Big New Routes Keep Falling in the Rockies

By Dougald MacDonald ,

On November 6, the Swiss climbed two WI5 pitches to the base of a huge rock overhang with icicles at the lip. With no drill, they quickly realized they couldn’t protect the rock and retreated to Canmore, then returned the next day equipped for bolting. They placed nine bolts to protect this 45-meter pitch, which overhangs 20 meters, and on November 8, their last full day in Canada, Anthamatten completed a two-hour lead to redpoint the bolted pitch at M9+. Steck then made his own attempt but broke off an icicle at the top. He rappelled, rested, and then sent the pitch. With one hour of daylight left, the two led the last pitch, a WI5+ R freestanding pillar, to complete the climb they are now calling Cockfight.

Dates of Ascents: November 8, 2007 (both climbs)

Sources: Steve Holeczi,, Ueli Steck,

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Simon Anthamatten on the crux pitch of Cockfight (M9+), his and Ueli Steck’s new route near the Crowfoot Glacier. Photo by Ueli Steck, courtesy of

Cockfight climbs the obvious pillars at the head of the gully, with a 45-meter, M9+ gap between them. Photo by Ueli Steck, courtesy of

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