Canadian Compressor is New Jasper Bolted 11-Pitch 5.11

Vincent Mayoraz getting ready for a dyno on pitch six Photo Konstantin Stoletov

Konstantin Stoletov comes to us with more big news from Jasper and the lifetime’s worth of new routing on Ashlar Ridge.

“Another big sport climb has been established by Edmonton team on Ashlar Ridge, Jasper,” said Stoletov.

Canadian Compressor cuts in the middle of impressive V-shaped face in the right face of the wall with the sustained headwall pitches that go at the grades of 5.11b, 5.11c, 5.11a, 5.10d and 5.11a.

“The headwall pitches do not give you any rest with nonstop moves at the 5.11 range making Canadian Compressor a must-do for any strong 5.11 climber visiting the area,” said Stoletov.

The climb consist of 11 fully bolted pitches with the total length of 317 metres ranging from 5.4 to 5.11c.

With four big sport multi-pitch climb (Good Intentions, Bad Habits / Ay Mamasita! / Rojer`s Lunch Buffet / Canadian Compressor) Ashlar Ridge becomes the closest alpine sport multi-pitch climbing area to Edmonton.

“No doubt it will be a place for endless fun, countless epics and unforgettable experiences,” said Stoletov.

Ashlar Ridge bolted routes

Canadian Compressor

Canadian Compressor is an 11-pitch 5.11c Ashlar Ridge near Jasper. You start at a rocky ledge about 50 metres right of Ay Mamasita!

Pitch 1: Traverse up and right, continue on easy, blocky rock. Belay on a small ledge, chains. (10 bolts 5.5 30m)
Pitch 2: Climb on a good rock, finishing at a small stance. Belay on a small stance, chains. (8 bolts 5.9 20m)
Pitch 3: Continue on a good easy rock. Belay on a large ledge, chains. (12 bolts 5.9 34m)
Pitch 4: Traverse right across the gully and follow the bolts up the right side of the Green Gully, than crossing the gully back left to a small stance. Belay on a small stance, chains. (7 bolts 5.6 30m)
Pitch 5: Continue on easy loose limestone, feel free to clean whatever you can if following. Belay on a good ledge under a large “wavy” overhang, chains. (8 bolts 5.6 20m)
Pitch 6: Look up and tighten your pants, fun is coming! Start climbing up and right over the cool rock waves passing the rap station, than enter the never-ending sequence of cool moves on incredibly good rock. Possibly the best pitch! Belay on a small ledge, chains. (14 bolts 5.11b 38m)
Pitch 7: Two variations exist. Either climb straight up and right or clip the first bolt, down-climb right and climb straight to the second bolt. Both ways go at 5.11c and involve intense crimping on a razor sharp holds. Continue on an easier 5.11a ground to the good ledge under a big overhang (Helmet ledge). A wind blown rock came out of nowhere during the first ascent crushing Merrik`s helmet so don’t feel relaxed. Belay on a ledge, chains. (10 bolts 5.11c 20m)

Merrick Montemurro starting pitch seven of the headwall Photo Konstantin Stoletov

Pitch 8: Traverse up and right on somewhat suspicions but surprisingly good rock. Continue on a steep, solid face reaching the friction traverse. Traverse right and climb up the easy right facing flake to a good stance. Belay on a ledge, chains. (13 bolts 5.11a 30m)
Pitch 9: Climb back left on a good positive holds and than do a few powerful layback moves on a sharp vertical rail. Climb onto a small, exposed ledge in the middle of the limestone ocean (Mexican ledge). Have a burrito! Belay on a good ledge, chains. (13 bolts 5.10d 20m)
Pitch 10: Almost there! Start on a crimpy face, past a hollow flake (use it at your own risk) reaching the good rest ledge. Continue on an easier ground trough the “bottleneck” exiting onto a good protected ledge. Keep right for better rock on this pitch. Last bolt may be hard to see right before the station in a great rock. Clip it and finish! Belay on a good ledge, chains. (12 bolts 5.11a 30m)
Pitch 11: Finish easy well bolted pitch of 5.4, be careful topping out on loose blocks. Belay at a little step, 2 bolts. (8 bolts 5.4 30m)

Descent: Hike down the ridge. Climb can be safely rapelled from any point with 70-metre rope but it is not recommended.
Gear: 70-metre rope, helmets, 14 to 16 draws / 2 alpine draws are helpful on the pitches 4, 5 and 8.

Canadian Compressor

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Caldwell and Honnold Talk Bromance on Fitz Traverse

Tommy Caldwell on the Fitz Roy traverse Photo Alex Honnold

Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold are two of the world’s most well known climbers and they were recently at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.

On May 30, 2018, the two climbed The Nose in Yosemite for a new speed record of 2:10:15.

In February 2015, Caldwell and Honnold spent five days completing the first Fitz Traverse 5.11d C1 5,000 m, which is a continuous linkup of Cerro Fitz Roy and its nine satellite peaks.

In some places, the rock was plastered in rime ice, but with such a long weather window they made the most of it.

The Fitz Traverse earned Caldwell and Honnold a Piolet d’Or award and after the climb, a movie called A Line Across the Sky was produced by Sender Films and featured at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival.

Besides being one of the most impressive ascents of the decade, it was obvious Caldwell and Honnold are great friends.

Gripped editor Brandon Pullan caught up with Caldwell and Honnold in Banff, watch below.

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Caldwell and Honnold Set New Nose Speed Record

The Nose on El Capitan

On May 30, Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold have set a new speed record on The Nose of El Capitan in 2:10:15 (two hours, 10 minutes, 15 seconds).

This record beats the October 2017 time set by Brad Gobright and Jim Reynold’s of 2:19:44.

The Nose is nealy 1,000 metres high and has 31 pitches. Speed climbing is done by climbers ascending by any means necessary, such as free or aid.

The climb is steep and exposed and climbed hundreds of times every year.

In 2012, Honnold and Florine climbed it in 2 hours and 23 minutes and held the record until Reynolds and Gobright’s climb.

Honnold and Caldwell are two of the most accomplished climbers in the world. On El Cap, Honnold made the first free solo with his climb of Freerider VI 5.13 and Caldwell made the first free ascent of Dawn Wall 5.14d with Kevin Jorgeson.

Together, they made the first traverse of the Fitz Roy range in Patagonia and were awarded a Piolet d’Or.

43 Years of The Nose Records

2018-4-30: Tommy Caldwell, Alex Honnold in 2:10:15
2017-10-21: Jim Reynolds, Brad Gobright in 2:19:44
2012-6-17: Hans Florine, Alex Honnold in 2:23:46
2017-10-10: Jim Reynolds, Brad Gobright in 2:34:30
2010-11-6: Dean Potter, Sean Leary in 2:36:45
2008-10-12: Hans Florine, Yuji Hirayama in 2:37:05
2008-7-2: Hans Florine, Yuji Hirayama in 2:43:33
2007-10-8: Alexander and Thomas Huber in 2:45:45
2007-10-4: Alexander and Thomas Huber in 2:48:30
2002-9-29: Hans Florine, Yuji Hirayama in 2:48:55
2001-11: Dean Potter, Timmy O’Neill in 3:24:20
2001-10: Hans Florine, Jim Herson in 3:57:27
2001-10: Dean Potter, Timmy O’Neill in 3:59:35
1992: Hans Florine, Peter Croft in 4:22:0
1991:Peter Croft, Dave Schultz in 4:48:0
1991: Hans Florine, Andres Puhvel in 6:01:0
1990: Peter Croft, Dave Schultz in 6:40:0
1990: Hans Florine, Steve Schneider in 8:06:0
1986: John Bachar, Peter Croft in 10:05:0
1984: Duncan Critchley, Romain Vogler in 9:30:0 (approximate)
1975: Jim Bridwell, John Long, Billy Westbay in 17:45:0

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Indoor Weekly: Online 3D Models of Competition Problems

There is a new online library of bouldering problems called Online Observation that aims to catalog big competition sets.

Climbers can browse through problems, but more than, it can be used by route setters as a library.

There are 3D models you can scroll through and zoom in and around. They also give explanations so that you can understand the problem without having to do it yourself.

There are beta videos of 3D scanned problem which are often put on Instagram.

Visit the the website here and follow along on Instagram below.

3D Models from Canadian Gyms

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The Legendary Tofino Surfing Sisterhood

Kat Leslie surf instructor with Surf Sisters Photo Kristin Kent

Tofino on Canada’s West Coast is a world-class surfing destination thanks to the hard work of a strong group of women.

“Commandeering a sport long known for its machismo, fearless female athletes have helped bring worldwide fame to what was once a sleepy B.C. village,” was the sub-title of a recent article in The Globe and Mail called How the surfing sisterhood helped put Tofino on the map.

The article focuses on Shelley Renard, Catherine Bruhwiler, Krissy Montgomery (owner of Surf Sister), Mathea Olin, Aqua Bruhwiler, Jennifer Smallwood, Tia Traviss and many others.

Aqua Bruhwiler is the daughter of Canada’s first professional surfer Raph Bruhwiler. At 12 years old, she is carving her own waves.

“Born and raised in Tofino, the budding surfer got her start when she was only eight years old and ‘just never really stopped,’ she said. ‘It’s my passion so I want to carry it on with me to the places I go.’”

Renard became one of the first women to surf in Canada’s frigid Pacific Ocean back in 1977.

Bryanna Wiebe is another of surfer mentioned in the article, “she moved from Whistler to Tofino three years ago in pursuit of learning to surf, saying even thinking about it today gives her the goosebumps.”

She said, “I’ve always experienced good vibes, high fives and party waves. It’s a form of meditation, just being in the ocean [and] feeling the waves and the movement – I’m addicted to it.”

The must-read article concludes with: “What I think about, more than being one of the first women, is how it’s evolved,” Renard says. “And how I’m so very proud to see the calibre of surfing with women now.”

Read the full article here.

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More Cowbell is New Rockies 10-Pitch 5.7 Sport Route

There’s a new 10-pitch 5.7 sport route in Kananaskis Country in the Canadian Rockies that promises to be very popular.

Called More Cowbell, the 315-metre bolted route climbs on Delta Wall above Highway 40 across the valley from Nakiska Ski Resort.

There’s a cowbell fixed to the top anchor. More Cowbell was a comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live back in April 2000.

There are many big moderate multi-pitch bolted climbs in the Rockies, some are: Rundlehorn 5.5, Dancing Sasquatch 5.5, Aftenroe 5.6, Wheat Kings 5.7, The Shoe 5.8, Achilles Spire 5.8, Plutonian Shores 5.9, Heart Line 5.9 and Balista 5.10.

The following images were posted by IFMGA guide and Rockies local Jordy Shepherd.

More Cowbell approach

More Cowbell

More Cowbell description

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Indoor Weekly: Canada Heads to Japan World, Watch

The 2018 IFSC Bouldering World Cup season continues in June with the fifth event in Hachioji, Japan, and penultimate event in Vail, USA.

Season podiums could already be decided when the best Bouldering athletes in the world cross continents to compete for more gold medals and climb the rankings.

There will be a number of Canadians competing including Alannah Yip, Becca Frangos, Justine McCarney, Sean McColl, Jason Holowach, Jj Mah, Zach Richardson and Jacob Elliot.

Visit the IFSC Youtube page to watch Semis and Finals here. Watch Qualifications below.

IFSC Pre-Comp Report

Japan has topped the IFSC World Cup team Bouldering ranking every year since 2014 and they are on track to repeat the feat in 2018.

Altogether, 38 Japanese athletes are registered to compete in front of their home crowd in Hachioji. Akiyo Noguchi and Miho Nonaka are the only athletes this season to stand on the podium at every Bouldering event. They won three of four competitions so far, and Noguchi swept both sets of the China Tour this month.

Another victory from either star at the Esforta Arena Hachioji on Sunday will secure a spot on the Bouldering season podium.

Among the men, Kokoro Fujii and Tomoa Narasaki both stood atop a podium this year and rank among the top five Bouldering athletes, alongside Rei Sugimoto. Also on the start list for Hachioji is Combined youth world champion Meichi Narasaki, Yoshiyuki Ogata and Keita Watabe, who all won medals in Hachioji and Vail in 2017.

For over a decade, Vail has welcomed the most elite Bouldering athletes to Colorado. This year, the eleventh IFSC World Cup in Vail marks the penultimate event of the 2018 Bouldering season.

In addition to Japan, also keep an eye on Slovenia in Vail. If Jernej Kruder excels in Hachioji, he will have the chance to clinch a place on the Bouldering season podium the following week. His teammates Gregor Vezonik, who twice joined him on the Bouldering podium this year, and Katja Kadic, who competed in finals in Vail in 2017, are also on the start lists for Hachioji and Vail.

From the United States, 40 athletes will climb on their home stage in Vail. Expect former Vail winner and 2017 finalist Alex Puccio to standout again, as well as PanAmerican youth Bouldering champion Brooke Raboutou, who placed 9th in 2017.

Former Vail medallist Nathaniel Coleman and Sean Bailey, 11th in Vail last year, are also set to compete.

Japan and China each have two Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 qualified athletes on the start list for Hachioji. Asian youth Bouldering champions Keita Dohi (JPN) and Mao Nakamura (JPN) will compete in both Hachioji and Vail.

Dohi continues to improve at IFSC World Cup events and just missed semi-finals last time in Tai’an, and Nakamura returns after twice making semi-finals. Asian youth Combined champion YuFei Pan (CHN) will compete in both events as well, and keep an eye in Vail on Galo Hernandez of Ecuador, competing in his first IFSC Bouldering World Cup, and Hannah Meul of Germany, competing in her 2nd event of the season.

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Indoor Weekly: Canada’s 2018 Youth National Team

2018 team member Indiana Chapman Photo Shane Murdoch

Canada’s 2018 Youth National Team has been announced and its a strong collection of some of the country’s best young climbers.

There are only a few climbers competing in all three disciplines: Indiana Chapman, Babette Roy and Aidan Doyle.

The IFSC Youth World Championships will be taking place in Moscow, Russia, from Aug. 9 to 16.

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Japanese Montaineer Akira Oyabe Returns to K2

Rocky summit of K2

Japanese mountaineer Akira Oyabe has returned to K2 (8,611 m), having spent the past two years preparing with his team for the expedition.

This will be Oyabe’s third attempt at the second highest peak in the world. In 2009, strong winds forced him to turn back at 7,900 metres and in 2013, heavy snowfall stopped his progress.

“But now we are back again,” Oyabe said on Saturday. “This time, we are roughly a week early, and we are the first team to reach Pakistan to climb K2. We have time on our side and intend to make the best of any clear weather windows, and that increases our chances of success this year.”

Of the expedition team, only Oyabe and one other team member have previously climbed an 8,000-metre peak.

Takashi Higashiyama, the youngest member, attempted to climb K2 five years ago, but he was forced to abandon his ascent after an avalanche blew away camp three, killing two climbers from New Zealand.

Oyabe does not feel that the team’s inexperience will be a problem and said, “We intend to make gradual progress on the mountain.

“We will be fixing ropes since we are the first group to arrive. This does make our work harder, and probably more difficult, but it sounds like more fun. We have three Pakistani high altitude porters to assist us, and that is a plus point.”

Higashiyama said, “Strong winds will be our biggest concern. They do not let the body warm up and that can cause fatigue and frostbite.”

Karrar Haidri, Secretary of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, said the group is serviced by veteran climber Nazir Sabir’s tour company.

“K2 is one of the hardest peaks to climb, throwing more unexpected challenges at climbers than other 8,000-metre mountains.

“In summer, there is a greater risk of avalanches and rock falls.”

Quebec Climbers on K2

Nathalie Fortin, Benoît Lamoureux, Serge Dessureault and Maurice Beauséjour from Quebec are hoping to become the first climbers from Quebec to reach the summit of K2, the world’s second highest mountain.

They’ll be heading to the Himalayas this summer for an attempt on the Abruzzi Ridge.

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Carlos Soria will sign his biography on Sunday at the Madrid Book Fair. Unevenness

JUNE 3 FROM 5:30 PM TO 7:30 PM


This Sunday, newly arrived from his
expedition to Dhaulagiri, Carlos Soria will sign copies of his
Biography. It will be in booth 127-128 of the Retiro Park in
Madrid from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018 – Updated at 3:52 p.m.




                     Carlos Soria signs copies of his biography at the Madrid Book Fair 2017

Carlos Soria signs copies of his biography at the Madrid Book Fair 2017 (© Darío Rodríguez / DESNIVEL)



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