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Watch First Ascent of Tsunami M5 WI5+ in Rockies

A throwback to 2011 and the first ascent of a mixed/ice route in the Canadian Rockies

A throwback to 2011 and a video of Canadians Joshua Lavigne and Raphael Slawinski on the first ascent of Tsunami M5 WI5+, a 300-metre mixed route on Mount Patterson in the Canadian Rockies.

After the FA, Slawinski wrote: I pull over a bulge and come face to face with the serac capping the route. It is not really nasty as far as such things go, but still leans past vertical like a frozen breaking wave. Fortunately, a stream of water ice pours out of a crack in the serac wall, and allows a merely vertical passage out of the shadowed world below into the sunshine playing on the windblown snow just above. I am glad I am spared carving placements out of the old, hard glacier ice; getting sticks in the cold water ice is hard enough. As the angle of the ice kicks back I pick up my pace, hooking cracks in the surface of the glacier, running for the top. The top? Actually the summit of the mountain is still hundreds of snow-choked metres above, but a flat glacial bench will do. From here, if we wanted to, we could go left and walk down a snow couloir, or go right and downclimb the glacier tongue. We do neither, as we drill the first abalakov and slide down the ropes, but it is the principle that matters. On the way down, we battle stuck ropes as thick spindrift washes over us. May has come to the Rockies.

Slawinski and Lavigne have climbed dozens of high-quality new routes to their names over the years. Tsunami hasn’t formed much and is likely unrepeated, but you never know.

Tsunami First Ascent