LAST YEAR JODY HANSEN came out of nowhere to tick a trilogy of V11 boulder problems in Rocky Mountain National Park, outside her home in Estes Park, Colorado. She sent the Kind Traverse, Sunspot and Bush Pilot, a long arete that overhangs 40 degrees. The ascents garnered her a bit of attention, and even some anonymous attacks on the Internet, though Hansen generally remained under the radar.
Hansen was born in Corvallis, Oregon, and didn’t start climbing until college, where she joined a climbing class as a way to get back into the social loop after a year in Chile. “After one day, I couldn’t think of anything else,” she says. “I was at the gym every day.”
Since then, Hansen has spent her winters guiding at Hueco Tanks and developing the raw power to send at least 13 V10s such as Fingerhut at Joe’s Valley, Bierstadt at Mount Evans, and El Chupacabra Left at Hueco.
Last summer, while living in Boulder, Hansen worked in a genetics lab at Colorado University cutting off the toes of baby mice. Now she is taking online biochemistry classes at CU to prepare for graduate school.
WHY DID YOU DRESS UP LIKE A DOLL FOR OUR SHOOT?
It’s a satire. If I stepped forward just as myself, would I be as appealing? A doll is ready-made for consumerism.
WHO DO YOU MOST ADMIRE IN THE CLIMBING WORLD?
Josune Bereziartu. She is still the only female to climb at comparable grades [to men] regardless of gender. However, to tell the truth, I think I am more impressed by those who excel at school and career and still manage to climb hard.
DESCRIBE THE CURRENT ACCESS SITUATION IN RMNP.
High-impact concerns. RMNP up until now has had a relatively small population that enjoyed the bouldering. Now that it’s expanding in popularity … well, we’ll have to see.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT PEOPLE STASHING PADS THERE?
I think some people will always stash gear. However, I think the recent efforts, which may have been instigated by threats of taking pads down, have really made a positive difference on the park. You can walk through without seeing any old crashpads.
TELL ME ABOUT BOULDER.
Sometimes the politics of Boulder can be overbearing and the perception a bit myopic. I try not to get wrapped up in what other people are doing.
HOW DO YOU THINK FEMALE CLIMBERS IN BOULDER ARE PERCEIVED?
Geez, I hope people think we are hot and intelligent, but truthfully, they probably think we are catty.
YOU CLIPPED BOLTS AT THE RED LAST MARCH, RIGHT?
Yeah, and I fell in love with sport climbing. I’m not very good, but I had so much fun.
WHY ARE MANY BOULDERERS NOW SPORT CLIMBING?
To be a truly good climber, one needs to be multi-disciplined. Sport climbing and bouldering complement each other. Although the biggest reason for me to go sport climbing right now is the change of scenery.
WHAT PISSES YOU OFF?
At the moment, I really don’t like it when someone says nasty stuff anonymously on the Internet about other people.
DID SOMEONE SAY SOMETHING NASTY?
I have received hate mail on my 8a.nu account, which by the way is only a logbook for my personal record … I don’t want to divulge what this particular issue was about. Usually, someone doesn’t believe that something was actually accomplished.
WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE?
A good joke, word, smile, text message. My dog. Nice people, sending, cookies.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE SOMETHING ABOUT THE OUTDOOR INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
I’d rather play piñata with a hornet’s nest while my shoes are on fire than answer that question.
WHAT SCARES YOU?
After reading Crime and Punishment, I developed a fear of killing someone. I had the most disturbing nightmares. There isn’t a worse feeling than realizing that you murdered someone and knowing you are damned. A little weird, I know.
WHERE WILL YOU BE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW?
I’ll be doing something that goes beyond the scope of climbing.
WHY DO YOU SAY THAT?
I sacrificed a part of my life when I started trying to climb full time. At the time it was worth it and now I feel like perhaps the scales have tipped a little too far. Before I started climbing, academia was my life and I loved it. Climbing is just not enough to completely fulfill me. I would like to be proficient in other aspects of my life.
HILLARY OR OBAMA?
That’s for the Democrats to decide. I’m independent.