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Breaking News: Ben Harnden Climbs New 5.14d/15a in Squamish

The top West Coast climber has repeated and established some of the most difficult single-pitch routes in B.C.

Ben Harnden has reported on Instagram that he’s made the first ascent of a climb called Dark Matter at Squamish. He suggested 5.14d/15a for the grade. If it stands, it will become the first slash grade of its kind in Canada, and the most difficult route behind Fight Club 5.15b, Disbelief 5.15a and Sacrifice 5.15a in the Rockies.

Harnden is one of Canada’s strongest climbers with repeats of Dreamcatcher 5.14d, Cobra Crack 5.14, The Bull 5.14R and Family Man 5.14b. In 2017, he completed the Squamish Trifecta: a 5.14 sport route, a 5.14 trad route and a V14 boulder.

In 2016, Marek Gomolka wrote a short story about Harnden, known to some as Butters, called Ben Harnden is Squamish’s Dark Horse, in which he says, “His lack of notoriety hasn’t stopped him from achieving world-class standards. He continues to push and redefine a sport with a narcissistic nature. He has become grounded.’

We’ll have more on this breakthrough climb, and more Squamish development later this week. Watch Harnden make the second ascent of Free Demensional 5.13+ below.

Free Demensional