Flurry of Mixed Repeats

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Many of Europe’s best mixed climbers descended on Canmore, Alberta, for the annual ice festival during the first week of March, and the Cineplex, site of Canada’s hardest mixed routes, saw numerous repeats. According to www.gravsports.com and several European web sites, Anna Torretta of Italy became the first woman to climb Musashi (M12), followed by Ines Papert of Germany. Spaniard Israel Blanco made the second ascent of Ben Firth’s The Game (M13), followed by Mauro Bole of Italy and Evgeny Krivosheitsev of Ukraine. The Europeans agreed that The Game was likely the hardest mixed climb in the world. Rocky Mountain Horror Show (M11+) also saw several repeats, including an onsight by Bole and a redpoint by American Roger Strong. Krivosheitsev then climbed Musashi without using his heel spurs, toes or legs to rest off his tools, a style that he said added at least half a grade to the difficulty. (Will Gadd originally climbed the route with no heel spurs and with leashed tools.) Krivosheitsev and other top Europeans predict next season will see two parallel styles of climbing on hard mixed climbs and competition routes — with and without heel spurs and leg-hooks on tools.