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New Big Newfoundland Route is 5.12

Newfoundland’s Blow Me Down is one of the east coast’s most adventurous walls. The new route is a 12-pitch 5.12 400-metre line, which climbs through a section of steep roofs, is called Betrayer of Hope and was established by Sam Bendroth and Bayard Russell.

It climbs to the right of Lucifer’s Lighthouse 5.12c, which was climbed in 2006 by Chris Weidner and Justen Sjong. The Blow Me Down wall is first explored in the early 1990s and the first route went up in 1994 by Joe Terravecchia, Chris Kane and Jeff Butterfield and goes at 5.11d A2.

On pitch-seven of Betrayer of Hope 5.12  Photo Bayard Russell
On pitch-seven of Betrayer of Hope 5.12 Photo Bayard Russell

Now there are nearly two dozen free and aid routes up the imposing wall. While there are a number of difficult 5.11 and 5.12 routes, there are a handful of moderate 5.10s.

The approach, conditions and remoteness of Blow Me Down make it a rarely visited wall. In 2011, a mini-expedition set out across the Atlantic for an attempt. Watch this short film that gives an idea of what it takes to climb there.