The hardest 12d at Rumney, Big Kahuna climbs the steep bulge to the left of Technosurfing. Look for the anchors partway up the cliff on the left side of the wall.
Stick clip the first bolt. The climb starts with a surprisingly hard inside corner. Next, jugs abound and lead to the base of the intimidating bulge. From here, climb on progressively worsening holds until the last bolt. This bolt may be difficult to clip; many people move left and match on a crimp in order to clip.
The last sequence is the crux. Expect a deadpoint to an edge. This edge is flat and probably a bit sloping, so sticking and holding it presents a considerable challenge.
Big Kahuna is just long enough for boulders to shy away from, and just powerful enough to give route climbers trouble. Therefore, a tick of Big Kahuna is an elusive one. Lately, people have been continuing from the chains to the top of Technosurfing. This offers more climbing, but adds no real difficulty.
By chris deulen From: Merriam, Kansas Sep 7, 2009 rating: 5.12c7b+27IX-E6 6b
I had heard a lot of great things about this route; it sounded stellar, exciting, and worth a good effort. In hindsight (not that I could've known), I regret wasting time even thinking about it, let alone wasting part of a day climbing on it. If this route were at any other local crag in the US, it would be totally worth while. But at Waimea this thing is j.v. material. It's "little" brother to the left, Tsunami, is about a 150,007 times better. Tsunami is more aesthetic, is longer, has better moves, is WAY harder, and is far more worthy of having draws hung on it year round. Big K is a slutty one-move wonder. Oh yeah, and the bottom's not that hard either.
Feel free to begin the flaming.
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Sep 7, 2009 rating: 5.13a7c+29IX+E6 6c
well i do like Big K but i would totally agree that Tsunami is way better, but not harder... i still havent sent Big K and i did Tsunami in a couple tries with little to no drama... i think that means that im not super strong (as for Kahuna's crux) but im good with technical climbing (which helps on Tsunami)... If you have a short time at the crag pick a route that fits your style and have at it...
By Jay Knower Administrator From: Plymouth, NH Sep 7, 2009
12c Chris? Yeah right. It might be 12c in your home state of Minnesota, but out here, we've always called this very hard 12d. Are you saying this is the same difficulty as Whip Tide, Restless, etc.? I don't agree that it is.
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Sep 7, 2009 rating: 5.13a7c+29IX+E6 6c
haha, wow, i WISH i was so strong to feel this thing was 12c... nice work WALKING a really hard route!
By chris deulen From: Merriam, Kansas Sep 9, 2009 rating: 5.12c7b+27IX-E6 6b
A. Lee, thanks. I wish I had enjoyed it as much as I hoped I would.
B. Jay, I'm not from Minnesota; though that would be something I would brag about (I just lived there last year; great state!). Sandbagging is a sport out there for sure.
C. Yes, 12c. I've been on Tsunami like 10 times now and still have had no luck (you can email me any secret beta...). I guess I would also call it a sandbag, and definitely weigh it in at 5.12d. I thought Restless Native was harder than Big K (and about 150,008 times better), even though I didn't flash Big K. Haven't been on Whip Tide yet; haven't been here long enough! But it looks sweet.
D. I love this crag, and Big K is a cool climb, just not nearly as cool as everything else here. Really, there are 2 hard moves: clipping the crux draw, and deadpointing to the jug, which just isn't enough to constitute a 12d in my book. Hope I can climb w/ you guys sometime!
While we're here, having watched Chris show this route who's boss, I think he's using different beta than many/most. See, for example, the photo above of the unknown climber. He's using the better hold out left and making a long deadpoint. Chris used worse holds that made the move shorter (he also used the lower foot). Looks like a totally different move that way.
Seemed like technical 11 minus corner to a great rest to a V5 bulge. It is two hard moves; one being the clip the other being the big move.
One of funnerest dyno's I've done on a sport climb.
By James Otey From: NH Jun 29, 2010 rating: 5.13a7c+29IX+E6 6c
I would say 11a techy corner to a kneebar rest to a V6 dyno/deadpoint that has to be stuck while slightly pumped.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Jun 29, 2010
I think the crux bolt got a lot harder to clip when Ward moved it to the left. I was going to replace the original with a glue-in and he offered to do it while he had the drill. He has a pretty good ape index, so it probably seemed fine where he placed it. I climbed the crux more to the right than most people do now and easily clipped the old location from the good pocket that is shared with Techno
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Jun 29, 2010 rating: 5.13a7c+29IX+E6 6c
james otey about a week before sending...
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Jun 28, 2011
I seconded Ward Smith while he did a trad link up from the top of Big Kahuna to the Aquarius anchors. It was good. You might want to take a look at it on TR first, as it was a little run out. I don't remember exactly, but I think the gear was a few wires, maybe a small cam or 2.
After getting close on this (but not sending yet... fingers crossed), I think this little thread is missing a few key points. First of all, there are several ways of doing the crux. My preferred beta (again, no send yet, so I know I'm on shaky ground here), is to do the crux without clipping the crux bolt, and then clip at waist level from the good RH just above the deadpoint hold. This makes the bulge seem no harder than V5. It's not even really skipping a clip, since you clip at waist level, and the fall is fine (in fact, my buddy Tom fumbled that clip, made a few more moves, and took a bigger-but-still-safe fall).
Doing it Otey's way demands more power-endurance. You need to make more moves in order to shuffle your hands left and clip, then you need to do a longer deadpoint than if your left hand were on the right-most of the three crimps. It makes the route longer AND harder, which might explain the divergence of opinion on the grade.
Besides differences in beta, keep in mind that Deulen has a long reach and eats crimps for breakfast. This route totally plays to his strengths, and it looks like he read the beta uniquely. I hereby disqualify Deulen from commenting on the grade of this route given such glaring biases in his perspective.
Personal rating: 13b (until I send it, at which point I will downgrade it to 12b on 8a.nu). Seriously, though, I think the 12d/13a rating is dead-on. 13a if you are short and clip early, 12d if you are tall and clip at your waist.
By M Sprague Administrator From: New England Oct 8, 2012
When I did it I stayed further to the right in the crux then the way most seem to do it now. From the good left side pull I would shoot up and right to a slopey edge, match and then cross over with the left, just reaching a small sidepull (I'm 5'8")and then pop the right into the pocket shared with Techno. That was my clipping hold before the crux bolt got moved left. I would then traverse the seam and head up. This beta might be sketchy with the moved bolt, but it seemed more techy and less powerfull, which worked for me.
By James Otey From: NH Oct 8, 2012 rating: 5.13a7c+29IX+E6 6c
The reason I do it the way I do is because I'm tall and the high foot is scrunchy for me. The other method is probably better if you're shorter.
By Jay Knower Administrator From: Plymouth, NH Oct 10, 2012
FWIW, I have always used the beta that Otey displays in the video above. That beta was passed down to me from Ward Smith, and I have tried to pass it along to anyone who would listen. (Yeah, I'm THAT guy.) Ward said that if you're 5'10" and above, you should use the beta; those under that height use the high right foot.
With the lunge beta, it's so cool to hit that upper hold at the perfect deadpoint moment. It takes precision and timing, not just strength. I guess that's why I always had a fondness toward that beta.
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Oct 10, 2012 rating: 5.13a7c+29IX+E6 6c
i used the beta jay passed down to me for a long time with no luck (though it is very good beta)... i then switched to the "short person" beta with the high right foot even though i am 6'2" this worked better for me... so try it a few ways before you settle on your beta...
fun fact: I put in twice the number of tries on this than i have on any other route even though the grade suggests that its not my hardest send (it was)... it might be short but it is HARD!
By lee hansche Administrator From: goffstown, nh Oct 13, 2012 rating: 5.13a7c+29IX+E6 6c
oh, and i do skip the clip til after the bulge, i am tall and i am strong on crimps (though admittedly weak when it comes to campus moves which is the kind of power i think you need to make the route feel 5.12), i think it is fully 13a...