Dr Lerner Sends Dissertation, Sends V13 Project, Heads East // Zach Lerner

Last month I submitted my dissertation, defended my PhD, packed up our house, drove from Colorado to Maryland, and started a post-doc at the National Institutes of Health. It was a busy month, to say the least. Moving away from Colorado was a really tough choice. I value living close to the mountains and within driving world-class bouldering. The upside of the move, however, was that having a time limit on my stay in Colorado was highly motivating for me. There were a number of climbing projects, both sport and bouldering, that I wanted to complete before I left. So, in February and March, I made the most of my time and got to work. In my last few blog posts I wrote about two sport climbs in the Poudre canyon that I had the fortune of getting the first ascents of.

Last on the list was a boulder problem project I had been walking by for the past four years at the 420’s area in the Poudre canyon. The project added a proper start to an existing problem called One Man Army, which was originally established as a “jump start”. One Man Army climbs on immaculate Colorado granite. Establishing on left and right hand starting holds, and making one move into the start of One Man Army turned out to be quite challenging. Over the course of 6+ days and two seasons, I got shut down on that single move. With my time running out in Colorado, I made several trips down the Poudre on the days leading up to my PhD defense. No luck. I decided to make a last-ditch effort two days before my scheduled departure. With the pressure gone from a successful defense, and with perfect spring conditions, I was able to stick the move and climb to the top. The result: Swiss Army, V13.