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Adamson and Watson’s Mega New 5.13 in Canmore

Miles Adamson and Zach Watson have made the first free ascent of their mega route on Grotto Mountain in Canmore.

The two strong Western Canada climbers bolted the six-pitch 5.13+ over the past five years and worked on it for 25 days.

We've got 1 day and a dream. Zach is in the bottom left of this photo

A post shared by Miles Adamson (@miles_adamson) on

One of the pitches has a 19-bolt slab that goes at 5.12+. There’s steep section and vertical pitches and overall the rock quality is better than most in the area.

After the send, Adamson wrote on Instagram, “Zach and I sent! We’re naming it Don’t Rock the Boatswain. A boatswain is a platform you can hang to stand on when there is no belay ledge.”

The route climbs the back wall of a big canyon to the east of Echo Canyon called the Inner Sanctuary. There has been some route development over the years.

“The entire route we bolted on lead, mostly from free stances. Six pitches: 5.11c, 5.13a, 5.12c, 5.12b, 5.12b and 5.12a,” noted Adamson.

For a topo and pitch-by-pitch breakdown visit the Tabvar post here.

In 1989, Choc Quinn and Chris Perry established two new routes that haven’t been repeated much, but are reported to be quite nice.

One is called Twisted Sister and climbs a 380-metre grey wall at 5.10a. It’s an old-school trad line that requires good route finding and gear placement skills. The other route is the 100-metre Black Hole 5.10a.

In 2013, Greg Tos bolted a modern sport route called Silent Auction and goes at 5.12b over 200 metres.

There are a number of drytool crags at the entrance to the Inner Sanctuary, including the Playground, which climb loose and dirty rock.

But the bigger canyon has potential for a number of other multi-pitch bolted routes. It’s only a matter of time before someone heads up there with a bolt kit and gets it done.

“The massive roof which im hanging off of we bolted, but are leaving as an open project at 5.14c at least. If completed it would be the hardest multipitch is canada by far,” wrote Adamson about the video below. Click on the clip to play.