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Ethan Salvo Repeats New V13 in Squamish

The young phenom adds another hard boulder to his tick list

Last night, Canadian climber Ethan Salvo, 20, made the third ascent of Offenders of the Faith V13 in Squamish. The problem is a low start variation of the classic Defender of the Faith V9, originally put up by Vince Chung in 2002. The low start had been a well-known open project in Squamish for years until Lucas Uchida linked the low moves into the V9 in Fall 2022, believing the full problem to be upper-end V13. Peter Satt picked up the second ascent shortly afterwards.

Salvo was working his main project over in Gibbs’ Cave on the frigid January evening when he decided to give Offenders a burn. He ended up sending the problem on his first go of the night. Salvo gave us his thoughts on the night session and his send:

“Yesterday was like any average day for me. I woke up kinda tired, made some breakfast and skated over to work. I clocked in and proceeded to look out the [Climb On Equipment] window for what felt like the majority of my day, dreaming about trying my project in conditions that good. After listening to customers talk about how great the conditions were, the psych started to build. After my 10-hour shift I skated home as fast as I could, ate some food, did some push ups, and then whipped over to the Grand Wall to go try Zazen. I pulled onto the crux jump and did it first try super easily. I thought I had a good chance of sending last night but I kinda just hit a mental wall with it. I figured it would just be worth trying another day, ideally on one when I don’t have to work hahaha.

“After that I shuffled pads down to Offenders, chalked the grips, and tried to remember how I climbed the stand—and to be honest I was just too out of it to even remember at that point. I just pulled on and did it first try.

“I latched the crux and just kept trying to go. Each move felt worse then the last. I nearly punted because I missed the finish jug—thank god I bumped at the last second. I think when I topped out I said something like, ‘holy s*** that was horrible climbing’. My roommates Cam and Liam came out to support and hang that night, so we had a good laugh about the way the night played out. After that we walked around the woods for a bit—it was a nice night. A fun memory that will probably stay with me for awhile.”

Originally from Ontario, Salvo now lives in Squamish. In less than three years after he started climbing, he had sent V13 and repeated many of Ontario’s hardest test pieces. He has also put up numerous first ascents, primarily at the Niagara Glen. In 2020, he made FA’s of Rite of Passage Low V13 and The Wheel of Bonfire V13. In 2021, he made the first ascent of the beautiful Vilified V13.

Salvo had some huge sends in 2022. In a period of a little over a week in September, he sent two of Squamish’s hardest lines, Deadlift V14 and The Reckoning V14.