Wasabi is a new 150-metre WI5+ above Shadow Lake in the Rockies with a bit of history behind it. In 2011, Jiro Kurihara, Mike and Pat Lalonde climbed 100 metres of a not fully formed route and called it Unfinished Drawing WI4 100m. Kurihara died in an avalanche in Alaska less than two months later. A route was established on the Canmore Wall above Canmore in his memory called Kurihara 5.10d 400m.

Wasabi WI5+ 150m  Photo Takeshi Tani

Wasabi WI5+ 150m Photo Takeshi Tani

Fast forward to this year and Japanese climbers Takeshi Tani, Noboru Kikuchi and Toshiyuki Yamada skied in to climb what they thought was a never-tried-before ice route above Shadow Lake. The route was fully formed as a 150-metre steep ice line. After their ascent, they researched and discovered the 2011 attempt. “I never met Kurihara, but I respected his climbing,” said Tani.

They called the route Wasabi because of the Japanese history and because Tani ate a Wasabi cracker after their ascent. “And the route is a little spicy, too, just like Wasabi,” said Tani.

Wasabi WI5+ 150m  Photo Takeshi Tani

Wasabi WI5+ 150m Photo Takeshi Tani


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