Watch Will Mayo solo the 250-metre Sorcerer WI5 in the Canadian Rockies on Nov. 26, 2016. It formed early in 2017, but then melted out due to warm weather.
The classic big ice route forms in the Ghost and was first climbed in 1983 by Kevin Doyle and Iain Stwawrt-Patterson.
Mayo is no stranger to the Rockies, he recently climbed the classic 750-metre M5 alpine route Andromeda Strain and has soloed the 150-metre French Reality WI6+ on the Stanley Headwall.
The Sorcerer can be climbed as a team in four pitches with an optional final 30-metre ramble at the top. The pitches come in at WI4, WI3, WI5 and WI5.
When asked about winter climbing, Mayo said: “I was introduced to traditional mixed climbing by my peers in the Adirondacks, namely my friends Joe Szot and Tom Yandon. It was just part and parcel of ice climbing. As we developed our ice climbing skills we sought additional challenges and in ice climbing that means thinner ice, free hanging ice, or bare rock. All those features lead to mixed climbing. And in the Northeast, which is steeped in traditional ethic, that meant doing it traditionally and not bolting.
“For some reason traditional mixed climbing just seems natural to me. It sounds cliché but it felt like it was meant to be, it’s what I was meant to do. When I’m on a traditional mixed climb I am in my element. It just feels like a natural means of moving in the mountains. Mixed climbing is as old as mountain climbing, you are climbing snow, rock, and ice. Even a small single-pitch traditional mixed line is worthwhile for me, it’s useful preparation for greater mountains in the alpine environment.”
Mayo had also soloed The Sorcerer before.