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Mixed Mecca
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The Canadian Rockies
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Mixed Mecca:The Canadian Rockies
Shelley Huisman leading Freebird (M6+) in the Ghost River Valley.
Photo: Jimmy Chin
"Mixed climbing is climbing on both ice and rock, either in quick succession or actually at the same time."
—Yvon Chouinard, Climbing Ice (1978)

The Canadian Rockies is the mecca of mixed climbing. With so much terrain and such a long season, it is no wonder that Rockies' routes and Rockies' climbers are at the cutting edge of the modern mixed game. Early mountaineers used mixed climbing as a means to an end. They would often be forced to scratch up snowy rock or thin ice on alpine routes to reach easier ground in order to gain a summit. Like rock climbing, mixed climbing eventually evolved into a sport unto its own, pursued for its movement and technical difficulties. The past 10 years have especially seen increased interest and growth in the sport. The mixed game has been elevated to vogue status in this explosion of popularity.

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