Home > Video

Climbing Legend Solos Classic U.S.A. Ice Climbs

Steve House climbs two New Hampshire test-pieces alone. This still stands as one of the most impressive days at Cathedral Ledge

It was back in 2010 when legendary American climber Steve House made back-to-back solos of two Cathedral Ledge ice test-pieces: Repentance and Remission.

Rick Wilcox’s An Ice Climber’s Guide describes the three-pitch Repentance as “the classic hard ice line in the East” and the three-pitch Remission WI5+ 5.7 as “the most difficult route at Cathedral Ledge.”

Both routes climb chimney systems and have several awkward moves. Jim Surette was on hand to capture the solos on camera, noting after, “Steve took off his gloves for the final rock moves over the chockstone. Ironically enough, this meant that the good hand jam, with gloves on, was actually kind of a rattly fist jam.”

After his solos, House told Alpinist, “I wanted to climb them without a rope to experience these incredibly classic lines as purely as possible. But more importantly to me, I wanted to experience the internal dialogue that occurs for me when I decide upon, and then execute, a solo climb. If you want to find out what’s important to you, decide to do a hard solo and see what you think about and dream about in the hours before you go.”

Steve House Solos