Will Gadd has redpointed Steel Koan, a new route in the Cineplex cave of Alberta, and said it was “the hardest mixed climb I’ve ever done.” The climb starts right of The Game (M13) and crosses that route, climbing a 25-foot overhang to a 30-plus-foot horizontal roof seam, followed by a hard ice curtain protected with upward-driven screws. Gadd sent the route on his second day of redpoint efforts, climbing “bareback,” without heel spurs on his crampons.
“There is no one crux, just powerful and intricate body movement for many moves in a row,” Gadd wrote on his blog, http://gravsports.blogspot.com/. “It seems as hard as the extension I added to The Game last year (M13+), but the movement is much more technical.”
Gadd also wrote: “Many of the holds broke repeatedly, and to stay honest I have to say that the line between cleaning and flat-out hold chipping is getting very blurry on high-end mixed climbs done on shite rock. I am unsure what the future of very hard mixed climbing will be due to this dilemma. Here's a koan to play with: “If one tap is cleaning, how many taps are chipping?”Comment on this story