Evan Hau has made the first ascent of his project at The Coliseum in Echo Canyon on Grotto Mountain near Canmore. He called the steep route Honour and Glory and graded it 5.15a, it’s Canada’s second 5.15.
“The name comes from what gladiators fought for in the Roman Colosseum,” said Hau. “What an incredible journey! I started bolting this route 16 months ago last April and tried to get on it as much as possible since then, pretty much 12 out of the last 16 month it’s been climbable.”
Hau had been climbing at The Coliseum for a while and had known about the steep section of wall dubbed “the 5.15 wall.”
Hau said after, “I was always inspired to try and find a line that would scale up these huge roofs at the top of the Coliseum.
“Finally I decided to venture up there and to my surprise there was a perfect line of holds all the way up that seemed to be just at my perfect difficulty.”
Hau, a Calgary-local, noted that contitions on his send day of Aug. 15 were great for sending. He past his highpoint and then continue to the final move and then to the chains. (Click clip below to watch Hau on the first crux)
Being only the second 5.15 in Canada, Hau broke down the grade, “Long term projects like these often don’t feel that hard on the actual redpoint go and it’s hard to assign a grade on a route that I have wired and can rehearse in my sleep.
“I will stick with my initial thoughts earlier this year that it is on par with the few 5.15as I’ve tried in Europe and definitely harder than any 5.14d I’ve been on, so I’m going with 5.15a. This is my first of the grade and a lifetime goal for sure.”
The route breaks down as such: “I reckon it’s about a 15-metre 5.14d to a mediocre rest followed by 30 metres of pumpy 5.14b climbing which ends in a huge roof.”
When asked who put in the belay hours, Hau said, “I’d like to thank my fiance Sheena Stares primarily as she sat through hundreds of hours helping me do most of the route development, belaying me while I lead bolted the roof.
“She would always hike up to the wall with me and was my main belayer. Others that spent a lot of time belaying me are Kevin Wilson and Ty Chapman.”
Canada’s first 5.15 was climbed in 2016 by Alex Megos at Ravens Crag near Banff and called Fight Club. Check back for a video on Hau’s new 5.15. Congrats Evan!