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Big Sexy’s Yodel is Rockies Newest Mixed Route

Ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies is reaching mid-season and climbers are finding new ground to swing and scratch their way up.

In B.C., a popular climbing area is the Yoho Valley Road where the big ice climb Takakkaw Falls is found. The area has dozens of mixed and pure ice routes up to 300 metres.

Heading up the difficult mixed terrain on Big Sexy's Yodel.  Photo Jasmin F
Jasmin Fauteux Heading up the difficult mixed terrain on Big Sexy’s Yodel. Photo Yamada Toshiyuki

A new route formed this year close to the parking lot and a few hundred metres right of the popular WWF. Jasmin Fauteux had seen climbers on it in December and assumed they topped out. One of the climbers was Rob Owens, who added a bolt on the first pitch to protect the mixed climbing.

A few days ago, Fauteux, Pat Lindsay, Sebastian Taborszky and Yamada Toshiyuki teamed up to try the route, not knowing if it had been climbed.

Taborszky made an impressive lead of the first pitch, of which Fauteux said, ” I dont feel any of the small blocks he slung or his micro-stubby would have held a fall. It was definitely don’t fall territory.”

The steep upper ice on Big Sexy's Yodel.  Photo Jasmin Fauteux
Yamada Toshiyuki climbing the steep upper ice on Big Sexy’s Yodel. Photo Jasmin Fauteux at Ferret the Wolf Photographics

After climbing the route, Fauteux reached out on social media and discovered that Owens and his partner did not complete the route in December and that theirs was a first ascent.

They called the new 90-metre two-pitch route Big Sexy’s Yodel M6 WI5.