Maarten Van Haeren reported on Gravsports-ice that he and Alik Berg made the first ascent of Ophidiophobia, a new 140-metre M7 WI4+ in the Ghost.

To save you from Googling it, Ophidiophobia “is a particular type of specific phobia, the abnormal fear of snakes. It is sometimes called by a more general term, herpetophobia, fear of reptiles and/or amphibians.”

Van Haeren wrote on the ice climbing forum, “A nice sunny route with a traditional feel, but enough bolts to keep things reasonable.

“First climbed in February in very cold conditions but likely best done earlier in the season when the ice is in better shape.

“Huge shout out to Ben Stanley, who had enough stoke to come up into the Waiperous with us to help out and shoot the shit at the belays.” For a topo and photos visit here.

Van Haeren and Berg teamed up in the fall for ascents of the 1,200-metre The Wild Thing V M7 on Mount Chephren and of the 1,500-metre Grand Central Couloir V M6 on Mount Kitchener.

Berg recently received the John Lauchlan Award with Chris Brazeau, Ian Welsted and Raphael Slawinski for their summer 2018 trip to the Kondus Valley in Pakistan. See more here.

There are a number of “phobia” winter routes in the Ghost River Valley now, including Hydrophobia WI5+, Nophobia M10 and Cryophobia M7 WI6. Marc-Andre Leclerc and Brette Harrington have a multi-year multi-pitch project named Auroraphobia that will go at hard 5.13.

Follow Van Haeren below on Instagram.

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