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Rock Climbing Weekly #5: New Squamish Crags

New crags on the west coast and a bold new hard trad climb on the east coast

There’s a lot to cover in the world of rock climbing, so we’re bringing it to you in a quick-to-read story that highlights some of the most noteworthy sends and misses of the week. For indoor-only climbing, visit Gripped Indoors and for paddling, camping, skiing and hiking visit Gripped Outdoors.

There’s a lot of rock climbing going on right now in Canada with big sends going down every few days. In Squamish, a rescue took place on the Apron after a climber got their leg stuck on a route called St. Bernard. It’s the second time someone has gotten stuck on the climb.

Also in Squamish, new crags have been opened to the public at Cheakamus Canyon. For free topos to Echo Beach and The Hemitage visit here. The hardest new route in The Hermit 5.13a first climbed by Josh Duncan. Echo Beach has a number of high-quality 5.12s, including Rodeo Clown 5.12b and Wild Swans 5.12c.

On the east coast, Peter Adamson made the first ascent of a bold trad route at Eagle Rock in New Brunswick that he’s called Hookshot R/X. Adamson said, “This route climbs a beautiful face/arete, but the protection leaves a bit to be desired.” For the protection, he noted, “Protected by tensioned hooks, micro cams, and brassies, you definitely don’t want to fall. This ascent was the result of many hours sitting alone on a top rope solo, rehearsing and perfecting the moves. A big thanks to Ian Lingley for having the vision years ago to see that these routes could be sent without bolts, and for setting an amazing precedent to follow at this cliff. It has resulted in some of the most beautiful natural lines in the province, and I imagine it will continue to do so.” Watch the FA here.

Internationally, a lot of big climbs have gone down over the past week. In Russian, Dinara Fakhritdinova became the first woman from the country to climb 5.14d, read more here. In the U.K.,  James McHaffie finished climbing all 180 route in the famous book Extreme Rock, read more here.

In France, three climbers repeated Le Voyage, a 5.14 trad climb said to be the hardest gear route in the country, read more here. There’s a new women’s speed record on Mount Everest, read more here.

On El Capitan, Amity Warme became the fourth woman to send Golden Gate 5.13b in less than a week, read more here. Young crusher Pablo Hammack, who’s climbed Sleepwalker V16 and The Next V15, has made the first ascent of Love Will Tear Us Apart V15 in Yosemite, watch the video below.

In Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon, Molly Thompson-Smith sent Euro Roof Low V13 and Courtney Arnold sent Euro Trash V12. In Australia, Olympic-qualified Tom O’Halloran made the first ascent of Cheesecake 5.14d at Nowra. Read our in-depth interview with O’Halloran about the Olympics and more here.

Weekly Updates: Ice Season 2020/21Rock 1Rock 2Rock 3Rock 4

Access: Many climbing areas in Canada are currently in areas where Covid-19 restrictions are limiting travel. Don’t travel for rock climbing right now, it could risk future access. Be sure to follow your local access group: SquamishKootenaysAlbertaOntarioQuebecNova ScotiaNewfoundland. For tips on how to be a good steward of the land visit here.

Gear and Tips: For spring rock climbing gear, check out the best climbing harnesses for 2021 and the best cams for 2021. Here are the seven best hiking boots for this year. For safety, here are five reasons to wear a helmettips to be a better bouldering spotter and 10 tips for a more fun springAlways wear a helmet!