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Watch Free-Soloing Ice Climber in the Rockies

Ice climbing season in the Rockies is well into its second month as nearly all classic routes have formed

Gripped contributor Tim Banfield has been spending a lot of time this season capturing ice climbers on ice climbs in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. He’s taken some five-star images of top climbers on steep climbs.

In the short Instagram video below, Banfield videos American climber Ryan Richardson free-soloing the 85-metre Cold Choice at Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park.

Richardson is no stranger to soloing big ice. In April 2019, he made a rare solo of Gimme Shelter VI WI6 on Mount Quadra. Gimm Shelter was first soloed by Scott DeCapio back in 1994/94, it was also the second ascent of the route. The first ascent was in 1983 by Kevin Doyle and Tim Friesen. The second solo was by Mike Verway.

Free-soloing is dangerous, potentially deadly and best left for highly experienced ice climbers. A number of free-soloing ice climbers have died over the years in Canada.

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