BD athlete and tech rep J.P. Ouellet makes first ascent of Mexican Snow Fairy (5.13+) in Moab, Utah
Black Diamond athlete and tech rep, J.P. Ouellet, is fully obsessed with crack climbing and builds his year around missions to climb the hardest cracks he can find. One place he annually hits up for a stretch is Moab, Utah, where difficult splitters are famously plentiful. Below is the email J.P. sent us after his trip—a trip in which he established a couple of new routes, including Mexican Snow Fairy, which is one of the hardest finger cracks in the desert southwest.
Look for J.P.’s detailed narrated slideshow of his first-ascent battles on Mexican Snow Fairy when the 2013 Climbing digital catalog is released on March 1.
From: Jean-Pierre Ouellet
Date: December 4, 2012 8:15:21 AM
I just got back from Moab. Overall it was a pretty successful trip. My original plan was to go try to free climb another roof crack close to Necronomicon (on the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park). The rock turned out to be kinda chossy on this one so I bailed. I was kinda bummed... Actually I was really pissed... I guess it gave me some energy because that same day I ended flashing The Vadge (5.13- roof crack), which cheered me up a bit. On my way out of the White Rim I saw another roof crack that I had not seen before because it is kinda hidden around a corner. I decided to give it a go. And with some fighting and cussing I onsighted this one for its first ascent. It's 18 meters long and goes from fists to weird cups to big hands to hands to a couple moves of thin hands at the lip. I called it Fisting the Crack (5.13- roof crack).
Back in Moab, I wasn't sure what project to get on... But then I looked at my little notebook and remembered a route in Longs Canyon I had found last year. On rainy days last year I hiked a lot in Longs Canyon (which is a very cool canyon off of Potash Road just outside Moab), and I was lucky to find an old aid line that had not been freed yet. I’m not even sure anybody ever tried to free it—the crack edges were still very crisp and the crack was EXTRA dirty. It took a day and a half to aid and clean it. The line is very cool. It's 45 meters long and is super thin the whole way. The core of the crack is fingers and thin finger (mostly .3 and .4 Camalots with a baggy .5 Camalot "bitch" section. The route is guarded by two hard cruxes: one at the start and one right at the end, five feet from the anchor. The route was pretty painful for me so I wasn't able to try it more than once every two days. I ended up sending a couple days before the end of the trip. I called it the Mexican Snow Fairy (5.13+). It's one of the hardest finger cracks I've climbed around Moab. PSYCHED!