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On Sunday, April 16, Brooke Raboutou and Drew Ruana announced impressive ticks in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
Raboutou began the day with a first-go ascent of Jade (V14) during only her third session on the problem.
“Jade has always been a bucket list climb for me, but one I thought I would always need to be stronger to do, or even try,” she wrote on Instagram. “The first day I was on it I was pleasantly surprised by how I felt on the climb, second day I fell on the V10 stand and yesterday I was able to send first try of the day and felt as though I was floating up the wall.”
The problem marks Raboutou’s second V14 after her ascent of Muscle Car in Colorado’s Coal Creek Canyon in May.
Dave Graham discovered Jade in the early 2000s, then called the Green 45 Project. It stayed a project for six years until Daniel Woods completed the first ascent in 2007. Since then it’s been ticked by a number of strong climbers including Paul Robinson, Carlo Traversi, and Jonathan Siegrist. In 2014, Alex Puccio became the first woman to climb Jade. In doing so, she also became the fourth woman to ever climb the grade. In 2015, Adam Ondra flashed the problem.
Raboutou followed the impressive ascent by ticking Two Ton Skeleton on the same day, after watching Drew Ruana climb Creature From the Black Lagoon (V16). “No individual move is too bad, but I found the transitions hard,” she wrote on 8a.nu. “I also can’t hand jam so I added three extra moves just for fun!”
Two Ton Skeleton has received a range of grades. First ascensionist Daniel Woods called it V14. Carlo Traversi completed the second ascent with new foot beta and downgraded the problem to V12. Raboutou called it V13, but wrote on 8a.nu “Not sure how to grade it, time will tell.”
Raboutou qualified for the 2020 Olympics, which would have been held earlier this month. Due to COVID-19, they have been postponed until 2021. She wrote of her time outdoors this summer: “I feel so grateful to have this time to explore the park. I have learned so much in the past few months from pushing myself outdoors. I continue to grow as a climber and person every day I spend out there, realizing what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it.”
Meanwhile Drew Ruana added to his already impressive year with an ascent of Creature From the Black Lagoon (V16).
The problem marks Ruana’s third V16 tick in 2020, after Sleepwalker and Box Therapy. Ruana missed qualifying for the Olympics at the Hachioji World Championships in 2019. Since then he’s focused his efforts outside, quickly establishing himself as one of the strongest boulderers today. He climbed Creature From the Black Lagoon on his first go of the day, after 15 previous sessions. Creature is yet another Daniel Woods problem. He completed the first ascent in 2016.