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New Traditional Mixed Routes in Quebec

With spring only a few weeks away, it seems the long days are providing perfect conditions for new routing in Quebec. On March 5, Jean Francois Girard and Carl Darveau climbed two new mixed lines in La Vallée Du Bras Du Nord, Québec. Jean Francois Girard wrote the following. “Carl Sent me an email with pictures of the line he was thinking about and it looked OK, but nothing great. ‘So lets see what’s up there,’ I told him.

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Carl Darveau on Popotnik dit Le Vagabond Photo Jean Francois Girard

“Our objective was to do the direct start to Rotterdam and climb the line to the right of it. From the ground, it was looking pretty easy and the wall looked short. We were wrong, the wall was not easy or short. I took the rack and went up the easy mixed start and then a 95-degree çrack rose above to join the ice. I battled my way up cleaning the çrack and footholds of moss. There was so much moss in my eye that I couldn’t see and my foot popped and I fell blowing my onsight attempt.

I continued up and finished the pitch on tricky ice and an amazing gully that reminded my of Chamonix. A full hardcore 60-metre pitch. We returned the following day and it went free with no falls or bolts. That was our first objective, the second was a line five metres right, Carl dreamed about it. He took the gear and went up amazing features of rock and ice and found good gear and finished the pitch on poor ice. It was a pleasure hearing pitons echo in the valley.

We called the first line La directe des Slovène M7+ WI5+ 120 metres. The second line is just to the right and we called it Popotnik dit Le Vagabond M6 WI4R 120 metres. Both Lines share the same second pitch.