Evan Hau recently made the first ascent of Canada’s second 5.15 and became the first Canadian to climb a 5.15 route.
His hard climb is called Honour and Glory 5.15a and is found at The Coliseum in Echo Canyon above Canmore. Hau has written a feature on his climb that you can find in the October/November issue of Gripped magazine.
We recently touched base with him to get a quick insight into his historic ascent.
How does if feel to be the first Canadian to climb 5.15? It feels surreal. Actually I’m a little surprised it hasn’t been done yet, but hopefully this will inspire others to push for the grade.
Why did you call it Honour and Glory? For a long time I didn’t have a name for this climb. I wanted to stick with the Coliseum theme and I felt like a gladiator going up there all the time battling on this climb and I decided to name it after what gladiators fought for at The Roman Colosseum.
What is the hardest move or serious of moves? Honour and Glory is more of a power endurance climb; there aren’t any seriously difficult sections. The hardest individual move is about V10 or so but it’s all the V10 sections stacked on top of each other with hardly any rests which makes it difficult.
Was there ever any doubt? Like all my harder projects, in the beginning, I didn’t really think about trying to send it. It was just a really cool line I had bolted and I wanted to climb on it. Once I started to get bigger links, I knew I would do it some day but had no idea how long it would take.
How many attempts over how long? I don’t typically count number of attempts on projects but definitely took over 100 attempts. I started bolting Honour and Glory in April 2016. The Coliseum gets both sun and shade depending on time of day and I’m pretty hardcore so I tried it pretty consistently since then except for 3 months in Dec/Jan/Feb.
Did anyone else try it before or after your send? It has been tried by a few others without too much success. Hopefully more people will get on it in the future.
Why did you give it 5.15a? It’s definitely harder than my two 5.14d ascents, Bunda de Fora and Seleccio Natural. Though I haven’t sent any others, I have tried numerous routes in the 14d-15b range, mostly in Spain, and Honour and Glory does feel on par with the 15a’s that I have tried.
What’s the next project? Stereotypical sport climbing answer: 10 feet to the right of Honour and Glory I bolted a second line which is completely independent. I’ve only tried it a few times but so far it’s just as good and seems like it will be roughly the same difficulty.
Did you do anything to celebrate? Not really, I tend to “celebrate” after any fun day out climbing regardless of if anyone sent anything or not, so it was just more of the usual, but I guess I partied just a little harder that night.
Who is your climbing hero? Growing up as a climber, my climbing hero was Chris Sharma. I think I’ve modeled my climbing after his in a lot of ways. These days I don’t really have a hero anymore and I’m trying to make my own way as a climber.