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Gripped: The Climbing Magazine December & January 2021 / Vol 22 Issue 6

Gripped offers the international world of climbing through the highest quality journalism and incredible pictures.

Gripped Inc
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
ice climbing is fun

“It doesn’t have to be fun, to be fun,” said top Canadian ice and alpine climber Barry Blanchard about suffering in the mountains. There are a lot of words that describe ice climbing, from dangerous to cruisy, but no matter what – it’s always fun. With over 20 years of ice climbing under my harness, I’ve been lucky to experience some of the most extreme conditions imaginable, from T-shirt weather on Weeping Wall in Alberta to -40 C on Le Gringalet in Quebec. I’ve been scared off two-pitch WI2 climbs due to circumstances and have climbed notoriously hazardous lines like Slipstream in near-perfect conditions. I’ve bailed on WI5 curtains and have made first ascents of WI6 pillars. Some of my most memorable days are the ones spent at ice “crags,” where…

1 min

The North Face ETIP Recycled Gloves $50 The North Face ETIP Recycled Gloves feature recycled polyester with a women-specific fit and touchscreen-compatible fingertip. An excellent glove for warm-winter-day ice cragging and trail running. Petzl Rad System $500 The Petzl Rad System kit comes with thin hyperstatic cord for rappelling, crevasse rescue and roped glacier travel. Perfect for trips of low technical difficulty, it offers a means of protection in escape situations. A great consideration for ski-mountaineers and alpinists going light and fast. Arc’teryx Piedmont Vest $350 A vest can make your good day ice climbing a great day out. The Piedmont works as a warm layer for the climb, but doubles as a stylish layer for post-climb. It’s filled with 750-fill European grey goose down and has a water-repellent finish. It’s lightweight and packs down for approaches. Yeti 14…

4 min
gord mcarthur

Gord McArthur has been climbing for 20 years and currently owns a climbing gym in Cranbrook, B.C. Over the past decade, he’s been one of North America’s leading ice climbing competition climbers on the world tour. “Life is crazy with my kids and my business, but I’m lucky I get to share it all with my amazing wife,” McArthur said. “There’s never a dull moment and always a new adventure on the horizon.” We touched base with McArthur shortly before what would have been the start to the 2021 UIAA Ice World Cup Tour, which he was meant to be part of. 1 How has COVID-19 affected B.C.’s climbing gyms (including your own)? COVID-19 has had a negative effect on the gym industry as a whole. Whether it is on people getting outside or…

9 min

Wolke 7 is New 12-Pitch 5.13 In October, Luka Lindič and Ines Papert made the first ascent of Wolke 7 on Hintere Feuerhörndl at Reiteralm in the Berchtesgaden Alps in Germany. The two have spent much of the past few years in Canada, climbing new routes in the Rockies. Wolke 7 is the German expression for cloud nine; they climbed the 12-pitch 5.13 shortly after they got married. Brette Harrington Solos Alpine Wall Top alpinist Brette Harrington soloed the Northeast Face of Haddo Peak, a big alpine wall that goes at IV 5.8, in a day this fall. While the climbing isn’t technically difficult, the rock quality ranges from chossy to nearly solid, which requires extremely careful climbing. “I carried along a very simple hiker’s pack with food, water, and my rock shoes…

1 min
news flash

New Cirrus Mountain Alpine Rockies alpinists Jim Elzinga and Dylan Cunningham made the first ascent of the The Anna Smith Memorial Route IV M5 AI3 on the north face of Cirrus Mountain on the anniversary of Smith’s passing. Smith was a cutting-edge Canadian climber who died in the Himalaya in 2016. Speed Record on Muir Wall in Yosemite On Oct. 2, Brandon Adams, Tom Herbert and Roger Putnam clocked 12:07 on the historic Muir Wall on El Capitan, shaving 7.5 hours off the record set by Nils Davis and the late Brian McCray in 2001. Speed Record on Aurora in Yosemite On Oct. 14, Yosemite locals Lance Colley and Brandon Adams dashed up the 16-pitch 5.7 A4 Aurora on El Cap’s steep southeast face in 13:02, shedding 11 hours off the record set by Miles…

5 min
the ultimate ice climber’s tick list

Canadian Guy Lacelle was one of the world’s best ice climbers. He was known for his sense of humour, responsibility, bold visions, big heart and historic free-solos. He was revered as an ice climber and as a tree planter. While he dismissed being called a hero, he become a legend. He died in 2009 in an avalanche at the Bozeman Ice Festival. In 1997, he made the first solo link of three classic ice routes on the Trophy Wall on Banff’s Mount Rundle in only five hours: Terminator WI6+ 150 m, Sea of Vapors WI7+ 165 m and Replicant WI6+ 145 m. He was one of the first climbers to solo Weeping Pillar WI6 170 m and Polar Circus WI5 700 m in a day. He also made legendary solos of…