Kutcher Crushes Diamond Project

Fresh from his victory at the 2012 Ouray Ice Fest Mixed Climbing Competition, Nathan Kutcher turned his attention to the long-sought-after overhanging mixed project at Diamond Lake in Ontario. Dubbed Metamorphosis and given a grade M10 R, the 35m long climb is a serious undertaking as it involves challenging climbing and is primarily protected by short screws, marginal rock gear and two bolts Kutcher drilled on lead on previous attempts. Unlike other routes of a similar grade, Kutcher approached the climb ground up with no rap inspection or top rope rehearsal.

“I wanted to approach the route ground up. For me, it was an opportunity for personal growth as a climber,” says Kutcher.

The route’s minimal seepage also meant that Kutcher had a very short window to actually attempt the climb as the ice would form up early, dry out and deteriorate as the season progressed. Kutcher took nearly two hours to lead the route and on numerous occasions was unsure if he would make it to the top. The committing headwall also meant that Kutcher was risking at least 70-feet of air time if he fell. Completing the route required Kutcher to make his way out a thin ice-choked crack that was protected with marginal cams and a couple of decomposing old pins left behind from a previous party’s aid climbing attempt.

“This is one of the most committing climbs I have ever done - I was really fucking scared. I’m glad I did it because that means I don’t have to climb back up there again,” says Kutcher.

More details here as well as on Kutcher’s blog.

A video interview about Kutcher’s Ouray win can be found here.