Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In



Stas Beskin Climbs Ridiculously Thin and Scary Ice Pillars in Quebec

Beskin had an impressive season climbing ice in Canada, but this puts it over the top.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article and more benefits with 50% off.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

40% Off Outside+.
$4.99/month $2.99/month*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.

  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Last week, the ice climber Stas Beskin made stomach-turning ascents of a a series of three pencil-thin pillars in Cap-à-l’Aigle, Quebec. Using what he describes to Rock and Ice as a “new technique” that will “redefine hard ice climbing” and allow “one to climb stuff that was considered suicidal before,” he soloed each of the delicate pillars one after the other. (Beskin has not elaborated on this new technique yet, but promised he will reveal more information soon.)

Beskin had all but resigned himself to hanging up ice his tools for the season, when a friend sent him a picture of the sea-cliff pillars. “I told my buddy, ‘We have to change the plans and go check these things,'” Beskin says. “These things looked insane!”

Beskin on one of the ice pillars he soloed last week in in Cap-à-l’Aigle, Québec. Photo: Véronique Parke Bedard.

While the pillars looked insane, the truly insane thing is to think that someone would willingly climb them. Protection on such features is impossible, and the margin for error is all but nonexistent. Yet they are precisely the kind of features that Beskin pines for all year long: “I’ve been hunting this kind of stuff the whole winter. Went to Alberta and other places. It’s very unique, very rare, to find things like this.”

Beskin knew the pillars had been top-roped very recently, so was optimistic that they’d still be in climbable conditions when he got there. But climbable conditions in Beskin’s view would likely be the opposite for most any other climber. The pillars are located right on the ocean and receive all-day sun. “When the tide is high,” Beskin says, “they are literally coming straight out of the water.” When he arrived he inspected the first formation as best he could: “I tapped on it—I felt it of course shaking, but you know….”

Even with his new tehnique, Beskin admits that the climbing was uniquely scary. He explains, “The climbs were very, very thin at the base. Even with my technique I could feel them shaking.” But once he was a few meters up each one, he began to feel more and more solid.

The video above is of the third pillar of the day. The first one was the highest.

Also read Bold New Ice Climb in Quebec is Routes des Baleines (WI 7- M9)