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Solid Airity is New Moderate Rockies Ice Climb

This is one of many new ice and mixed routes in the Rockies this fall

On Oct. 19, Ruari Macfarlane and Doug Hollinger made the first ascent of a 65-metre ice/mixed route in the far reaches of the Storm Creek Headwall valley across from route Scar Tissue.

Storm Creek has seen a rise in popularity this year. In the current issue of Gripped magazine, Jon Walsh has a feature detailing the area’s history and the routes.

Macfarlane and Hollinger named their new route Solid airity M5 WI3. “Each pitch was maybe a bit over 35 metres,” said Macfarlane, “but it wanders enough that a 60-metre rap did make the ground. Screw rack should include 3+ stubbys. For rock gear, bring nuts, cams micro to 0.75 plus a #3 worked for us. The pitch two crux was in dangerous shape with vibrating, thin, delaminated ice, that very realistically could have collapsed. Delicacy essential.”

To reach Solid Airity, head down to the bottom of the valley walking past the farthest trees. “Make your way up the slope, through the rock band and continue up the 35 to 40 degree scree slope to the last gully.”

There have been a number of new routes climbed this year in the Rockies, including Tourist Trap above Moraine Lake and Eye of the Storm on the northern aspect of Storm Mountain.

Classic ice routes in the Rockies have also been climbed, such as Replicant on the Trophy Wall and Shades of Beauty on the Icefields Parkway. Always check avalanche conditions before you head out here.