02 February 2010
Will Gadd and Tim Emmet climbed what Gadd calls “some insanely challenging and fun spray ice" behind Helmcken Falls, in Wells Grey provincial park in British Columbia (Canada) .
A huge quantity of water blasted off the lip of a supposedly 140M cave, but no way was that going to freeze: even when it's -30C out this waterfall is too high-volume to freeze.
Here the duo established a 30-meter, 45-degree overhanging ice climb just behind Helmcken Falls.
Spray from the 140-meter of Helmcken Falls to the volcanic rock created a unique style of ice route, where Gadd and Emmet put bolts, being others protections impossible to be placed. 2We wanted it to go on natural gear and screws, but the compact volcanic rock wasn't having any of that. “ Gadd writes.
Although, Spray On is not a mixed route: “Not one single drytool move in the whole pitch; pull up, lock off, work for a placement,” writesGadd at his blog. “Just like normal ice but on a 45-degree wall.”
Both climbers redpointed the route.
About the difficulty:“ is a whole hell of a lot harder than anything I've ever climbed on ice” - writes Gadd –“ The only thing I could compare it too is M10 or harder drytooling, but you have to swing for placements instead of just hook. WI 10 is the lowest grade I can give it with a straight face; many people who can drytool M10 will find the ice climbing a lot harder I think, it's real, honest, cuts-on-your face ice climbing. Not one single drytool move in the whole pitch; pull up, lock off, work for a placement. Just like normal ice but on a 45-degree wall. So much fun!”
Source: climbing e will gadd blog
Photos: will gadd blog