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Summit or Plummet is New Steep Van Island Alpine

Summit or Plummet is the name of a new steep alpine route on Vancouver Island by Karsten Klawitter and Hunter Lee.

Summit or Plummet on Victoria Peak. Photo Hunter Lee

The pair took to Victoria Peak on Aug. 10 to tackle their new 13-pitch 5.10 A1 up an aesthetic line.

Lee noted on social media, “The first six pitches had climbing up to 5.10a. The seventh pitch orced us to aid thru a difficult over hanging section of rock- we suspect this crux would go free in the 5.11a-5.11b range.

“Once up the face we opted to climb the upper head wall of the West Ridge. Three pitches of climbing up to 5.9 lead us to an airy traverse and one more short section of climbing before finding ourselves on the summit.

“This was the second attempt on the route, Andreas Hinkkala and I attempted it a few weeks back but were turned around atop pitch three due to weather.”

Victoria Peak stands high above the White and Gold rivers in the north-central area of Vancouver Island. The mountain is the remains from an eroded volcano.

The first ascent of the peak was in 1960 by Frank Stapley and Dave Williamson. The ascent took days because there was not longer roads in place yet.

The first winter ascent was in 2009 after John Waters, Louis Monjo and Curtis Lyon snowmobiled 40km up the White River. They climbed a new route called Sceptre, a mixed route up the west face.

Other routes include: South Face, Southeast Ridge, East Ridge, West Ridge, South Ridge and the Northeast Buttress.

The 5.9 11th pitch on Summit or Plummet. Photo Hunter Lee