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A longtime pioneer of new-routing in Squamish—on the Chief as well as out on the Howe Sound—Matt Maddaloni tests out one of the first climbs bolted on Anvil, the 35-meter La Bella Vida (5.11c), completed in 2019. Jimmy Martinello spied the line when he first boated past the Dragon’s Lair in 2010. The stunning wall rises right out of the water, with golden granite tiger-striped by water streaks. However, La Bella Vida was put on standby for a few years because the main focus on Anvil became the oceanside cave, where Martinello and Trevor McDonald began bolting, reaching the island via standup paddleboard—a three-hour trip each way. “All the climbs were 5.12-and-up in the cave, and we needed a warm-up,” says Martinello, hence the impetus for La Bella Vida. He installed the route on lead, busting through overlaps, hooking thin edges, and trying to get the bolts in the ideal places. The climb weaves through a magnitude of amazing features: multiple bulges, funky grooves, and glacier-polished crimps.

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