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Solid Attempt by West Coasters in Vancouver Island Alpine

Philip Stone, who brought us a recent feature on Quadra Island rock climbing in Gripped magazine, has made a bold attempt at a new island route.

Along with Ryan Van Horn and Hunter Lee, Stone returned to a route he first tried in 1993 with Greg Shea up the east ridge of Elkhorn which is the second highest peak on Vancouver Island at 2,195 metres.

The three climbers were stopped by the same crux that Stone was stopped by in ’93 while establishing a direct start to the ridge, Into the Sadistic.

East Ridge of Elkhorn Photo Philip Stone
High up on the east ridge of Elkhorn. Photo Philip Stone

Van Horn, Lee and Stone climbed six new pitches up the crest of the ridge up to 5.10 to link with the existing route Into the Sadistic before being stopped by the upper headwall.

“My hazy memory of what turned us back was reminded by a difficult notch and a series of three headwalls that look like 5.10+/5.11 climbing.” wrote Stone on Vancouver Climbing and Mountaineering’s Facebook page.

“Luckily we were able to follow the old rap line and retreated off the peak in nine rappels. After a 20-hour day, we made it back to camp for bed before 3 a.m.”

Watch this short film about an ascent of Elkhorn:

– Visit Wildisle.ca for more info and here for guidebook downloads.