David Lama is in the Canadian Rockies with Hansjorg Auer and Jess Rosskelley for some alpine climbing. The three top alpine climbers have already climbed Andromeda Strain VI M5, 700 metres, on Mount Andromeda on the Icefields Parkway.
The Canadian Rockies seem to be on the radar of the international climbing scene, as this climb follows last week’s major first ascent of The Sound of Silence VI M8 WI5 on Mount Fay by Brette Harrington, Ines Papert and Luka Lindic.
Gimme Shelter VI WI6, nine pitches, has been climbed a number of times now, including a solo by Ryan Richardson. The most recent repeat was by Jedrzej Jablonski and Lauren Shartell from Colorado. Slipstream WI4+, 900 metres, on Snowdome has also been climbed a number of times this season.
The first ascent was by Dave Cheesmond, Barry Blanchard and Tim Friesen. “We completed the often tried Andromeda Strain,” said Cheesmond after the first ascent.
“The route involved mixed climbing up to 5.9 A2 and required one bivouac. It is recommended but not in the summer when severe rockfall could be experienced. It ascends the obvious couloir in the east face.”
Andromeda Strain has been soloed a number of times, including by Marc-Andre Leclerc and Frank Jordan. It’s also been climbed at 5.10 in the summer, but the rock was loose and the upper ice pitches were dry slabs.