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Landman on Ode to Modern Man, Mt. Evans, Colorado.Video capture by Chad Greedy.
Tyler Landman has made the second ascent of Jade (V15), a boulder problem in Rocky Mountain National Park that had bouted the best for years before it was completed earlier this year by Daniel Woods. The problem in Upper Chaos Canyon, then known as The Green 45, was first tried by Dave Graham back in 2001. Landman, 16, had been attempting the problem since 2005, when he climbed it from a standing start during his first visit to the Park. But the desperate sit start—a V13 move leading to the V11 upper wall—had eluded everyone.
Landman returned to the still-unclimbed problem in 2006, having done his first V13s in Great Britain, where his parents live, and he repeated the standing start and made progress on “the Move,” but could not link. Earlier this summer, he repeated Woods’ Ode to the Modern Man on Mt. Evans in Colorado, then considered V15 but now thought to be V14. With a host of other desperate problems under his belt, he figured the time was right for The Green 45. But the Move still felt nearly impossible. Then, after Landman retreated to Britain, Woods sent the full problem for the first ascent in June.
Back in Colorado last month, Landman felt much stronger on the problem and completed the Move twice but still hadn’t linked the full climb. After a trip to Squamish, where, among other sends, he flashed the V12 Vince Pinch, Landman returned to the Park on August 5. Writing on the Moon Blog at www.mooonclimbing.com, Landman takes up the story:
“After my first attempt, the hold felt like it had my last session. I felt close, like this could be the time. I got closer and closer, watching my skin tear and the sky darken. My efforts were weakening and the day was closing to an end. People had their headlamps on; they were packing up. One last go? Yeah, why not, might as well, I thought.
“I chalked my hands and arranged my hands on the start holds. I pulled on and entered a zone that I rarely visit. It felt as though I was almost undersea, floating toward the surface. I executed the move and saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t fall now, you can’t fall now, I was thinking. I still had a hard 8a to complete. I made the last three moves without thinking, like my brain had taken over. Before I knew it, I was there, at the jugs that end the bouldery section of the climb; now I just had to top out into the darkness. I had climbed the problem like one only does in a dream—I couldn’t believe it was over.
“For me this problem marks a new level in my climbing. I think it is an important testpiece for my generation, and that things will only get harder.”
See video of Daniel Woods making the first ascent of Jade at http://bigupproductions.com.
Date of Ascent: August 5, 2007