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Quebec’s Em Pellerin Sends Air China 5.13dR Trad

The hard trad route has only been sent a handful of times

Quebec crusher Em Pellerin has made a rare repeat of Air China 5.13dR, a thin crack first climbed by Matt Segal nearly a decade ago. The route is similar in style to Air Swedin 5.13R in Indian Creek.

The hard line starts up a seam that take infrequent protection, then heads up an arete with small features that lead to a bolt. Segal nearly died on an early attempt and decided to add a bolt because without it a fall could lead to serious injuries. After the bolt, the route continues up hard moves to the top.

Earlier this year, Pellerin and Julien Bourassa-Moreau made the first free ascent of Colours of the Wind, a four-pitch 5.13 trad climb in China. Pellerin is one of Canada’s leading trad climbers who made the second onsight ascent of The Shadow 5.13 in Squamish last year.

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Fr ⤵️• ✈🇨🇳 •Air China (5.13d R); hardest Trad climb I've done and likely the best & most improbable climb I've sent in China this past trip… which gives me the chance to annoy you with a few to many pictures of it… 🤣😉 Yes, Air China does have 1 bolt. Why? 'Some sacrifices had to be made so that your friends don't have to scoop your brain back into your head', 🤯🤣 said Segal. Back in 2011, @mattsegal visited Liming in the hope of establishing China's hardest trad climb (which he did). Part way through that journey, he found this gem, waiting to be revealed. In his vision that this route would go clean, all on gear. On an attempt, Segal fell and exploded the cluster of cams holding him, followed by a pretty nasty 45 footer dive head first. (Man, this is huge!) 😬 He got lucky in his bad luck, had it been from a few feet higher, maybe the outcome would have been different… @willstanhope belayed him like a chef and gave him a miraculous catch, then told Segal to put a bolt in, otherwise he'd refuse to belay. Thanks Matt for putting this up, it's a great find and such an inspiring FA. 😊 And yes, I'm very happy that the bolt is there. No, it is absolutely & definitely not a sport route; it would still feel 'airy' with 3 or 4 bolts in 😅. Yes, I'm kinda glad there's only ONE. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Et voici: 6 photos (de trop) de moi dans Air China, 5.13d R en trad. 😂 C'est la voie la plus dûre et la plus improbable que j'ai réussi à enchaîner en trad… fac je me permet de t'achaller avec ça… 😉 Ya une bolt dans la voie, longue histoire courte: c'est pour t'éviter de mourir en la grimpant et/ou en assurant… 😅 Matt Segal tentant la première ascension (en 2011) a fait exploser le placement et s'est tapé une pas pire chute (~15m) tête la première… mais s'en sort indemne grâce à Stanhope, qui la assuré comme un chef. Celui-ci propose: 《soit que tu mets une bolt, soit tu trouves quelqu'un d'autre pour ramasser les bouts de ta cervelle le jour où tu chutes de plus haut》🤯😅comme il n'y avait personne d'autre pour l'assurer, le pauvre Segal a été forcé de mettre un point. 😉 *c'était ma version simplifiée… 😁

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