Desperate New Crack Climb in Colorado

Question Your Progression on Tick Dome in Colorado. The visible part of the crack is about 80 feet long.

Question Your Progression on Tick Dome in Colorado. The visible part of the crack is about 80 feet long. Photo courtesy Jason Haas.

8/27/13 - Jason Haas has redpointed a possible 5.14 overhanging hand and finger crack in the South Platte area of Colorado, after a year and a half of work on the project. Question Your Progression arcs through an overhanging 80-foot scoop of granite on the south shoulder of Tick Dome, near the remote Big Rock Candy Mountain.

Haas, who runs Fixed Pin Publishing and is working on the second volume of a new guidebook to the Platte, said Question Your Progression is "the most aesthetic (and difficult) route I'll ever establish. I couldn't picture a better single-pitch route in my imagination."

The route begins with fingers and tight hands in a corner, and then slashes to the right as the wall "starts to roll over like a crashing wave." The crux is 25 feet of sustained finger locks on a 40-degree overhanging wall. Haas placed all of his pro on the lead for the redpoint; there is no fixed gear. The route is also guarded by a long drive down a rough dirt road and an hour-long approach.

How hard is it? "That seems to be the first question everyone has," Haas said. "Funny how it's not 'How good is it? Is it worth doing?' In my opinion, it's a significant step up from The Five Year Plan (13c) in the Flatirons, Home on the Range (13b/c) in Vedauwoo, Skinny Love (13c) in the Platte, and honestly I felt it was harder than Stingray (5.13d) in Joshua Tree. If I'm saying it's harder than Stingray, I guess I'm putting my neck out there and calling it 5.14. Really, I'd love to take a page from Sharma's book and just not rate it, but I guess that's not going to fly since I'm writing the guidebook to the area."

Haas said he "burned through" about 30 belayers during his many attempts on the route. "I almost sent it a year ago, but broke the fingers in my right hand when I caught this kid's head when he took a 30-foot head-first ground fall at the base of the route," he added. "Coming back from that was hard, as I lost a lot of fitness and my fingers couldn't deal with the pain of the locks very well."

In 2010, Haas established another possible 5.14 in the South Platte, climbing a roof route called Compremetido on Dome Rock. That route was repeated by Rob Pizem a few weeks later. But it's not all desperate new lines: During his guidebook research, Haas has repeated many obscure routes in the Platte and put up others, including an 11-pitch 5.9 on Big Rock Candy Mountain, established with Greg Miller in July.

Date of ascent: August 24, 2013

Source: Jason Haas


Previous Comments

SUPER CONGRATULATIONS Haas and thanks for all the hard work and dedication in opening up an INCREDIBLY RAD LOOKING...NEW...SPLITTER CRACK LINE!! I will never understand sour peoples overly critical nature? What could there possibly be bad to say about Jason being PSYCHED and STOKED about doing a wonderful new First Ascent?? I have been climbing hard for over 25years and have not even heard of some of the other routes mentioned nor and the ones I have heard have been called different grades by everyone because GRADES are just someones OPINION on the difficulty like why is it such a BIG DEAL? Someone thinks Five Year Plan is 5.14a.001 while placing gear and another guy does it on top rope and said it felt like 5.13b WHO CARES just BE PSYCHED, STOKED and HAPPY for YOURSELF and HAPPY for someone else who had the vision, dedication and heart to open SUCH a BEAUTIFUL looking line for everyone else to climb on forever and ever Amen! Seriously people I bet someone with small fingers will call it 5.13c and someone else with big fat fingers will call it 5.14a/b WHO CARES its just a suggestion...GOOD for Haas for putting his neck out there and making the 5.14 suggestion and shame on any egotistical sandbagging down-graders who do not (humbly) suggest it might be easier or feel easier to them :-/ No need for anyone to be jerks but if you want to be a real man and go repeat it in FINE STYLE and then politely and humbly suggest that you feel it to be easier than 5.14 than RIGHT ON!! To bad most men's ego's these days are driven by chest thumping I am a bigger bad ass than you I just want to go repeat it so I can call it 5.13d and then I will feel like a real man=LOSER, LAME SAUCE!! People with motives like that ought to just hang up their shoes, NO? Its like we all need to check ourselves from time to time and ask ourselves why do we climb and what are our real motives for trying our hardest? Is it for the beauty and creativity of the natural line and sense of personal achievement OR is it so we can fluff our resumes or sandbag our brothers and sisters into some kind of primitive, egotistical and immature grade war or I did it in less try's than you?? ;o)~

Be Kind~Unwind - 08/29/2013 1:26:14

Typical bunch of bitchy climber comments. So sad to see people can't just say well done. Cool looking route Jason! Down with the nay Sayers!

Tim - 08/28/2013 6:40:45

He has just red-pointed it, that is why he is grading it. Reading comprehension anyone???

payAttention - 08/28/2013 1:44:36

Badass! Poor style grading climbs he haasnt (lol) done yet I'm sure it's WAY harder than Cobra Crack. Still, this crack looks and sounds awesome! Haas to be one of the nicest hard cracks on the front range. Great job Jason!

Daaaammmnnnnn! - 08/27/2013 7:51:11

Wonder how it compares to cobra crack in squamish?

Ruby Tuesday - 08/27/2013 3:35:03

"I almost sent it a year ago, but broke the fingers in my right hand when I caught this kid's head when he took a 30-foot head-first ground fall at the base of the route," Freaking heroic!

tradguy - 08/27/2013 12:08:46