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Veteran Rockies Climbers Establish New Mixed Routes

While it's been a slow start to the ice climbing season in Alberta, things have picked up during the recent cold snap

Photo by: Brandon Pullan of the east face of Mount Kidd

Raphael Slawinski and Alik Berg teamed up to make the first ascent of Rastapopoulos on the east side of Mount Kidd in Kananaskis Country. The mountain has several esthetic lines that form each season. And in Banff, another steep new pitch got a likely first ascent.

Rastapopoulos is a two-pitch M6 WI4R that follows 100 metres of rock and ice. Berg reported on the Rockies Ice and Mixed Facebook page that they brought eight screws, nuts, said there was an optional #1 and #2 Camalot placement, pins and hammers. The first pitch climbs 60 metres up to WI4R up a curtain to thin ice and a bolted anchor. The second pitch heads up 10 metres of “good rock” into a curtain and bolted anchor. See the route and follow for more conditions updates here.

Slawinski and Berg also ran a lap up the 100-metre Cryogenics WI5R on the east face of Mount Kidd, a peak named after Stuart Kidd, a trading post manager in the town of Morley, who was made an honourary chief of the Stoney. His Stoney name was Tah-Osa, which means moose killer. In 2017, Slawinski and Berg made the first ascent of The Manhole, a seven-pitch 300-metre M5 on The Fist, which you can read about here.

And on Mount Bourgeau, Sebastian Taborszky reported that he and Jasmin Fauteux climbed a route 100 metres left of Bourgeau Right that they called Petit Bourgeois, a 55-metre M5 WI4+. There was no record of this route being climbed in the past. Several classic routes have formed in the Rockies, including Whiteman Falls WI6, Nemesis WI6 and Suffer Machine M7 WI5+.

Other routes on the east side of Mount Kidd include the 120-metre Le Lotus Bleu WI5 and the 1,500-metre East Face of Kidd via Le Lotus Bleu  at V WI6 M4 by Slawinski and Valeriy Babanov back in December 2005. The northeast face of Kidd has routes like the 1,200-metre Billy Goats Gruff IV WI4R by Dave Marra and Jeff Relph in November 2002 and Bigg Kidd V M7+ WI5 by Ian Welsted and Slawinski back in November 2013.

Lead photo: Brandon Pullan of the east face of Mount Kidd