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Naga is a New Multi-Pitch M8 WI5+ in the Canadian Rockies

The hard new line adds two variation pitches to the already classic Scar Tissue on the Storm Creek Headwall

Photo by: Ethan Berman

The Storm Creek Headwall has become one of the most popular areas for difficult mixed and ice multi-pitch routes in the Canadian Rockies. Despite the spring-like temps across much of Canada, Ethan Berman and Grant Stewart found good climbing in Storm Creek for their new newest addition to the area.

Naga is a four-pitch M8 WI5+ that follows the first two pitches of Scar Tissue and adds two new steep mixed pitches. Scar Tissue is a 150-metre M7+ WI6 first climbed by Niall Hamill and Jon Walsh on March 24, 2018, in honour of Marc-Andre Leclerc, who passed away in Alaska earlier that month.

“I was stoked to get back there again and send the pitch and finish the route to the top,” said Walsh about Scar Tissue’s FA. “The vertical field of ice mushrooms with 100-plus metres of air below was well worth the efforts to get there, and felt similar to Nightmare on Wolf Street, one of the most coveted multi-pitch mixed routes in the Rockies.”

When Berman was asked if the route required a lot of cleaning, he said, “No not really! Surprised at how good it climbed,” but that there’s “definitely still some loose rock.” The first two pitches of Scar Tissue are a 45-metre WI3 and a 30-metre WI5. The two new pitches of Naga are a 35-metre M8 followed by a 35-metre M6+ WI5+.

About the climb, Stewart said, “The upper pillar leans out, suspended in the air. At its top sits a giant roof of medusas resembling the hood of a snake. Stepping out over the lip felt like some form of levitation as we topped out into the swirling liminal whiteout of the first proper spring storm… I agree with Ethan; my overwhelming feeling is of gratitude to get to share the experience of questing up into the unknown in such a wild and storied place.”

Lead photo: Ethan Berman