The world of drytooling has a number of iconic hard routes, one of which was recently first climbed by Canadian Gord McArthur in B.C. called Storm Giant.

Two of the sport’s top climbers are Jeff Mercier, who is also a leading alpinist and guide, and Angelika Rainer, an all-round crusher.

While neither only focuses on drytooling, the spend their should seasons working on hard routes.

French climber Mercier spent a few days in October climbing in the Dolomites. A few years ago, he climbed Low G-Man D14 at Dus del Quait in Italy.

It took him only a few days to take down Tom Ballard’s A Line Across the Sky, one of the world’s hardest drytool climbs at D15.

Mercier noted on Facebook that he’s looking forward to visiting Canada soon. His goal is to repeat McArthur’s Storm Giant.

In the end, he spent 40 minutes leading the climb past 27 bolts to get a rare ascent of the giant roof line. The second ascent was by Gaetan Raymond a few days after Ballard’s in winter 2016.

Rainer, a leading competition climber, is working on climbing A Line Above the Sky. But between projecting sessions, she pieced together Je ne sais quio D14+, another Ballard line.

“I just climbed a D14+ today,” said Rainer on Instagram. “I would never have imagined climbing that path today. I just wanted to give my best and somehow I kept climbing and I surprised myself by chapando the chain.”

Tom Ballard congratuled rainer with a message on Instagram that read: “Angelika Rainer is getting close to the first female D15… it’s only a matter of time.”


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