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Fifth Known Ascent of Yamnuska’s Hardest Route

Australian climber Doug McConnell is visiting the Rockies and sent one of the area’s hardest routes. McConnell sent Blue Jeans 5.13b on one of the steepest sections of Yamnuska, a south-facing wall in the Rockies.

After four days of effort, McConnell sent the route with friend Kerrin Gale jugging behind. “I didn’t expect to do it yesterday so we under catered somewhat on food and water,” said McConnell.

Doug McConnell on Blue Jeans 5.13 on Yamnuska. Photo @weebitwindy
Doug McConnell on Blue Jeans 5.13 on Yamnuska. Photo @weebitwindy

“I was hoping to redpoint the fourth and work the fifth pitch, but we started early which gave me a chance to do the crux pitch pretty quickly then we climbed the easier pitches to the top just before dark. Clear skys and a big moon helped on the descent.”

Blue Jeans was first sent by Derek Galloway in 2010 after being bolted by Nick Rochacewich. In 2013, Vikki Weldon made the second ascent. In 2014, Josh Wharton and Hayden Kennedy made the third and fourth ascents.

The route is named after a Canmore climber who wears blue jeans to the crag and in the alpine, Andrew Gallant, but also for the two blue streaks that drape down the steep face.

Doug McConnell on Blue Jeans 5.13 on Yamnuska. Photo @weebitwindy
Doug McConnell on Blue Jeans 5.13 on Yamnuska. Photo @weebitwindy

“I wore blue jeans each day on the route,” said McConnell, which proves that if you look good, you feel good and you climb good.

– Be sure to follow McConnell on his trip to North America on Instagram @dugmcc and photographer @weebitwindy.