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Gord McArthur on His World’s First D16

Gord McArthur is one of Canada’s top winter climbers, with ascents of hard drytool routes around the world.

This summer, he made the first ascent of his monster 85-metre Storm Giant in southeastern B.C. He has given the climb a D16 grade, making it the hardest drytool route in the world.

A number of top international climbers are making their way to try the big line. We touched base with McArthur after his send.

When did you start projecting Storm Giant? I saw the line over three years ago, but it took some time to bolt it. Actually working on it took about two years.

How does it compare to other routes like it? I’ve spent a lot of time on routes around the world, recently this winter on Tom Bollard’s A Line Above the Sky D15 in Italy. It was the longest and hardest in the world at about 50 metres. It’s an amazing route. Storm Giant is around 30 metres longer.

What makes a drytool route difficult? There’s a bunch of different variables, but mostly the length, angle and difficulty of moves, like how powerful and technical.

What was your training like? It was very specific with a lot of endurance training, which is just time spent on tools. I spent countless hours on the route, working the moves, trying to build the movement into my muscle memory.

What did you do to celebrate? I sat down and drank beer and ate chips with friends. It was a great celebration.

What’s the future of drytooling in Canada? I think drytooling has certainly become more popular, but the future of the sport depends on those who are keen. If there aren’t

What was the determining factor for you to send on that day? I decided to skip a number of quickdraws through the crux. That saved me enough energy to make it through and get to the last rest before the chains. That’s when I knew it was the right day.

How many international climbers are on their way to try it? Top Korean and Russian climber are on their way. It’s always fun to watch people climb your routes.

Click to watch McArthur on Storm Giant below and stay tuned for a longer film.