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HelloHelloHello

Jason Haas
early November, 2007

             
Jason Haas
Jason HaasJason HaasJason HaasJason Haas

FRB: Name?

Jason: Jason Haas

FRB: Age?

Jason: 26.

FRB: Height/Weight?

Jason: 6'0", 155lbs.

FRB: Occupation?

Jason: high school special education teacher.

FRB: How did you get into climbing, Jason?

Jason: I use to race road and mountain bikes when I was younger and one of the kids on my team was into climbing. He took me to this real dumpy cliff, about 30 feet tall and all choss. I quit racing bikes and started climbing pretty much from that day on.

FRB: Where do you like to climb, Jason?

Jason: I like to explore new areas that I haven't been to before and do a lot of road trips all over the country, but locally I prefer the Flatirons, Eldorado, RMNP, and Vedauwoo.

FRB: Do you boulder?
          Where do you like to boulder?

Jason: I do boulder, but it isn't my main focus. I don't usually go by myself unless because of a time restraint, but I do like going with large groups of friends for the social aspect of things. When I do boulder, I of course love Hueco Tanks, but locally prefer crack bouldering in Vedauwoo, Flagstaff, RMNP, and Mt. Evans.

FRB: Who do you climb with, Jason?

Jason: I climb with a lot of people that I got into climbing with or people that I've met through the climbing gym or other partners, but my main partner is Tony Bubb.

FRB: You're writing a guidebook to Boulder climbing?

Jason: Yeah, I just finished writing a comprehensive guidebook to the Flatirons, which will include everything from class 3 scrambles to 5.14 test pieces.

FRB: What's new in the Boulder Flatirons?

Jason: There has been a lot of new development since Rossiter's book. In fact, the number of routes has doubled. It's exciting to see, with people like Matt Samet making strong statements about ethics with his 5.12 and 5.13 death routes as well as some of the new safely bolted sport routes that have been approved through the Flatirons Climbing Councils bolt application process. Entire new crags have also been added potential still exists for new routes to go up, both sport and trad.

FRB: What area has the most new problems or routes?

Jason: I would say the southern area heading towards Eldorado especially Shadow Canyon, but even some of the areas left (south) of Fern Canyon and NCAR have seen a lot of development with both routes and problems. The area was far less tapped to its potential then what people realized. I think a lot of that area was left untouched for so long because of the lack of concise information and because of the long hikes in.

FRB: Where/when can we purchase the guidebook?

Jason: The book will be available through Sharp End hopefully this coming spring. It should be at all the local climbing shops.

FRB: What is the format for the guide?

Jason: The book will be totally comprehensive, from the worst choss pile to the most stellar classic and from class 3 scrambles to 5.14 bolted and trad lines. It will also be entirely color with photos rather than drawn topos, although there will be a map at the beginning of each chapter to help guide you to each formation. There's a lot of action photography and GPS readings for each crag. The part that I'm probably the most excited about however, is the addition of essays from influential climbers from each generation spanning back to the 1940s sounding off about their experiences in the Flatirons. The guide should be practical, yet interesting to read on a rainy day because I think that relaying that historical information is so important in both enriching peoples experiences in the area, but also to help strengthen the local ethic, whatever that may be, by hearing from those that helped shape that ethic.

FRB: Will the guidebook include bouldering?

Jason: Specific problems will not be included but I did include every bouldering area, including when it is just one boulder with one to two problems on it and its relative location to the route formation. I did not include specific problems because there is already several great guides out there that cover bouldering, but those guidebooks do not really mention the formations that they are near so it can be confusing if you are both a route climber and a boulderer when trying to figure out where you are. I think by mentioning what the name of the area is and what large formations are around it will help clear up some of the confusion on getting to the bouldering areas.

FRB: What closures or restrictions are in place
          for the Flatirons?

Jason: There are several broad closures for raptors (birds of prey) that span from February 1-August 1 that largely effect the Third Flatiron and surrounding areas, Skunk Canyon, Fern Canyon, and Shadow Canyon. The extent of these closures don't really change each year, but they are lifted early if appropriate so it is important to check with the park rangers and OSMP about those closures each year. Their web site is generally updated quite regularly. There are also a few random routes that are closed from April 1-October 1 for two species of bats. The full area of closures will be clearly laid out in the introduction to the book and by each effected area.

FRB: What is your reasoning for writing a guide
          to the Flatirons?

Jason: I think that there were two main reasons for wanting to write it. One being that I love to explore new areas and I'd prefer to climb a chossy route I haven't done before over repeating the same classic for the 15th time. Also, my main partner had climbed out most of the more popular areas in Boulder and also likes climbing new things and so we began to go to more and more obscure areas in both Eldorado and the Flatirons. These are the areas where the information becomes a little less reliable and errors began to pop up, especially in the Flatirons guide. Richard Rossiter's book was good and I mean him no disrespect, because like all guidebooks you try to build upon what others have done. I slowly started correcting errors in my own copy of his book and then writing in new FA's that were going up by me as well as others and the project sort of started to grow from there. I found that the more I wrote for myself, the more I wanted to take it to the next level and help others get to some fun, but not well known routes. And, as I said earlier, the number of routes in the Flatirons has grown so much that a new edition was becoming more and more necessary, whether by myself or someone else.

FRB: Was it difficult to keep up your motivation
          during the process?

Jason: You know, there were waves of motivation. I was really excited about the whole project but the part that frustrated me, or made my motivation wane a bit, was the fact that the area is so large and so complex to navigate that it became a larger undertaking then I first thought it was going to be. Also, because of the rapid rate of route development in the area, I felt that no matter how much progress I was making, the guide was growing that much more and so it felt like I was the tortoise chasing the hare, with the book growing faster then I could keep up with. But, in the end, the tortoise wins, slow and steady and I'm really excited about the whole process. Also, I think what kept my motivation high most of the time was that there are some really cool areas in the Flatirons many people don't know about, with lots of arches and undocumented caves, as well as unique wildlife many people are not fortunate enough to see but I did on a regular basis. I really hope that the guidebook inspires more people to go out and explore the Flatirons for themselves because there is a lot of great stuff back there and not all the routes are slabby, actually on the east faces are with the north and south being steep and the west faces generally being steep to quite overhanging.

FRB: Thanks for the Interview, Jason.

Jason: You're welcome. Thank you.

If you have any questions for Jason you can email him here:
jasonhaasclmbing@gmail.com

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