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Quentin Lindfield Roberts Solos Grand Central Couloir

Conditions lined up for the ropeless ascent of the classic alpine line

It’s not often that big Canadian Rockies alpine routes are in such good condition that they are climbed so much. The Grand Central Couloir V M6 AI4 has recently come into condition and has been climbed a number of times.

John Price and Kris Irwin recently went for a lap and climbed through the night. They soloed hundreds of metres of steep snow and ice before roping up for six pitches of M5 AI4 before the “birth hole” through the summit cornice.

Even more recently, Canadian climber Quentin Lindfield Roberts has made a rare solo ascent. There’s no way to know exactly how many times the route has been soloed, but it’s not many. In 1994, Frank Jourdan and Joe Josephson soloed it at different times. And over a decade ago, Chris Brazeau soloed it in six hours from bivy to bivy.

The first ascent was in 1975 by Jeff Lowe and Mike Weiss and the first winter ascent in 1975 by Jack Roberts and Tobin Sorenson. Barry Blanchard and Kevin Doyle climbed it in 1981 in the first 24-hour push. Their variation is called the Blanchard/Doyle Ice Strip.

In 2017, Lindfield Roberts completed a new route on the east face of Chacraraju Este (6,001 m) in Peru with Alik Berg called The Devil’s Reach Around M6 5.10 90°. It was the first route on the face to be completed without aid. Watch Lindfield Roberts below in a video on that ice strip. Congrats on the big climb!