British extreme athlete Tim Emmett and Slovenian Ice specialist Klemen Premrl have completed the now well known ice route of 'Spray On' at Helmcken Falls, Canada.
This is the third year that Emmett has been back climbing in this amazing feature, which is a huge waterfall and cave, with hanging icicles formed by the freezing water being 'sprayed on' to the rock from the huge waterfall.
And now, after finding some of their previously placed bolts under the ice by using a metal detector, and after adding some other new routes, Emmett and Premrl have finally successfully climbed the route of 'Spray On' all the way to the very top of the cave, turning the lip, and continuing up the 60m overhanging headwall to the very top, making a long multi-pitch route. Prior to this the route had not reached the very top of the cave, but had finished at a bolted belay.
The totally outrageous position of Spray On
UKC News, Feb 2012
© Tim Emmett Collection
Tim told UKClimbing:
"It's going off!
There is way more ice this year than we have ever seen, and a team of 8-10 people based at Helmcken Falls Lodge. Good vibes! The level of the ice to access the climbing area is 60-70ft higher than last year, so 'Spray On' now starts at the second pitch! It's outrageous the amount of ice in there.
The first day was spent kicking off huge icicles, some the size of a Mercedes Sprinter Van! Chris Geisler and Will Mayo bolted a new line which joins Spray On at the 5th Pitch. It covers similar ground to the top four pitches of Spray On.
It reminds me of Chouca at Buoux but steeper, longer with hanging ice gargoyles, on ice axes ! It's so cool.
Will Gadd has climbed a couple of new more moderate lines on the flanks of the cave, mainly on Spectres and natural protection. Yesterday Sarah Hueniken and John Freeman did another new line next to them too, this one fully bolted.
The quest continues!"
Tim regularly updates his Facebook Page and you can follow his progress on Spray On there. Earlier today he updated with:
"Helmcken ..... Falls !
And followed that up with:
"The most outrageous climb of my life, for sure! Good skills Klem :-)"
Congratulations to Klemen and Tim on what is surely one of the most mental ice climbs in the world!
UKClimbing are catching up with Tim Emmett next week and hope to bring you a full interview on Spray On.