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Choss and Strange Ice on Big New Quebec Mixed Line

Two Quebec climbers return to a big wall in a remote corner of Quebec where they've established the area's most difficult winter route

Photo by: Nelson Rioux

Jean Francois Girard and Carl Darveau have continued their annual tradition of establishing difficult mixed routes at Le Pic de L’Aurore in PercĂ©, Quebec.

Their latest new climb is a 185-metre M8+WI5 they sent on March 10 and called La Peau du Dragon. Girard said they spent “two days outfitting what is our toughest route on the wall to date.” Other routes include the 190-metre Aller simple pour Mars M7+ WI7- and the only repeat of the 200-metre WI5+ M7 called Moby Dick which was established in 2001 by Bernard Mailhot and Benoit Marion.

La Peau du Dragon M8+WI5 185m

La Peau du Dragon starts with a 30-metre and 60-metre mixed pitch. The third pitch is a “choss fest” with the “worst rock on the wall,” as Girard described it. “It’s delicately climbable at M6+ and ends in a cave.” They established the route top-down because of loose rock.

The fourth pitch heads up an overhanging face with delicate holds and dynamic moves. It climbs 50 metres up M8+ WI5. “The last section heads up dirty and crumbly rock and needs special attention not to tear the bad M5 holds,” said Girard.

Pic l’aurore now has four monster mixed routes. As Girard said, “It will give you what you are looking for – a great adventure, a good dose of strong wind and some strange pink ice formations.”

Girard added, “Thanks to our generous host Camp de base GaspĂ©sie (Auberge le coin du Banc) and thanks to Nelson Rioux and Ulric Colette for filming.” The team expects to release a film on La Peau du Dragon in the fall. Check out a few photos by Rioux of the new route below.

Choss and Fun on La Peau du Dragon

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Lead photo: Nelson Rioux