Dan Beall fires Jade
posted by dpm on 09/08/2010
Dan Beall is a laid back core climber that doesn't have an 8a.nu scorecard. He doesn't consider himself a professional and he often flies low beneath the media radar which is why you probably didn't hear about this ascent. He recently sent one of America's hardest boulder problems then sat down with DPM to share his thoughts on Jade, V15, and what it takes to crush your projects.
Photos courtesy of Dan Beall
DPM: What drew you to Jade?
Dan: I was attracted to Jade because it is a striking line on a beautiful wall, because it has a reputation as one of the hardest boulder problems in the country and because it revolves around a single powerful move. Everything I look for in a boulder problem, challenging, aesthetic and pure. Additionally, I am, at the moment, disproportionately strong on crimps, and Jade looked to be about as close to my style as anything I've seen, so I had high hopes.
DPM: Did you pee on this route first try or did it take a lot of work? Tell us about the process.
Dan: On our first day in RMNP we ran around feeling projects and trying to get an idea of what we wanted to spend our time working on. Encouragingly, Jade felt quit doable, and I did everything but The Move in that first short session. I tried The Move three times and hit the left hand with a reasonable degree of control each time, but no stick. We came back a few days later, after hiding out from a thunderstorm and warming up on the El Jorges, and the conditions were prime. I stuck The Move first try that day, on my fourth go total and got psyched. Unfortunately my usual approach when I'm working a climb is to try and dial the crux moves before I go to work from the start... Which is actually a terrible idea for Jade. Oops. I did The Move four or five times that day, and climbed it to the end from one move in, but totally crushed my skin in the process. I finally gave it a few goes from the start and nearly sent, but abundant psyche found me overshooting the left hand sidepull on the stand and tumbling to the ground. After this weather deteriorated and progress became... limited. We eventually figured out that night climbing was the ticket for summer climbing in Rocky in general, and eventually circumstances aligned and I sent. It took five sessions in total, two that were basically token efforts and three more substantial ones.
The Move on Jade
DPM: It would be super cool if you downgraded Jade to V12. What do you say?
Dan: (laughs) Doing this climb was a huge personal accomplishment for me, but one that is hard to substantiate in conventional terms. Luckily, I am not a professional climber, and I don't have an 8a card, so I don't have to. This climb is one very hard, very precise, very condition dependent move. One minute I would be able to do it completely static, and the next I could barely pull off the ground. When you do it it's easy and when you don't it's impossible. How do you rate that? That being said, to me Jade felt much harder than The Swarm (V14) or The Mandala Sit (original method V14). Does that mean that it's hard V14? Easy V15? Sure. (laughs) I have no idea.
DPM: I guess everything else is going to feel easy now. What's next?
Dan: Plans for the future are a little vague, but there are a couple hard projects hiding around Tramway and Bishop that have my name on them. I also hope to try and do more competing this year and get a little more experience. I'm not really a very good comp climber for some reason and it bothers me. (laughs)
DPM: Good luck Dan and thanks for chatting. I'm sure those comp guys will be watching their backs.