Gord McArthur has established many big rigs over the years, including some now-classic winter mixed lines. But his most recent first ascent is by far the most impressive.
Storm Giant has been a project of McArthur’s for years and he spent countless sessions piecing the 85-metre line together. In his opinion, it’s the most difficult drytooling route in the world and the first-ever D16.
McArthur said after, “A journey to say the least. Three years, trying, failing. What seemed impossible turned into a discovery of how far I could push my body.
“Over 80 metres of upside down climbing, clipping 50+ draws and after 45 minutes on it today, I clipped the chains.”
Drytooling has come a long way over the past decade and has splintered from winter mixed/ice climbing into a sport of its own. Drytooling routes are given a D grade while mixed routes with ice get an M grade.
In Europe, North America and Asia, there are crags dedicated to it, often because the rock is too chossy to rock climb. Climbers should not use ice tools on existing rock climbing routes.
Having been on or climbed the world’s hardest drytool routes, McArthur is confident that Storm Giant is the hardest pure rock-line climbed with tools and fruit boots.
In 2016, British climber Tom Ballard freed A Line Above the Sky at Tomorrow’s World in the Dolomites. It was the world’s hardest drytooling route and was later repeated by Gaetan Raymond.
@gord_mcarthur putting in the time on his massive project dubbed "The Storm Giant" outside of Fernie, BC. This freak route, when completed, will become the worlds hardest mixed climb. 80+ meters of roof climbing and over 50 bolts decorate this stunning limestone cave feature. It's incredibly intimidating and there isn't even any ice on the route yet! In this picture, Gord is a little over halfway through the route with most of the start obscured. It's really hard to get the whole cave in one shot! #lt11 @louderthan11 @that_noah_kid_ @joshuauhl @petzl_official @outdoorresearch @wigwamsocks @ospreypacks @scarpana #cave #climbing #climb #mixedclimbing #iceclimbing #drytool #stormgiant #spelunking #ferniestoke #fernie #britishcolumbia #limestone