Wasabi is a new 150-metre WI5+ above Shadow Lake in the Rockies with a bit of history behind it. In 2011, Jiro Kurihara, Mike and Pat Lalonde climbed 100 metres of a not fully formed route and called it Unfinished Drawing WI4 100m. Kurihara died in an avalanche in Alaska less than two months later. A route was established on the Canmore Wall above Canmore in his memory called Kurihara 5.10d 400m.
Fast forward to this year and Japanese climbers Takeshi Tani, Noboru Kikuchi and Toshiyuki Yamada skied in to climb what they thought was a never-tried-before ice route above Shadow Lake. The route was fully formed as a 150-metre steep ice line. After their ascent, they researched and discovered the 2011 attempt. “I never met Kurihara, but I respected his climbing,” said Tani.
They called the route Wasabi because of the Japanese history and because Tani ate a Wasabi cracker after their ascent. “And the route is a little spicy, too, just like Wasabi,” said Tani.