The rest of the hike to Lower Chaos proved fairly casual and soon I was staring into Chaos Canyon where the boulders should have been. They weren't really there:
Curiosity took hold and I ventured across the snow in search of the boulders. Along the way I nearly tripped over the Warm-Up boulder that holds such classics as Potato Chip V7 and proceeded to stumble upon a 6-foot Centaur boulder:
And just around the back, a short wheel-chair ramp that is the top-out to Nuthin' But Sunshine V13:
Unimpressed by the current conditions of Lower, curiosity once again got the best of me and I found myself hopping over the Gobot V11 and continuing, like some kind of Jesus, directly across Lake Haiyaha and up the hill to the Green 45. What would normally be a maze of talus, was replaced by a thick layer of snow forming a giant sledding hill, formidable enough to make any 5 year old wet himself. Without walking on a single piece of rock, I found myself beneath the great Green Giant:
Dry and perfect. The whole boulder. Very excited at this point, I immediately jumped on the stand start. Climbed that 3 times all the way to the top of the wall. The conditions were surprisingly warm and it would have been smart to wait awhile before attempting Jade from the start. But hey, you can't stop psych! I spent awhile brushing some chalk into the odd conglomeration of texture that forms the crux crimp:
On my first attempt from the start I nearly did the crux move static before my foot picked. 9 more tries from the start, each try getting desperately close, and my ring and pinkie finally split:
It's frustrating considering that each attempt that I give could be the one that leads me to the top of the boulder. But with every mistake (foot cut, fumbling the left hand, not grabbing the crimp right, etc.) you can literally watch your skin disappear. It's such a finicky boulder problem. It is certainly powerful and the holds are small, but the real crux of Jade relies upon executing everything perfectly at the right time. You can't do the move completely static, but you have to be very controlled. The perfect amount of push. You can't fumble the left hand. It's a good hold but you have to stick it perfectly right. I've stuck the crux from the bottom a few times now with only two fingers, but the re-adjust to four continues to leave me on the ground. Is this really what V15 comes down too? This isn't crimp strength. I know that, cause I have very little compared to my abilities on pinches and slopes. Should things be graded harder because they are more condition dependent and harder to execute? All I know is that for me, 4 hours of hiking for 10 tries (essentially 20 total movements on rock), is worth it to find out. What are you willing to do to change your perspective?