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Wild New Maritime Ice Climbs

The east coast has been getting hammered with cold weather and lots of snow since the New Year.

By Max Fisher

In December 2014, there was little to no snow and warm temps in the Maritime provinces and ice climbing season seemed very far away. Fortunately, January came around and the Maritime turned into an arctic play ground.

An early season highlight was hearing Lucas Toron and Joe Kennedy make the first ascent of Wish You Were Here WI5 35 metres in honour of fellow New Brunswicker Cory Hall.

Max Fisher on the crux traverse during the first ascent of The Beard and The Billy Goat. Photo by Michel Martin
Max Fisher on the crux traverse during the first ascent of The Beard and The Billy Goat. Photo by Michel Martin

Toron and I got together a few weeks later and climbed the first ascent of Living in the Spirit Of, a steep WI5- M4R 200-metre route on the coast of Cape Chignecto Provincial Park in Nova Scotia.

Living in the Spirit Of
Pitch one – WI3 M4R 60 m ,Climb up and left to thin ice with little protection.
Pitch two – WI3 50 m, Continue up thin ice through a few steep steps.
Pitch three – WI4 50 m, Climb easy terrain to base of pillar climb 10 m up pillar to a ledge.
Pitch four – WI5- 40 m, Climb hollow chandelier ice to the top.

Shortly after the adventure to Chignecto, I met up with Greg Hughes, Sam Jones, Michel Martin and Don Ricker in Dorchester Cape, New Brunswick. The area was first developed in the 1990’s had more development in the early 2000’s, but not much since. Over two different days with excellent conditions, we climbed a few new routes.

On Feb. 17, I climbed Land Of Plenty WI5 35 metres. At the same time, Hughes and Jones made the first ascent of Rockey Launcher WI5 35 metres. A few days later, on Feb. 21, Hughes and I climbed The Beard and The Billy Goat WI4+ M5 R.

It has been an amazing few months out here on the East Coast. Looking forward to new adventures in Chamonix and Alaska this spring.

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