Canada's Hardest Mixed Route for Ramon Marin

London-based mixed climber Ramon Marin has had a successful climbing trip in Canada, ticking some of the hardest mixed routes the country has to offer, with ascents of Musashi (M12) and Steel Koan (M13+). The latter established by Will Gadd is thought to be Canada's hardest mixed route.

Initially Ramon had hoped to climb "Spray On" on Helmcken Falls, but finding this out of condition he turned his attention to the world-class mixed climbing in the Rockies area. Instead, he focussed on the test-pieces at the Cineplex Cave - Musashi and Steel Koan.

Ramon on his successful ascent of Steel Koan (M13+)
© Viki Harvey

Ramon negotiating the ice curtain on Musashi (M12)
© Simon Ward

Ramon commented: "After having trained through autumn and winter solely for the Helmcken Falls, I felt like I had to put all what I gained through training into trying something inspiring and challenging. Considering that the world's hardest mixed routes are graded M14, I thought Steel Koan would be a good test. If anything, it would be a good laugh to be hanging upside-down and trying to hump a massive curtain of ice... Initially I had set Musashi as the "other project" to round up my trip to Canada, in addition to Spray On. But as it turned out, I climbed Musashi a lot quicker than I'd imagined. A little surprised by the success, and with one more week left on my trip, Steel Koan seemed like the obvious choice. It had been labelled by recent ascensionists as Canada's hardest mixed route, and it seemed like a good challenge for an London office worker like me."

Topping out Musashi
© Peter Holder

Read more about Ramon's trip on his blog.

Ramon is sponsored by: Alpkit, e-climb and

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