Tim Emmett and Klemen Premrl opened the new mixed climbing route “Mission To Mars” at Helmcken Falls in British Columbia on February 9th and graded the route with „WI13“. It would be the hardest ice climbing in the world. The enormously overhanging cave, which takes its name from the big waterfall in front of it, was discovered in 2010 by the Englishman Tim Emmett together with the Local Will Gadd. This time, Tim Emmett, together with Klemen Premrl, climbed the 40-meter “Mission to Mars” through the steepest part of the cave. So steep indeed that the route overhangs 30 meters! Mission To Mars is an extension of the recently started route „Nadurra Durra“ and with the classification WI 13 the first of its kind, which was classified with WI13. The „Mission to Mars“ is considered to be more difficult than the nearby „Interstellar Spice“ route, which the two climbers started in 2016. The Helmcken Falls are located in Wells Gray Provincial Park, a good 500 kilometers from Vancouver and are around 140 meters high. In contrast to „normal“ frozen waterfalls, the frozen spray drops form bizarre ice formations on the wall behind the fall. However, the ice resembles more ripe or firm snow and is extremely brittle. All safety devices have to be attached under the ice on the rock and are very difficult to find for repeaters.















Photos: (c) Jon Glassberg