Will Gadd downloads Instagrade at The Temple, Canada
At The Temple in Canada Will Gadd has made the first ascent of Instagrade, a 60m mixed climb the Canadian alpinist has defined as "a lot harder than anything I've ever climbed."
Canada’s Will Gadd ended 2015 on a high with the first ascent of Instagrade, a 60m mixed route located at the wildly overhanging The Temple, a crag discovered by John Freeman and Pat Delaney. The new route climbs through the 50m cave before finishing up 10m of hollow 2cm ice that prompted Gadd to comment "I haven't been this scared on ice since the early 90s."
Although the drytooling section is bolted, these are runout, meaning that 50 foot falls are possible "I wanted a route that is hard physically and mentally, a combination" explained Gadd, who then told planetmountain.com "on the upper section there is no gear, the ice is too thin. if the ice broke off you'd have time to do some screaming on the way down :-) The ice is some of the thinnest and most technical old school sketchy ice climbing I've done. In keeping with the general hype of ice grades I'd rate it WI infinity ;-)"
Gadd was understandably keen to finish his route not in the overhang but at the end of the ice, and the name is a tongue-in-cheek, reference to the importance of climbing a route to its very finish. "There’s been a rash of people claiming ascents on mixed routes where they fail to climb the ice for various reasons, ranging from simple incompetence at ice climbing to the route being out of condition. By definition, mixed routes require ice climbing, and ice is of course variable. Some times you can't finish a route, but don't claim to have done a mixed route without at least getting up the ice part."