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Jérome St-Michel Frees Quebec Aid Line at 5.13bR

Fun with a Gun climbs a steep line on Mont Larose at Weir

Jérome St-Michel is one of Canada’s many crushers that you’ve probably never heard of. The Quebec-based St-Michel has been quietly sending hard ice and rock lines for years.

His most recent is the first free ascent of Fun with a Gun 5.13bR at Weir. The first ascent was in 1993 by Bob Cartwright at A3; it’s been called the best aid route in the Laurentians to learn the craft.

Fellow Quebec climber, Olivier Boutin, reached out to us to let us know about the historic send. “After coming out of quarantine, Jérome St-Michel freed an old A3 line at Weir, in Québec, adding an impressive new line to the already wild crag,” said Boutin. “I hope you get a good kick out of the route and gear description, seems he put a lot of thought into it.”

We couldn’t agree more that St-Michel’s route description is one of the finest to hit the web lately, so here it is: Start right of the anchor and climb a short left facing corner (0.1/0.2 BD X4) to a tricky mantle onto a good foot hold to reach the main seam. Place some gear and mantle to a shallow ledge underneath a blank section capped with a few overlaps. Place a bomber finger size cam plus a critical sideway nut a foot above it (#4 BD Stopper) and get ready for the first crux.

Fun with a Gun  Topo Jérome St-Michel

This next section is a little scary and involves very technical climbing on unusual features. So, battle up this section to a very good hold and place a tiny wire plus a micro cam (0 BD Z4). Mantle onto that good hold to a good left gaston. Place crappy gear in the tiny flake above your head. There is also a good but blindly placed red ballnut in the seam to your right. Now its time for “THE HIGH STEP” which is kind of crux 1.5 and feels like your gonna slip. Do that move and then reach some thanks god gear placements (0.4-0.5 BD C4) and a good rest right underneath the main crux.

Place a good micro cam in the seam, clip the manky piton nest and go for it using compression moves, sloppy holds, a heel hook, a rose move and more sloppy holds to finally reach a jug. Reestablish yourself above the crux and place a good cam (0.75 BD C4). Compose yourself and climb an easier section until you reach “THE HEINOUS FINGERLOCK”, then climb the roof to a no-hand rest at the horizontal with good gear. Take a few good breath and get ready for the headwall. Climb to the bolt and clip it, or not, then fire the pumpy upper section. There are a few available RP’s but they are quite strenuous to place.

We have a feature story on St-Michel in our next print issue, which will be Gripped 22.4 (August/September). Be sure to follow him on Instagram below and stay tuned for more hard sends from Quebec.

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Last week I made the FFA of Fun with a Gun (FWAG). FWAG is a new free route at Weir that goes on gear (5.13- R). I am super psyched about this as it was one of the last of its kind. I mean there isn’t many unfreed aid route in the Laurentians and around Québec in general. . Getting to free climb an old aid route has always been on the dream list. Those unfreed line are pretty rare and sometime coveted by several climbers . . ?: David Marche . . #tradclimbing #montlarose #laurentides #climbing #rockclimbing #quebec #explore #adventure #crackclimbing #tradisrad #firstascentclimbing #firstfreeascent #escalade #grimper #grippedmagazine #rockandice #alpinist #adventuretime #escaladequebec #laurentians #climbing_is_my_passion #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #climbingphotography #climb #climbing_worldwide #wildlife #climbingwall

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