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Ice Season Warm Up: Nemesis is a Rockies Classic

Nemesis is one of the most classic WI6 ice routes in Canada

Nemesis is the most sought-after ice route on the Stanley Headwall near the B.C. and Alberta border. The northeast-facing steep route has variable and sometimes rotten grade-four ice to a big ledge halfway up. The second pitch is harder and involves sections of steep, sustained climbing, but usually on good ice.

The Stanley Headwall has many other classics, like Suffer Machine, Acid Howl, the Mr. Hulot area and French Reality. To get to the route, park at the Stanley Creek pullout and ski up the switch backs into trees and the upper valley. Nemesis is found at the back of the valley and takes about two hours to reach.

Bugs McKeith led the first ascent of Nemesis, using Terrordactyls, aiders, fixed ropes and all of the tricks of the day back in 1974. Six years later, James Blench, John Lauchlan and Albi Sole made the second ascent and the first free ascent. With two 70-metre ropes, the route can be done in two pitches and two rappels. There is avalanche hazard so be sure to check avalanche conditions here