The New Year
The past year started with the Dawn Wall send that was heard around the world, which was followed by the Niagara Falls climb and continued with major climbing achievements throughout 2015. This year’s great climbs included Marc-Andre Leclerc’s impressive solos in Patagonia, Sachi Amma and Alex Megos’s historic 5.15 sends, Daniel Woods and Ashima Shiraishi’s groundbreaking bouldering sends to new 5.14s in four Canadian provinces, the first free ascents of old aid routes in B.C. and climbers setting Canadian records on the international competitive scene. Looking forward to the next year, what will happen in Canadian and international climbing? There are more extreme ice and alpine climbers and 5.15 and V15 senders than ever before. Will we see the first 5.15d or 5.16a?
Here at we are excited about the upcoming year. With every passing season, there seems to be more to cover in the world of Canadian climbing. In the print issue, we are introducing a column with more training tips, while still reporting on grassroots issues and bigger sends. Online, we will continue daily coverage of major events and full reports from Canadian competitions.
Moving into 2016, there are big challenges that await Canadians. Who will be the first to climb 5.15a? There are a handful of Canadians who could, but Sean McColl has been named by many top climbers as the most likely. Will strong free climbers attempt unrepeated hard routes on Baffin Island or establish new ones in Canada’s most remote ranges? The east face of Snowdome in the Bugaboos has become one of the most climbed alpine “big walls” in North America and there are plenty of unclimbed lines up the granite wall. Not to mention the second free ascent of the Tom Egan Memorial Route. A new crag in Squamish promises nearly a dozen new 5.13 and 5.14 routes. Sonnie Trotter’s monster hard sport routes on Castle Mountain and Mount Louis in the Rockies are yet to be repeated. There are still dozens of big alpine walls, some close to the road, which remain unclimbed. One being the east face of Mount Whitehorn and another being the dangerous northwest face of the Devil’s Thumb.
The Ontario Access Coalition has made i mportant progress in securing access to some of Ontario’s climbing areas and has a promising year ahead. A big new wall was recently found in Quebec above Lac du Cap that will see lots of action in 2016. The boom of climbing on the East Coast will surely continue as new gyms open and more climbers head outdoors. And, of course, will this be the year someone finds a multi-pitch in Manitoba or Saskatchewan? All jokes aside, we are lucky to live in such a great country with so much rock to explore. Have a great start to your 2016.