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Q&A: Jason Kehl Proves that Hueco Tanks Is Far From Climbed Out

Jason Kehl, age 38, has been on a first-ascent rampage in Hueco Tanks, Texas, and believes that there’s plenty of opportunity for more. During a "short " six-week season, Kehl put up seven new problems. Rock and Icecaught up with Kehl to learn more about his new discoveries.

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Jason Kehl on his line <em>Count to Six and Die</em> in Hueco Tanks. Photo by Merrick Ales. ” src=”https://d1vs4ggwgd7mlq.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/Article-Images/News-Photos/January-2015/CountToSix MerrickAles.jpg” “=” ” title=”Jason Kehl on his line <em>Count to Six and Die</em> in Hueco Tanks. Photo by Merrick Ales. “><br />
    <b>Jason Kehl, </b>age 38, has been on a first-ascent rampage in Hueco Tanks, Texas. Even though the area is considered to<br />
    be the birthplace of American bouldering—and the V-grade scale—he believes that there’s plenty of opportunity for more. </p>
<p>During a “short” six-week season, Kehl put up seven new problems. <em>Rock and Ice </em>caught up with Kehl to learn more about his new discoveries.</p>
</p>
<h5><strong>Q&A with Jason Kehl</strong></h5>
<p><strong>How long have you been climbing in Hueco?</strong>
</p>
<p>I think my first trip to Hueco was in ’95. All of Hueco was still open without guides, and I remember walking straight to the “45°<br />
    Wall” by myself, it was amazing. When I first started climbing, I watched Fred Nicole in a “Masters of Stone video” crimping his way out of the <em>Martini Roof </em>and<br />
    I knew then, that’s where I wanted to climb. I love roof and three-dimensional climbing, so Hueco has always been a special place among my favorite<br />
    climbing areas.</p>
<p><strong>How many first ascents have you put up in Hueco?</strong>
</p>
<p>I think around 35, and the first was probably in 2006. I would probably say about 15 of those are unrepeated; some because they are hard, some because<br />
    they are scary and some because they are obscure and not many people know about them. I’m always looking for a new stunning line. I’m not too worried<br />
    about the difficulty, although it is usually more intriguing if it’s hard.I see a nice line or feature, and I’m like, “I wanna be up there!”</p>
<p><strong>You’ve been establishing more first ascents this season. How many and can you describe your favorites?</strong>
</p>
<p>Yes, I did seven new problems in my short season (six weeks) this year. My favorite from this season was this nice tall compression<br />
    line on this really cool hanging block that sits in this cool water-washed canyon I called <em>Fangoria</em> after this special-effects mag I read<br />
    growing up. I had seen the line before in the past, and even rapped down it to check out the highball finish, but could never really connect the dots.<br />
    This year I went back with a fresh perspective, tried something completely different and it worked! Then I ended up breaking a hold, missing the pads<br />
    and hurting my heel. It took over a week for me to recover mentally and to be able to go for it again. I’m usually pretty good mentally, but after<br />
    a hold breaks, it’s really hard to commit.It’s your body’s natural reaction to want to protect itself. The interesting game is, how to turn that off<br />
    and just commit.</p>
<p><strong>Where have most of your recent FA’s been?</strong>
</p>
<p><img src=Click Here for a Gallery of Kehl’s New Problems