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Game On in the Rockies! New Four-Pitch Trad Mixed Route

The Fist Fight follows an obvious line up an unmistakable peak in Kananaskis Country

It’s a late start to the ice and mixed season in the Canadian Rockies, but it seems the recent cold temps have motivated climbers to go looking for ice and mixed routes. While few fully-formed pure ice routes are “in” yet, Kevin Sevalrud and Merrick Montemurro have established a four-pitch mixed route on The Fist in Kananaskis Country. They named their 180-metre climb The Fist Fight and graded it M6.

The peak can be seen from the Smith Dorrien Trail south of Canmore and was named what it was because it looks like a clenched fist. In 2017, Raphael Slawinski and Alik Berg climbed a new mixed line called The Manhole, a seven-pitch 300-metre M5, which you can read about here.

About The Fist Fight, Sevalrud said, “The climbing is sustained, with adequate protection for the harder sections, and some runouts in easier terrain. The first pitch is classic, the crux of which is like being in a fist fight in a phone booth (see video) We thought the four long pitches clock in at M6, M4, M5+, M5+R. Chimney and offwidth techniques will come in handy, so will pins and a hammer. The stone is generally good, with countless fun chockstone hooks, blobs of ice, and frozen turf sticks. The roof right off the ground is a good indicator of how the rest of the route will go. We did not try to traverse the narrow ridge to the summit, as it looked convoluted and difficult to protect. Instead, the route has 4x bolted rappel anchors for a speedy descent. Go try it! This is a great mini-alpine adventure to test your fitness and gear skills for the coming season.”

Find a topo and route beta on Rockies Ice and Mixed Conditions here, which you can follow for more Rockies conditions updates.