Watch Ben Harnden climb "North North Ridge"(V14) to finish off the rarely-completed Squamish Trifecta...
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In early September, La Sportiva climbing athlete Ben Harnden completed the “Squamish Trifecta” an accomplishment that speaks to a climbers well-rounded ability by making hard ascents (14+) in three disciplines: bouldering, sport, and trad climbing. Over the past few seasons, Harnden was able to make the third-ever ascent of iconic “Dreamcatcher” (5.14d), FA-ed by Chris Sharm in 2005, and climbed the infamous Sonnie Trotter finger crack, “Cobra Crack” (5.14b) on gear. His recent tick of “North North Ridge” (V14/8B+) in Squamish’s Gibbs Cave put the third point in the crown.
A variation of the testpiece problem first established by Georg Jost, Harnden climbed the intro moves of “North Ridge” (V14) then exited right into “Black Hole” versus continuing with the original left exit. First to make an ascent of this alternate exit, Harnden deemed “North North Ridge” worthy of the same grade as the original line; just to be sure, as he reports, he climbed it twice; “I did manage to climb the problem two times the day I sent. Such nice moves!”
From an elite climber, with the only repeat of Sonnie Trotter’s “Family Man” (5.14b R), it's no surprise that Harnden's summer has been filled with climbing, in all styles; “This summer has been a good season- lots of sun and heat [and] more smoke in the sky due to wild fires in BC and surrounding areas. I also climbed “All Along the Watchtower” (5.11, C2-R) in the Bugaboos this summer with Neil Dyer, on the North Howser Tower. [It was] a radical adventure with a 46-hour roundtrip from Applebee with a short bivy on pitch 13; in all 30+ pitches of alpine granite. A short 5.12 crux (did not free, this trip) and a lot of 5.11+ but that’s another story…”
Watch below for footage of Ben's send of "North North Ridge" (V14):
Preview Photo: ©Lan Yao