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Beaulieu frees La Zébrée, trad 8b+


In mid-October Jean-François Beaulieu from Canada pinkpointed an old aid project, La Zébrée at Mont-King, Val David, Québec, grading it 8b+

In mid-October Jean-François Beaulieu from Canada pinkpointed an old aid project, La Zébrée at Mont-King, Val David, Québec. The 25m trad line takes a beautiful crack line up the pink granite crag, and was first climbed in 1972 by Alain Hénault. Beaulieu pinkpointed the line (climbed free with pre-placed natural protection) on 11 October and put forward the grade 8b+, making it one of the hardest crack climbs in the country. Simon Savard sent us a full report about Beaulieu, La Zébrée and its history.

"On October 11th Jean-François Beaulieu from Canada successfully freed La Zébrée, a 25m hand and finger crack that overhangs at roughly 40 degrees and passes through two roofs. He has tentatively rated the route 8b+. The route was led with pre-placed removable protection. Success came after 40 attempts spread over 3 years (25 attempts in 2003). Adding to the difficulty, the route often stays wet, needing at least 4 days without rain before it dries out enough to be attempted. The line was first led as an aid climb in 1972 by Alain Hénault, it is commonly rated A2. Others who have attempted to free climb the route are Louis Babin, Russ Clune, Peter Croft, and François Roy, who came close to linking it at the end of the 80's. At the time, François rated it 8b A0.

Jeff is considered one of Canada's strongest climbers. He has freed hard routes such as Les Grands-Galets, Cap-Trinité, Québec (7c+ R, 270m), Le Toît de Ben, Val-David, Québec (7c+). He has also succeeded on several big wall routes, such as the FA of "Nunatak", north face of Mount Asgard, Baffin Island (VII A3+, 1000m, July 2000). FA of "La Colère des Dieux", south face of the Sphinx, Peru, (VII 6a A4, 800m, first route on the South face, January 1st 2003). Some sport routes he has recently freed have been Shame on a Chippa (8a+), Rumney, USA, Razzia (8a+), Orford, Québec, Strict Scrutiny (8b+), Rumney, USA, DarkStar (8b), Rumney USA , Peu (7c+), Orford, Québec . He has also flashed several dry-tooling M10's and is an active routesetter.

The route is currently the hardest crack climb in Canada. Jeff hopes to keep training and attempt the route while placing pro on lead. Congradulation Jeff for your perseverance and success. It inspires us!"

Simon Savard 2004

Climbing Canada
La Zébrée, Mont-King, Val-David, Québec, Canada.
photo Beaulieu collection.
Climbing Canada
Zebree attempt video Dr.Topo





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