15 February 2023

Ethan Salvo (20) does Zazen (8C)

Ethan Salvo has made what seems to be the first post-hold-break ascent of Zazen (8C) in Squamish. Harry Robertson did the original FA of the line, as an 8B, back in 2003.

Can you tell us more about the ascent?
Zazen is an old boulder that has quite a bit of mystery around the first ascent. The story is a bit unclear but a hold may have broke after the ascent making it harder. It has been unrepeated until now.

I’ve tried the boulder for around 15 days over the past year, but mainly the past 3 months with very cold dry weather. The boulder breaks down into a 3 move intro v11/12 into the hardest single move I’ve ever done, I’m not sure how to grade that move but it’s much physically harder than any other move I’ve tried in Squamish. After that you climb the classic V8 Gibb's cave. I sent the boulder 2nd try today, by myself with only a few pads. It was pretty cool to enjoy the moment by myself and have to try so hard, yet climb so well.

What is your climbing background?
I’ve been climbing for just over 5 years now, but was a competitive swimmer for years before. I think swimming helped a lot as a base strength for my climbing. I did the comp thing for a few years but slowly started to focus on bouldering outside. Last April I moved to Squamish and have mainly been climbing outside. It’s been a huge help for my climbing growth and progression. I like to try things at my limit and spend a lot of days trying them. Zazen was a cool one that fit me because of the crux hold, it’s a very small left hand mini pinch. During covid I had been training on a board for Lucid Dreaming (8C) which has a similar crux move. I never made it to Bishop but I think the hold specific strength really helped me with Zazen.
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