Home > Outdoor Climbing, Random Musings > Spot Head Setter Carlo Traversi sends Jade

Spot Head Setter Carlo Traversi sends Jade

You’ve probably seen him hiking most of the problems we set at the Spot.  When we’re done forerunning you might stare at the holds he put on his five spots and wonder how anyone could hold onto them.  If you are lucky you got to stand in the crowd and watch him crush through Men’s finals 1, 2, 3, and part of 4, landing him in 3rd place at The Battle in The Bubble.  But how strong is Carlo off plastic?  How does he stand up to other strong climbers on real rock?  After yesterday’s performance, he’s looking pretty good.

On May 28th, 2010, Spot head routesetter Carlo Traversi made the 6th ascent of Jade at Rocky Mountain National Park.

The crux hold on Jade | Carlo Traversi

A little Jade history

Jade is a very hard boulder problem in the talus of Chaos canyon, between Lower and Upper Chaos, and about 1.5 hours from Bear Lake parking.  The testpiece was tried for years by many strong boulderers and was long known as “The Green 45 project” until Daniel Woods climbed it in June of 2007, gave it V15, and named it Jade.  Two months after Daniel’s ascent it was repeated by Tyler Landman and then Paul Robinson, two of the strongest boulderers in the world.  (See more Tyler in Keith Bradbury’s new Font film Between the Trees.  Paul is featured in many films from Big UP productions including this one.)

Daniel starting the crux move on Jade | Steve Woods

Jade went without an ascent in 2008, but in June of 2009, almost two years to the day after Daniel’s ascent, visiting Finnish powerhouse Nalle Hukkataival did the problem on his second day of trying it.  The boulder had taken a lot of work from all three previous ascentionists, and some reasons suggested for his quick ascent were that Nalle had trained specifically for the boulder and is an exceptionally strong climber, as he’s proved repeatedly (he can be seen establishing a new V15 in South Africa in Charles Fryberger’s new film CORE).

Carlo sticking the crimp, but the foot cut is not a good thing. | Carlo Traversi

The boulder’s fifth ascent came a few months later in a surprise ascent from Phil Schaal.  Phil is undoubtably a strong guy, but he’d never climbed harder than V13, so many were skeptical of the grade.  However, Phil did several other hard climbs in short order, including Ode to the Modern Man, a V14 at Mount Evans.  Also, Phil is an exceptional crimper, and crimping on very small holds is the crux of Jade.  The grade stood.

The left hand crux hold | Carlo Traversi

Carlo was close last year, but it wasn’t until this spring and a couple of days of snow hiking by himself that he succeeded in sticking the horrendous crux crimps and finishing Jade.  Like Phil, Carlo has also never climbed V14, and when he sent Jade he suggested a downgrade to V14, saying that he doesn’t think he’s a V15 climber.  There’re tons of arguments about this from people who have not climbed Jade currently circulating around the internet, but obviously grading is subjective and in theory all grades should be consensus so only time and more ascentionists will tell.  Either way, nice job on a proud ascent Carlo!!!

more info to come on Carlo’s blog and video soon at Deadpoint magazine.

UPDATE – The video – Carlo Traversi Sending Jade | Dead Point Magazine

  1. Guiles
    May 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I’m telling you – it’s the missing fingernail that made this ascent possible 😉

    Just kidding, way to go Carlo!

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