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Jared Ogden News

 spring 2006

A mild snow winter made for incredible bouldering in and around Durango this winter. I discovered tons of new problems and put up at least a dozen new ones up to V9 and repeated Golden Delicacy V10 and nearly nabbed the sit start at V11 but it'll still be there when I find the right time to send. Late winter I made repeats of Indian Creek cracks Ruby's Cafe 5.13a, 2nd try, Death of a Cowboy 5.13a on fifth try, Less than Zero 5.13b on fifth try, and tried a dozen times on Pink Flamingo 5.13 but never made a clean redpoint despite several TR ascents...it just wasn't my week.

This spring was wet but I still found time to put up another new route in the Black Canyon. This time Topher Donahue and I discovered incredible rock on the right side of the Hooker Buttress putting up the 12 pitch The Blacksmiths V 5.12. It was a perfect send with no falls either leading or following. Summer has blown past in a wave of heat and rain but finally temps are cooling and I'm heading back to the Black Canyon to find more adventures.



This just in! I've signed on with Petzl and Fortress Watches to use, abuse and promote the finest gear and time pieces out there today!

Durango, Colo.- On June 29th, Durango-based climbers Jared Ogden and Ryan Nelson completed the first free ascent of the 3,000-foot East Face of Mount Barrille in the Alaska Range.
The two did not use any fixed ropes or add any bolts or fixed gear for their ascent and rated the free route VI 5.11.
“The route is stacked with some of the best cracks we found in the Ruth Gorge. There were countless splitters, long pitches, and an amazing view.” Ogden said. He also remembers encountering “Some of the greatest choss on earth.”
Bad weather was a constant factor allowing only three days of high pressure out of 21 leaving the pair with short windows of dry weather for attempts. The Cobra Pillar presented the best opportunity for a completely free ascent to the summit and became their primary objective. Jack Tackle and Jim Donini first climbed the Cobra Pillar, VI 5.10+ A3, in 1991 over a five-day effort on their third attempt. On the first ascent they managed to free climb most of the route except a handful of pitches and suggested it as a possible candidate for an excellent free climbing objective.

Ryan on pitch 4, 5.9

Ogden and Nelson started up the route on two occasions but were stopped by rain and had to retreat from more than halfway up the climb. Following a day of rest they resumed efforts in a short window of good weather and made the complete free ascent in a fifteen-hour push followed by a four-hour descent down the north ridge. They made it back to the tent after 20 hours total just as a fierce three-day stormed engulfed them.
For the free ascent Ogden and Nelson avoided a blank wall where Tackle and Donini drilled bolts and bat hooks to make progress by pioneering a 5.10 traverse to a wet but moderate 5.9 crack that made a three-pitch variation to the original line. There were a few other original aid pitches that were also freed on this ascent, including a pendulum and a rotten corner.
Nelson recalled the route being “An excellent combination of beautiful and frightening rock conditions, a true adventure climb.” The pair agreed that the first ascent was an awesome effort and the route deserves a place among the best alpine wall free climbs in the world.
The pair also attempted a new free route on Mt. Dickey’s East Face but were thwarted by unsuitable rock conditions and bad weather. They were also turned back nine pitches from the summit of the Eye Tooth, a stunning 23-pitch route, by a miserable storm. Other attempts on the South Face of the Moose’s Tooth and the Sugar Tooth were just as fruitless. Overall they highly recommend the climb and were utterly stoked to have scored the first free ascent of such a gem.

Jared on pitch 11, 5.10c



On May 12th Ryan Nelson and I made our way up the Hallucinogen Wall in the Black Canyon in just under 9 hours! We climbed in blocks with Ryan taking pitches 1-7, me on 8-14, and Ryan again on the last two. We did a lot of short-fixing and free climbing to make such fast progress. It was super cool to be back on the route a year after we freed it. It's such an awesome line! To see photos of the route scroll down this page.

A few days later Topher Donahue and I did a new five pitch free start to High and Dry that finishes on the free diagonal. The climbing is SICK and super worthy! On the second pitch you climb across a 40-foot roof by climbing out a floorlesschimney then underclinging laybacking a finger crack! The rest of the new pitches are really clean on solid rock with good protection and make for a superb start to the free diagonal. The Rectagonal V 5.12- topo is available at the ranger station on the north rim. You'll be really psyched you did it!



My first book titled "Big Wall Climbing: Elite Technique" published by The Mountaineers Books will be available on the shelves in May and can be purchased online now at these locations!

Amazon The Mountaineers  Trail Stuff  Chessler Books  Barnes and Noble

As part of their Expert Series, the book is geared toward experienced climbers who want to learn the skills necessary for climbing big walls. The 207 page book is published in full color with over 100 personal instructional photos and illustrations.


March 1, 2005. OUTSIDE profiled me in the Dispatches section in regards to my recent "drytooling"antics. Check me out on page 28 trying not to stab myself while trying to eat noodles with ice tools!



Dec. 19 2004. Ryan and I finally sent our new route in Lake City which we called Jedi Mind Tricks. It's by far the hardest thing either of us has done mixed climbing and we decided not to rate it until others have climbed it and we can come to a confirmed rating. The cave is huge with three routes so far and later in the season a 125-foot grade V ice pillar forms where you see the curtain of ice on the left. Jedi Mind Tricks follows lots of small keyhole like pockets to the curtain on the right and sports very technical movements that were pretty hard to master. You pass 20 bolts to reach the ice requiring powerful pulls, long reaches, and the sickest pump you'd ever imagine. The other two routes climb out to the curtain on the left and fell in the M8+ and M9 range. The cave sits at 10,500 feet making you pay the piper with every attempt and adding to the difficulty. We fell really lucky to have scored such gems and the potential for more of the hardest mixed routes is just beginning. Contact me if you want more information on the climbs and how to get to them. They start forming in November and usually last till late March.



Moab climber Nathan Martin and I completed a radical new free line on Nalumasortoq’s 2,000-foot face.

DURANGO, COLO. – On August 2, 2004 Nathan Martin and I completed the first ascent of our“Prowed and Free” route, V 5.12+. The route was done in-a-day without the use of any fixed ropes or jumars: a first for any route on Nalumasortoq or Ulamertorssuaq. These granite towers, located in the Tasermiut Fiord on the southern tip of Greenland, have seen a lot of activity in the past several years however this is the first time a new route on either of these formations was done with the light and fast approach marking a significant advancement in style.

Jared following pitch 10, 5.12. Photo by Nathan Martin

On July 2nd we started our 34-day expedition by climbing the 2,500-foot route “Non C’e Due Senza Tre”, V 5.11+, on the right pillar of Naulmasortoq to within two hundred feet of the summit in a day before retreating in the dark. The following day it started to rain and continued for the next 12 days. After three days of clear weather we started up the central pillar by following the first eight pitches to the 2003 highpoint that Nathan reached with Tim O’Neil on a previous expedition. From here we followed excellent hand to finger cracks that would lead to the summit, however three difficult pitches required cleaning forcing us to hang on gear and forfeiting the free ascent on that attempt. We reached the summit at sunset and rappelled the route confident that another attempt would lead to a successful free ascent. Then it rained for 16 days straight! Blasphemy!

Nathan bouldering near Basecamp

Eventually the skies cleared and on August 2nd we completed our route all-free-in-a-day! The dead-vertical route is stacked with hard crack climbing including five pitches of 5.12 in a row starting at pitch 8 with two of them ranking in at 5.12+. It's just an amazing line. To complete the route all-free in a day was our ultimate goal and success came after a long period of anxious waiting. It was amazing that everything came together at the last minute to pull off such a great climbing achievement in the area. We’re really stoked we could push it so hard and usher in what we think is the ultimate style of ascent on our route. Hopefully future ascents will try the same style.

Jared leading pitch 12, 5.12-. Photo by Nathan Martin

High and motivated from such a successful ascent and with one day left before the boat arrived to pick us up, we set out to climb the classic route “Moby Dick” VI 5.13-, on the 3,000-foot tall Ulamertorssuaq. We shattered the previous speed ascent of 28 hours by racing up the route in 11 hours and 56 minutes, pulling on the occasional piece of gear but free climbing most of the route. It really left an impression on the remaining climbers in basecamp on how things can be done. Several parties had done the climb earlier but had fixed hundreds of feet of rope and spent at least two days on the climb. On our return they were shaking their heads and asking us how the hell we climbed so fast. We shared a toast to all our successes with bloody knuckles.

Nathan Martin leading pitch 8, 5.12+.

For more information, contact me at: jared@jaredogden.com. Climbing ran a feature on my climbs in Greenland in the March 2005 issue #237.



On May 4 & 5 Topher Donahue and I climbed a new sustained hard free climb in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Their new route, Tague Yer Time V+ 5.12, named in memory of our friend Cameron Tague, climbs the 2,000-foot South Chasm View wall via 14 pitches of thin face and crack climbing. We had climbed the route last October but were unable to redpoint the route at the time because we were doing a ground-up ascent that required cleaning and we ran out of time. The climbing is sustained from the difficulty of six pitches of 5.12, five pitches of 5.11, and three moderate pitches that require total concentration and a lot of time. The route climbed nine new pitches and shared a few pitches with other routes for a clean and exciting new route.

This marks the third first ascent on the South Chasm View wall for us. The other routes include Shadowboxing V 5.13- RX and Burlgirl V 5.12-, both featuring excellent free climbing on immaculate granite with a spicy flavor to them. I'll send you a topo if you're psyched to give em a try. They're all really high quality on very good rock.


Free Hallucinations VI 5.13-R M10+ By Jared Ogden
The Hallucinogen Wall on North Chasm View Wall in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is one of the countries most notorious routes and at the time of its first ascent was considered the hardest aid route in the world. First climbed in 1980, the route was rated VI 5.9 A5, and has lived up to its reputation ever since.

Jared leading pitch 12, 5.13- R, Photo by Topher Donahue

Despite an unknown climber who added a few bolts on an A5 hooking pitch, the route features steep rock with fearsome runouts and hard climbing through incredibly wild roofs near the top. The route had a few free pitches near the top and bottom that lured me into thinking it might go free. After two recons, one with Mike Shepard, one with Topher Donahue, I decided to do the route wall style for further inspection.

Ryan Nelson leading pitch 9, 5.13-R Photo by Topher Donahue

In late March, Ryan Nelson (my partner for the remainder of the project) and I climbed up through pitch 10 working them on toprope as we climbed. On the way up pitch 5, I drilled on lead a 50-foot two-bolt variation (5.12+) that avoided the pendulum and reached Fantasy Island. These are the only bolts we added to the route, however we did replace at least half of the bolts (from the ASCA) on the entire route since the 24-year-old 1/4” buttonheads were rusted and dangerous. We were caught in a blizzard on pitch 11 and bailed the next morning. A month later we decided to rappel in and see if the upper crux pitches would go free.

For eight days spread out over four weeks, we top-roped the 5 crux pitches in the middle of the climb. After all this effort we felt we could finally try a redpoint attempt even though some had never been top-roped clean.

From May 20-22, while living on the wall, we redpointed every pitch, out of order, with the crux pitches first. We did it this way since we only had a few days off from work a week: if we failed to redpoint any of the crux pitches up high we’d have to return the following week to complete it again from the ground and with hot weather approaching time was running out.

The free climbing is technical and difficult featuring runouts up to 30-feet with pitch 9 sporting a 20-foot runout over two equalized copperheads on 5.13- climbing with a bolt another 10-feet below that: a potential 60+ foot whipper if the junk heads pulled. On the send Ryan came very close to falling off the last two moves to the anchor.

Jared leading pitch 10, 5.13-R Photo by Topher Donahue

The majority of the crux pitches are lead using fixed copperheads as pro and the psychological preparation was equal to the physical. There are two crux sections on pitches 12 and 13 that climb past bolt ladders on the steep overhanging headwall that were dramatic. Pitch 13 proved to be un-climbable (for us) using traditional free climbing tactics so we improvised: we decided to use leashless ice tools and rock shoes to “free” this pitch. We call this new style “free aid, or fraid” and rated it D10+ since we thought it was as difficult as an M10+ mixed pitch. Is it free climbing? Who knows? The first ascent party bolted the 40-foot section we used the tools on at A0, after they had established A5 hooking pitches. Perhaps a better free climber could do this section in the future. We have climbed lots of 5.13s up to 5.13+ and feel the rest of the climb was done with the highest ethical standards that this new style was acceptable.

All said it was an amazing climb to puzzle together and free.

Pitch 1, 5.8
Pitch 2. 5.8
Pitch 3, 5.10
Pitch 4, 5.10+
Pitch 5, 5.9
Pitch 6, 5.12+
Pitch 7, 5.12-
Pitch 8, 5.11
Pitch 9, 5.13-R
Pitch 10, 5.13-R
Pitch 11, 5.12 R
Pitch 12, 5.13-R
Pitch 13, D10+
Pitch 14, 5.12-
Pitch 15, 5.9+ R
Pitch 16, 5.7




Jared, who has been contributing for over seven years to Climbing, signs on as Contributing Editor at Climbing Magazine as of July 1st.

Dec. 2004 issue # 235. Climbing Magazine ran a feature on a climb I did with Mark Synnott on Roraima Tepuis in the rainforest of Guyana.

2004 EPICS issue. Climbing ran my story "Beaten on the Shield" about speed climbing the Shield on El Capitan.

June 2003 issue #222. Climbing ran my feature titled "The Black Hole" using my photo on the cover. The story profiles in word and image some of the old and new classic routes on South Chasm View wall in Colorado's Black Canyon.

Alpinist published their 2005 Calendar featuring my photo of Alex Lowe on Great Trango Tower on the cover. I also wrote two reports for Alpinist 9 about new routes in the Black Canyon and in Greenland.

Alpinist Magazine #4: Climbing Notes Dept. First ascent reports on activity in the Black Canyon and Guyana, South America

Men's Journal Fall 2003: Features my photography illustrating Mark Synnott's article about a climbing expedition we did to the Tibetan Borderlands.

National Geographic Television, Fall/Winter 2003/2004. Television show documenting our first ascent on Roraima Tepui in Guyana, in South America.