Cran des Érables, Hot Salami and winter potential. At the end of December, Frédéric Maltais and I climbed a new route and probably made the first winter ascent of Cran des Érables, a cliff in the Hautes-Gorges Park, Quebec. To reach the cliff, we traveled by night with mountain bikes on a closed road. After about 27km and a couple of falls on the icy road, we went by foot and bivvied near the cliff base. We planned to try a winter ascent of an existing rock route, but in the morning we discovered that the wall was mostly covered by ice, so we changed our plans and headed for an aesthetic, arching ice strip. We named the route Hot Salami (210m, M5+ WI5). The route offered excellent climbing on moderate to steep ice and on good granite with poor protection in some sections. Depending on ice condition, this unfrequented wall probably has other great winter routes to be discovered.
Sacha Friedlin, Quebec