Jedi Mind Tricks near Lake City, Colorado, is a good candidate for the world’s hardest mixed climb, especially when climbed without heel spurs, as Frenchman Jeff Mercier did in January. Courtesy of Jared Ogden.
Frenchman Jeff Mercier, who won the international competition at the Ouray Ice Festival in January, subsequently made a trip to the remote town of Lake City to attempt Ryan Nelson and Jared Ogden’s Jedi Mind Tricks, a possible M14. After a two-hour approach to check out the routes at the high-altitude God’s Crag, Mercier returned the following day and quickly dispatched Jedi to make the probable fourth ascent of the route—and the first without using heel spurs on his boots. Nelson and Ogden, who established the route in late 2004, and Scotsman Scott Muir, who repeated the climb in 2006, all used heel spurs.
Jedi Mind Tricks ascends 30 meters of overhanging and horizontal volcanic rock to a headwall, at an altitude of about 10,500 feet; the climb is protected by 20 bolts. Mercier said he had never fought harder than he did as he finished the roof and got established on the final headwall. He felt that, without spurs, Jedi might indeed be M14.
Mercier also flashed the first ascent of an uncompleted Nelson-Ogden route at God’s Crag, lowering from the last bolt they had placed. He felt the 30-meter line deserved M11. In Vail, Mercier onsighted Fatman and Robin (M9) and Reptile (M10).
Dates of Ascents: January 2008
Sources:Bealplanet.com, Jared Ogden, Will Gadd