Stas Beskin and Daniel Martian have climbed a new wild mixed route which they say is the best of its kind in southern Ontario. The following report is from Beskin, who is an ambassador for Verti Call in Quebec.

Trial. Me and Daniel Martian first spotted this line when we were climbing Metamorphosis on Diamond Lake in southern Ontario two years ago.

We started to equip it back then and got distracted with some other projects, but finished bolting it last year. We couldn’t climb it because the final dagger wasn’t big enough to move onto and the holds on the rock disappear.

Not willing to spoil such an amazing line by drilling holds, we waited patiently. And finally this year our patience came to fruition. The dagger was in and fat. Still, the traverse on it proved to be a bit spicy. It’s the best mixed line in southern Ontario from our experience.

We wanted to create a classic, so bolting is spacious. We decided to grade it M9+ FHWI6. What is FH? I was giving some thought recently about how to make an ice grades more informative. Obviously good old WI# has no chance to reflect the endless ice shapes and conditions.

So, one of the things I came up with is adding FH (free hanging) or FS (free standing) prefix to the grade. Agree with me that climbing WI5 wall and WI5 icicle or free standing pillar are two completely different worlds.

Completely different. While FS needs more thought, FH is pretty straightforward. Free standing can be very stable/very unstable, while free hanging is never stable. I know that climbing community doesn’t readily accepts such things, but i think it’s about time to make some changes on ice grades.

Beskin and Martian are two of Canada’s leading climbers, Beskin in the world of steep ice pillars and Martian in the world of 5.14 sport routes.

Trial M9+ FHWI6+ first ascent. Photo Will Tam

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