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Jon Walsh Finishes New Gravy Train 5.12 in Bugaboos

He worked on the hard line with various partners over the past few years

Jon Walsh is one of Canada’s leading alpinists who’s just completed a new eight-pitch 5.12 called Gravy Train on Fingerberry Tower in the Bugaboos with Pete Hoang. The duo spent the past week based in the Bugs with a number of other strong climbers.

Walsh had spent a number of days over the past few years working on the route with Michelle Kadatz and Raphael Slawinski. “With the first six pitches scrubbed and some protection/anchors bolted, all we had to do was send it and add the finish, which we managed on the first day,” said Walsh.

“However, our last pitch wasn’t of the same quality as the rest of the route, and although it reached the top of the Gar Wall, it missed the summit. A few days later we returned to the tower by climbing the route Fingerberry Jam, and then put some effort into sorting out a better finish for Gravy Train that took it direct to the summit, with climbing more in character with the rest of the route.”

Walsh, who’s photo of Chris Brazeau climbing the north face of Mount Alberta on the cover of the history anthology to the Rockies called The Bold and Cold, added: “On this summit we found a note in a film canister from the first ascent of the tower in 1952. Always cool to discover this type of history, and it looked like it had been written yesterday.

Walsh has added a number of 5.12 routes to the Bugaboos over the years and said, “I’m really stoked about how this one turned out and think it’s probably one of the best alpine rock climbs I’ve ever put up.” Be sure to follow him on Instagram below for more alpine ascents.