Canada Sees New Five-Pitch M11

Nophobia (M11) goes up five pitches in this massive cave. Photo by Will Gadd/Courtesy La Sportiva

1/15/13 - A four-year-old mixed project in the Ghost area in Alberta, Canada, went down on January 10 by Will Mayo, Pat Delaney, John Freeman, and Will Gadd: Nophobia (M11). "We all agreed that the FA would be for all of us; who redpointed it first was irrelevant," Gadd said in an email. "But two of us ultimately climbed it bottom to top no falls."

Mayo and Delaney were the main developers, and began working the route in 2009, which was no easy task. The driving approach requires a 4x4 vehicle, and from the parking there's an hour-long hike. The 450-foot-long route itself goes up a massive cave for five pitches through sections of limestone pods, with 150 feet of overhanging dry-tooling to a final ice section. "It's huge," Gadd said. "The scale of work required to get something like this done is just way off the chart of acceptable for most people." Mayo committed the most time to the project, making around a dozen trips to the cave.

Pitch two had "the single best dry-tooling... I've ever done," Gadd said. "The grading system in North America is pretty random and open to discussion... [But] It's pretty damn hard and very cool."

Gadd reports that there aren't any other projects near Nophobia currently, but that "the potential is awesome and immense" in the area.

Date of ascent: January 10, 2013

Source: Will Gadd


Previous Comments

Ah push it. Ah push it. Baby baby. Hey baby baby. Push it real good.

Salt N Pepper - 01/25/2013 4:02:23

Yea but like I said no one is "pushing" the sport..

dutch - 01/23/2013 1:18:20

Visionaries? Obviously not posting on this forum. If you had met any of these guys you would know they are not at all about grade wars. They are about making amazing new routes for others to enjoy and climbing hard and often. It is as simple as that. I also doubt they would be concerned with your critique.

C Szymiec - 01/20/2013 9:32:18

ehh its the same story over and over. nothing creative comes from the current mixed ice gene pool. obviously not pushing the sport much to spend 4 years on an m11. 4 years on a route is close to early 2000's progression rates when there was no cineplex. um its like 2013 now!!

dutch - 01/18/2013 3:59:26

Maybe you missed that it's 450 feet long and really good climbing and it took four of the sport's best 4 years to free it!

Diagonal - 01/18/2013 9:52:13

So should we be focusing on short approaches, easy projects, and small caves with shitty lines?

dutch is a turd - 01/16/2013 10:46:36

This sport is going backwards. For the last 5 years all we have heard is the same crap about long approaches, most difficult project, biggest cave, best line and oh yea the grade wars are mentioned,, blah blah blah. Its like reading the same article from 2006. Where are the visionary in this sport????

dutch - 01/16/2013 5:55:48