quite as good and the consensus seems to be that it's now a solid V8. I would agree with this as I was working on it today and the moves felt very "campus-like" and more desperate than before. Aug 8, 2010
marlon  
Chris -
Actually I did the FA of the Improbable. Ethan was going to call it the Impeckable if he had gotten the FA. Bummer to hear that the hold on the Impossible broke but pretty amazing that it lasted as long as it did. Oct 19, 2010
guy bon
 
guy bon  
 
I've found that if you are on the tall side, alternate beta makes this considerably easier. Instead of making the move to the broken pocket first, I use the starting hold as a gaston and crank up left hand to the crimp on the lip... Sep 11, 2011
Lanky
Tired
 
Lanky   Tired
 
The former pocket apparently broke again. Sounds brick hard now. Sep 30, 2011
guy bon
 
guy bon  
 
re-sent this a couple days ago after the complete disappearance of the flexi-pocket/crimp. Doesn't seem any harder for the taller folks! Nov 4, 2011
Morgan
Thump and Forest Thump on the other end of the boulder are the problems that are no longer doable. A large boulder that fell off the deep end buttress is now pasted to the face right where the line of "Thump" was.
Primate is still intact, but may be slightly contrived now. Dec 28, 2012
Colin R
Ottawa, ON
  V8
Colin R   Ottawa, ON
  V8
The hold has broken yet again from my understanding and is complete crap now. There's no way it is V7 anymore.... Sep 13, 2013
eddysamson
  V8+
eddysamson  
  V8+
I've done this a few times since the holds in question broke. I start with left and right hands on crimps with NO feet and campus to the crimp rail under the broken pocket with my right hand. Then I campus again with my left to the crimp on the lip. Get feet then finish as it always has. Apr 28, 2014
eddysamson
  V8+
eddysamson  
  V8+
Can we get a grade update on this? I don't think you can call it V7 when it was called a 7 before the key hold broke. Most people's submitted grades on here are from before the break. I've personally struggled on it and seen other strong climbers struggle on it enough to warrant the V8 grade. Jun 18, 2014
The grade is height dependent at this point (which is sorta lame). I can keep my foot on the low left rail until hitting the lip. I think my fingers would explode trying to campus those crimps! Jul 4, 2014
Ian McAfee
Concord, NH
  V8
Ian McAfee   Concord, NH
  V8
Any beta after getting the lip? Start hand holds seem to be a bit too high to use as feet. Aug 31, 2014
eddysamson
  V8+
eddysamson  
  V8+
I use the left starting hold Ian. I've also seen someone else campus it but that guy climbs very hard. Aug 31, 2014
eddysamson
  V8+
eddysamson  
  V8+
Here's a video of the campus beta for the start, if the high right foot I use doesn't work for you, you can try to campus a 3rd time to the small sidepull.

youtube.com/watch?v=kDfxcWZ… May 16, 2015
Bill Patton 1
Underhill
Bill Patton 1   Underhill
I've done this problem at each stage in its life. The pocket was originally huge and quite sharp with small pebbles that would roll around under your fingers. There was also a small 'tooth' right on the arete that you could (if you were flexible) get a left toe onto before even reaching for the pocket. This setup a sweet static move from the pocket to the next high left hand. When I was first shown the problem I was told that was as high as it went - from there on it was "impossible". Hence the name. A few years after I sent it, someone comfortized it by grinding off the rough edge and prying out the pebbles. I think this accelerated the eventual disintegration of the pocket. Second gen version was just after the pocket had broken - there was still a pretty good edge remaining. The current (and pretty stable version) has only edges left and no tooth on the arete. IMO (I'm 5 10) it is quite a bit harder than the og. The OG version was a clean consensus v7 and was the problem I tried to use as a benchmark for all the other graded problems I did in the notch. For someone of my advanced age and height I'd give it an 8+. Jun 15, 2015
Graham O.
  V8+
Graham O.  
  V8+
Cool climb, the breakage has revealed a cool new hold! Oct 10, 2016
boofs ankles
Burlington, VT
boofs ankles   Burlington, VT
not trying to start any mountain project beef, but why is this considered "the climb to do in smuggs"? Its sharp, not very aesthetic, and breaks all the time. I don't mean any disrespect to bill patton or anyone else who helped develop it, as it's certainly very hard, the description just seems misleading. May 9, 2018
Kris Fiore
Burlington, VT
 
Kris Fiore   Burlington, VT  
 
@boofs-ankles truthfully, I think the description just hasn't been updated since it broke so many times. I agree the quality of the route has declined since it was established and I would also add sandbagged to your list of descriptors if we're going with a V8 rating. 20 years ago it may have been classic but probably not anymore except in nostalgia. May 9, 2018
Bill Patton 1
Underhill
Bill Patton 1   Underhill
To the best of my knowledge I'm the only one who has done this problem in each of the variations since day one. Imo the very first version (had a small beak for a low foot on the arete and a solid sharp pocket) had the most beautiful flow of any variation. The current version is balls hard to it was for this old man a huge stroke of luck to send. Because of the history of the problem, the difficulty and the uniquely shitty shist crimps and crappy feet I would still give it 5 stars and suggest that it make it the list of must do's for the grade. Oct 2, 2018
I did a variation started left foot on the ledge, right hand Gaston and left hand on a tall crimp, crossed right hand to the lip and topped out. Felt like v5 or v6 Oct 7, 2018