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Watch Ryo Masumoto on The Shadow 5.13 in Squamish

The top Japanese climber attempted the famous pitch two years ago

In summer 2018, top Japanese climber Ryo Masumoto visited Squamish and got on The Shadow 5.13a, one of the most famous pitches in Canadian climbing. Peter Croft made the onsight first free ascent of The Shadow in 1988. At the time it was one of the most difficult trad pitches in Canada.

The grade of The Shadow has been suggested at 5.12d, and 5.13a, with most climbers agreeing that it’s 5.13a. Since the first free ascent, strong climbers such as Sonnie Trotter, Jasmin Caton, Brad Gobright, Brette Harrington, Jesse Huey, Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell and Will Stanhope have climbed it. In 2018 Em Pellerin onsighted it and in 2019, Nina Caprez onsighted it.

In 2016, Stanhope wrote a short essay titled Shadow Casting and in it said, “Every climber has an ascent that stands out to them. A gold standard climb that you strive emulate. For me, it’s Peter’s onsight of the Shadow. The sort of climb that makes you want to try your absolute best as opposed to weasel out the easy way. I fell short in climbing it first try. But the inspiration, like the perfect grey corner above Highway 99, remains.”

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In 2003, we ran a story by Peter Croft titled Random Magic. Here is one of the photos in the piece that was taken by Kevin McLane of Croft on The Shadow on The Chief. "What amounts to my character was built long ago when I was about five. Adventure was a magic world back then and the only way to access it was with a sacred vow of total commitment. By doing so I thought I might enter a fantastic place and see amazing things, things perhaps unimportant to others, but all-important to me. The chubby faced promises I so earnestly made back then are really the only bedrock I can turn to now. So perhaps this is where it all comes from, that when I come closest to those ideals, some part of that world rubs off on me and anything seems possible all over again." – Peter Croft #tbt

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Ryo Masumoto on The Shadow