Berghaus sponsored climber Angelika Rainer has returned from a successful ice climbing trip to Canada, having completed what she described as “the craziest route I’ve ever done” on the Helmcken Falls in British Columbia. Following hot on the heels of Tim Emmett and Klemen Premrl, Rainer made the second ascent of new route Clash of the Titans (graded WI10+), and in the process she became the first woman to complete a line on the falls.
Angelika Rainer initially travelled to the Helmcken Falls to attempt to be the first woman to climb a single pitch route called Wolverine, established by Emmett and Premrl in February 2012 and regarded by many as the hardest ice climbing line that exists. However, the route was too dangerous to attempt, due to warm temperatures, so Rainer turned her attention to another part of the falls.
“The Helmcken Falls is an incredible cave, more than 150m high with an enormous waterfall that sprays water all across the overhanging face, creating beautiful ice formations that are a huge temptation to any ice climber. Clash of the Titans is a really beautiful route. It’s the first time that I have climbed ice this difficult and initially I felt that it would break all the time. However, on my second attempt I realised that this wasn’t the case and started to gain familiarity with this particular type of climbing. Placing the axe into this steep ice isn’t at all easy, but Tim and Klemen have extensive experience at this game and were important guides for me.
“Helmcken Falls is a wonderful place that still has lots of potential, but you have to be careful and well prepared before you go. On warm days, when temperatures reach around 0°C, the huge icicles continuously detach and fall onto the ground and this makes being there significantly more dangerous. In addition, finding the routes and freeing them from the hanging daggers is very difficult, sometimes even impossible, and this was the case with Wolverine. I am very grateful to Tim and Klemen for giving me the chance to try the route, and to my fellow adventurers Marco Servalli and Klaus dell’Ortofor helping me on the climb and taking some beautiful photographs.”
Born and raised in South Tyrol, Italy, Angelika is a three times ice climbing world champion (2009, 2011 and 2013) and also won the Ice Climbing World Cup series in 2012. Rainer joined the Berghaus team in 2013.
To find out more about Angelika Rainer, follow her Facebook page and the community page on the Berghaus website.
(Photo: Klaus Dell’Orto)