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Unicorn Brothel


This is another bouldering spot on Oahu. (Thanks to Matt Lutey for snapping this photo.)


This spot has been named Unicorn Brothel. It’s tucked away in the woods and has one of hardest bouldering problems (“problem” = a bouldering route) on the island. Over the course of a month or so towards the end of last year, rock climbers on Oahu were venturing out on an almost daily basis. The mission was to be the first person to complete the boulder problem. I went out with the crew one day to check it out.


The day started with a short hike out to the boulders.


We had to dodge these things on the way out.


First stop was the warm up boulder where we would loosen up. Hi Phil.


Phil’s dog.


Justin sets up on the warm up boulder.


Phil gets in a warm up.


Nancy grabs the arête.


Sarah Cookson was in town.


3 inches shy. (No, that is not what “she said”.)


After a quick warm up we hiked up the hill to the Unicorn Brothel.


We set up the pads and the got settled in.


Then Phil shredded his thumb moving a rock. Hard to explain this one. Well, see, the guys noticed this big rock that was flat on top. It weighed maybe 150 pounds so three of them picked it up to move it 10 feet closer to where everyone was sitting. Then when they put it down, Phil’s thumb got stuck under it and then he shredded it. But at least now they had a table. (Which someone then sat on and used as a seat.) Yeah, probably didn’t need to explain that one.


The pups settled in as well.


This is the project the guys have been working on. It starts deep under the boulder. The holds are tiny.


You work your way up the overhung face of the rock. You’re hanging by just your fingertips.


Higher up on the rock, the holds get worse.


You must then somehow get your body over the lip.


No one completed the problem on this day. But, Hiro (pictured above) recently completed the project. When you are the first person to complete a route, you get to name it. The problem is now named “Spider Tears” (V10).

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This story was last modified on March 25, 2013. (Originally published in January 2013.)

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