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Gimme Shelter WI6 Soloed by Colorodan Ryan Richardson

Gimme Shelter in the Canadian Rockies is an aesthetic and dangerous seven-pitch WI6 that has been the focus of many climbers this spring.

Colorado climber Ryan Richardson recently soloed the steep ice route for the third known solo on record. Richardson is no stranger to the Rockies as he opened new terrain on the Emperor Face on Mount Robson with Niall Hamill, although the two retreated before climbing the entire face.

Soloing Gimme Shelter is no simple task and requires hundreds of metres of WI5 and WI6 climbers with few natural ledges to rest on. The late Guy Lacelle once attempted to solo it but walked away before starting. Moments later, the serac collapsed down the route wiping out the lower pitches.

Gimme Shelter… or I’m gonna fade away 🙏

A post shared by Ryan Richardson (@ryancrichardson) on

Peter Hoang and Jon Walsh made the first climb of Gimme Shelter this year, which forms below large seracs on Mount Quadra near Lake Louise, alongside Quentin Roberts and Tom Livingstone.

The first solo was by Scott DeCapio back in 1994/94 was also the second ascent of the route. The first ascent was in 1983 by Kevin Doyle and Tim Friesen. The second solo was by Mike Verway.

The route is number 18 of 25 in The Bold and Cold book, which includes a story by the first ascent team. You can find the book here.

Also this year, Slipstream WI4+, 1,000 metres, on Snowdome has been climbed a handful of times. And last week, Brette Harrington, Ines Papert and Luka Lindic made the first ascent of The Sound of Silence VI M8 WI6 on Mount Fay. Read more about it here.

With more cold weather in the forecast, there’s plenty of spring alpine season left for keen climbers to get after it in the Canadian Rockies.