New Hallucinogen Speed Record
Inspired by the recent first one-day ascent of the Hallucinogen Wall in Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Ryan Nelson and Jared Ogden smashed the speed record for the route, topping out in just under nine hours. The two climbed in blocks and used short-fixing techniques to keep one climber continuously leading, and they free-climbed many sections between aid placements. Last year, Nelson and Ogden freed 15 of the 16 pitches of the Hallucinogen Wall at up to 5.13a with some dangerous runouts, and Nelson free climbed the remaining pitch using modified ice tools in his hands and rock shoes on his feet.
During the speed ascent, on May 12, Nelson led the first block through pitch seven, Ogden led pitches eight through 14, and Nelson took them to the top. They finished eight hours 59 minutes after leaving the ground. The previous record, set last month by Alan Doak and Stefan Griebel, was 23 hours 39 minutes, and at least one other party had climbed the route in around 24 hours. Most traditional ascents of Colorado’s premier aid climb take two or three full days.
“We both felt inspired to be on the wall again,” Nelson said. “Seeing sections we freed and remembering how scared we really were made us smile.”