The Force | 7C Boulder problem at Camp 4 Boulders

Contributors: remus


1 recorded ascents.

Climber Style Ascent Date Suggested Grade
Jerry Moffatt Boulder | worked 1991
First ascent.

The problem, like Thriller, was high and hard all the way. We had a short ladder, so I would lean this against the wall and step off onto the problem to try the upper section. The landing was very rocky, and since this was in the days before bouldering pads, I spent some time burying wooden pallets to flatten out the ground. I soon started to get the moves sorted. When we tried it we would bring a cassette player along. At the time, we were listening to Michael Jackson’s album Thriller. There was one song in particular I would listen to while I looked at the problem, visualising the moves before an attempt. It started off:

‘The Force. It’s got a lot of power.’

It was a great line. Later, when I did the problem, I called it The Force.


Later that year, my old friend John Bachar went to The Force, got a crow bar and levered off the formerly loose flake that Mark Chapman had reinforced. He claimed the glue was unethical, and for that, he destroyed the problem. Left behind, in place of a tiny hold that gave a desperate move, there was a large flat ledge which allowed an easy reach high into the problem. The Force was changed utterly, nowhere near the problem it once was. Originally Bachar denied it, but Mark Chapman had seen him at the boulders, so he admitted it later. I was angry, frustrated and disappointed. The glue was invisible and made no difference, serving only to protect the problem. Bachar had been going through a bad time back then. The nature of climbing, always so precious to him, was changing. In Yosemite and other crags, the use of bolts was becoming widespread, threatening the traditional values of boldness and commitment that he had always championed and excelled at. He became entrenched, began to lose friendships and, perhaps, perspective. [1]


[1] Revelations (2010)