Hueco Gets New 25-Move Roof Problem

Jason Kehl navigating the roof of The Seventh Circle. Photo by Andy Mann

Jason Kehl navigating the roof of The Seventh Circle. Photo by Andy Mann

UPDATED: 3/10/11 - Hueco saw another roof problem go up yesterday when Daniel Woods put up The House of Doom, suggesting V13, on the East Spur. Woods took only a day to send the near horizontal problem, "climbing on mini-pinches." In addition, Woods climbed Crown Royale (V13), an extension to Crown of Aragorn, a V13 also on the East Spur, and The Evangelion (V13). (Watch a video of Sam Davis on Crown Royale here.)

3/8/11 - This week, Jason Kehl completed a 25-move roof project on the East Spur in Hueco Tanks, Texas: The Seventh Circle. Though not yet suggesting a grade, Kehl says it has one of the hardest topouts he's completed in Hueco. "A lot of strong climbers have checked it out, like Daniel Woods, Dave Graham, Nalle Hukkataival... Maybe they have an idea," he says. One of the hardest problems Kehl has committed to, he "just wanted to do it because it's one of the nicest lines in Hueco."

He started working it three seasons ago. "The first season I blew my knee, requiring surgery from jumping off the problem," he says. "The following season, I came back and got agonizingly close, falling off the last move. This year, I came back with a vengeance. I wasn't leaving Hueco until I finished it." Kehl put in about 50 attempts on the problem, falling from the last move about 10 times.

Located at the southernmost point of the East Spur, and a five-minute walk from the popular Maze area, the 25-move problem consists of 15 roof moves even before encountering the crux at the lip, "where you slap a nonexistent sloper, cut your feet, and try to find a blind heel scum and rock back to an edge with double rows of very sharp teeth," Kehl says. "It doesn't let up till you're standing on top."

Because the crux sloper bakes in the sun, Kehl woke up at 5:30 a.m. to begin his warm-up so that he could start trying it immediately when the park opened at 8:30. "It's the most beautiful, pure, hard, undone roof line I've seen in Hueco," he says. "It's steep, so it requires a lot of power endurance."

Kehl, owner of CryptoChild, has been living in Hueco since November 2010, when he completed his guide training. He'll stay through March, then head to Colorado when the weather warms up.

Date of ascent: March 6 (Kehl) and 9, 2011

Source: Jason Kehl,