Earlier this week, Jean Francois Girard and Carl Darveau made the first ascent of Trans- Balkan Express, a 110-metre M10 mixed route. The new winter line climbs a steep crack system on Mont-Gol, across from Mont de l’Ours in Parc National des Grands-Jardins north of Baie-Saint-Paul in Quebec.
“This mountain has huge potential, but was left aside because of the bad granite on the lower part,” said Francois Girard.
“We discovered this huge cave with a hanging icicle and a upper headwall with a offwidth.”
Carveau headed up with a drill and made his way through the four-metre roof. It took them a number of goes, due to bad rock and difficult M10 climbing on natural features, but they eventually climbed the steep mixed to an upper seam of ice.
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Le 3 mars dernier mon bro Jean Francois Girard et moi avons ouvert une nouvelle ligne dans le parc des grands jardins. Complètement euphorique ! Une voie qui annonce ses couleurs en débutant avec un difficile toit M10 sur bolts, suivi d’une courte longueur en M4 trad pour finir avec un bijou en M7 trad ! Je suis stupéfait de la force phénoménale de Jeff qui a enchaîné le toit, c’était magnifique ! Last 3 March my bro Jeff Girard and I did a first ascent in the parc des grands jardins ! A route that start with a beautiful but hard roof M10 bolted, follow with another short pitch in M4 trad and finally a wonderful last pitch in M7 trad ! It was really awesome to see Jeff sent this roof ! Mind blowing Spécial thanks to 📸 Ulric Collette and J-p Nadeau Trans-Balkansky-Express 110M @petzl_official #arcteryx #skyambitionsteam #iceclimbing#climbing #climbing_is_my_passion#climbinglife #climbing_photos_of_instagram#iceclimbingimages #escalade #adventure #icecalade #climbing_pictures_of_instagram #goclimb
The first pitch is M10 30 metres on bolts, the second is a 30-metre M4 on gear and the last (a chimney/off-width that required a six-inch cam) is a 50-metre M7. “It’s the most beautiful pitch of this nature I have ever climbed,” said Francois Girard.
Parc National des Grands-Jardins offers some amazing granite climbing during the summer on domes similar to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite. There are also a number of winter ice and mixed routes.