News Link: Will Gadd and Tim Emmett have established a 30-meter, 45-degree overhanging ice climb behind an unfrozen waterfall in British Columbia. Spray from the 140-meter (460′) Helmcken Falls plasters blobs and daggers of ice to the volcanic rock, creating a unique style of ice route.
Although all of the protection on Spray On is bolts placed during a day and a half of aid climbing, this is not a mixed route: “Not one single drytool move in the whole pitch; pull up, lock off, work for a placement,” wrote Gadd at his blog. “Just like normal ice but on a 45-degree wall.”
Both climbers redpointed Spray On. “It is a whole hell of a lot harder than anything I’ve ever climbed on ice,” Gadd wrote. “The only thing I could compare it too is M10 or harder drytooling, but you have to swing for placements instead of just hook. WI 10 is the lowest grade I can give it with a straight face; many people who can drytool M10 will find the ice climbing a lot harder, I think.”
Gadd added that he hopes to return next year in colder temperatures, when frozen spray just might allow a 500-foot overhanging ice climb.
Dates of Ascent: January 2010