Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure
Steel Koan M13+
By Ramon Marin
27, Feb, 2015
Unleashing pent-up energy in Canada on the hardest mixed route
The big adventure in our trip didn't materialise. Helmcken Falls was as black as the devil's soul, and no ice to be climbed or challenge to scare our minds. For me, a London designer with an actual job, to even consider getting up world-leading routes like Spray On required a huge amount of mottivation, training and commitment. All that energy had been accumulated ready to be discharged once on said route. But when the plan folded, something had to be done with that energy and hence I turned my attention to other hard challenges...
I got through the first section without being spat off thanks to my picks being filed really aggressively and biting really well. That was a good thing, I was set for the roof. I stared at the monster crack and I knew it was game on. No more holds will spit me off, all the holds are positive, it's all down to grip power and pump management, both my strong points. I kept fighting through the horizontal terrain moving as fast as I could. I turned the lip and my forearms were exploding, one more clip to go. I made the final moves on rock screaming at the top of my voice, but it's not over until you have negotiated the ice. With my hands like claws, I tried to swing into the deteriorating ice curtain, but it just wouldn't work. Panic set in. I tried again, almost fell off. The angle of the pick too aggressive to attack the ice. I was seriously running out of steam. This time I looked at the ice formations on the curtain in as much detail as I could through my tunnel vision. I spotted a slight concavity on the ice, and I push hard on my feet and went for one last ditch. Bingo! It stuck. I swung into the ice, my forearms feeling like teh were bleeding inside. I stayed there for a while, with my feel on the ice, de-pumping. I went around the curtain trying to top out, but the ice was too thick. I climbed up until I could stand on my feet and free my hands, and jumped off to the last bolt.
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