In 1993, a cold snap froze a number of ice lines in the Squamish Valley, but little was climbed. According to local legend Don Serl, the late Guy Edwards attempted a big line but backed off due to conditions.
Last winter, Paul McSorley, Sam Eastman and Tim Emmett climbed the route that Edwards had attempted, and called it Wild West, with pitches at: WI5+, WI6, WI6R/X.
This week, Emmett and Eastman returned Squamish Valley in search of possible new ice lines that have formed in the recent cold snap that’s hit western Canada. They found and made the first ascent of Medusa, a 110-metre two-pitch (WI5+ and WI6+) ice line. Watch the first ascent of Ultimate, Ultimate Everything up The Chief with McSorley and team in 2017 below.
After Edwards attempt in 1993, Serl and Rob Nugent tried a route to the right of what is now Wild West and climbed two pitches up to WI5. Ice climbing gear wasn’t what it is today, and climbing a line like that with straight tools and old screws wouldn’t have been easy. Serl said that once the sun hit their line it began to fall apart so they bailed.