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Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 7, 2014 - 12:38am PT
All Known Ascents (Subject to potential change)

1st: Jim Logan and Mugs Stump: July, 1978.

2nd: Dave Cheesmond and Tony Dick: August 1981.

3rd: Barry Blanchard, Philippe Pellet and Eric Dumerac:
(Infinite Patience) September 2002.

Repeated by
Jon Walsh and Josh Wharton: May 2012 (1st 1 day ascent of Face)
Raphael Slawinski and Jay Mills: September 2012.

4th: Steve House and Colin Haley: May 2007.

5th: Jon Walsh and Jason Kruk: June 2010.

Credit: John Scurlock
Right Hand Red line: Jon Walsh and Jason Kruk
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 7, 2014 - 03:59am PT
Jim Kanzler on the Emperor Face.

Credit: Pat Callis

Thanks to Ed.
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 7, 2014 - 05:03pm PT
Mount Robson’s Emperor Face
James Logan
THE real key to climbing the Emperor Face was making a firm decision to try, regardless of the obstacles that nature and our imagination might place in our path. Once we were on the climb and especially when high on the face, the climbing was in one sense easy—because it was within the realm of our capabilities and level of determination, and in another sense as difficult as any climbing we had ever done. For me, while climbing on a hard climb, like the Emperor or the first free ascent of the Diamond, my mind moves into a very special niche that is normally most difficult for me to reach. Instead of feeling that I am pursuing a craft or exercising a particular technique, it becomes possible for me, sometimes, in some very special places to transcend my ego, my learned skills, my hopes, fears and expectations, and simply climb. It is nothing more than “sleeping when tired; eating when hungry.” (Ma-Tsu, died 788) At such times I am able to climb much better than usual, and fortunately can most often muster this frame of mind on serious climbs where it is most needed. For me, the Emperor Face of Mount Robson was such a place.
When I first saw the face, I was totally awed by it. It was the biggest face I had ever seen, much larger than the Eiger and unbelievably, still unclimbed, fully 40 years after the first ascent of the Eiger.
I made several unsuccessful attempts to climb the face in 1976 and 1977 and felt determined to give it a good try in the summer of 1978. After an unsuccessful attempt on Mount Logan’s Hummingbird Ridge, Terry Stump (more commonly known as Mugs) and I decided to spend all summer if need be in the attempt. Desires were only whetted by our recent failure and the two weeks of rainy weather spent under the face. Finally a day dawned with broken clouds and the promise of clearing weather, and we moved up to a high bivouac on the lower snow slopes of the face. We had already climbed over 3000 feet of easy snow and rock, and had what we guessed was 5000 feet to go. Because the only feasible routes through the lower rock bands are in drainages that immediately start avalanching in any storm, it is essential to move quickly through this section. But it is also necessary to carry a full nailing rack for the increasingly steeper and difficult climbing above. We had 25 pitons for the upper section and eight days’ food to give us the time to deal with whatever difficulties we might find.
At first light the next day, we started third-classing diagonally up and left across several thousand feet of 45° water ice and soon reached the first rock band where we roped and moved up and back right towards the centre of the face. The climbing alternated between excellent 60° ice and thin ice running down over steps of rock, mostly vertical and 60 to 100 feet high. The climbing on these sections was the most difficult ice climbing I have ever done, and the protection was limited to an occasional poor knifeblade or tied-off screw. The first day on the face we were able to reach a good bivouac site on a snow rib almost exactly in the centre of the face. Besides being a luxurious lying-down bivouac, it was also the high point that Pat Callis and Jim Kanzler had reached in their attempt some years ago. They had reached this point, higher than anyone else, in three days and then retreated off to the side in an epic adventure. The next day every other pitch was extremely difficult. I led a number of pitches of vertical thin ice mixed with an occasional rock move, and Mugs had the opportunity to climb through an overhanging headwall on loose blocks. We were prepared to start the nailing whenever necessary, but ice runnels kept leading us up the centre of the face until we were under the final overhanging headwall, looking for a bivy site in a world of vertical rock and high-angle ice. We chopped two small seats out of a patch of 70° ice, and as we settled down for the night, it started to snow. Within minutes the first powder-snow avalanche poured down over us. It was quite frightening at first, but once I realized that they weren’t going to push me off as long as I stayed awake, it all became better, just one more in a long series of “bad bivouacs.” The next morning Mugs led up the steep ice to the final headwall, and I set off on a very slow and complex nailing pitch. A row of tied pins, a little vertical ice climbing and then back onto another tied-off knifeblade. Halfway out I lowered off and cleaned the pitch, and once again started on my slow way, cleaning off ice and snow, looking for one more placement. Nuts were useless, and I was thankful for the thousands of pitons I had pounded in the past, making this nailing almost comfortable. At the top of the pitch I ran out of ice and good rock, and set off free climbing for thirty feet of vertical, loose, snow-covered rock with no protection. As I neared the top, one of my crampons slipped off a hold and I quickly mantled onto an axe placed in mush—that caught on something and stayed in long enough to get me to a belay stance. From that point on our minds were mush, as we knew we had done the climb and we grumpily moved up the snow-covered slabs of the North Face. A tunnel in the cornice let us through onto the ridge where we spent the night. The next morning we debated whether or not to go up the ridge to the summit, but as this would have meant crossing over the mountain and spending several more days, we decided to descend the south face back to our camp, which we reached that day.
What had been vital was to climb the face, and going to the summit was no longer important, probably in part because I had already stood on that summit. What did seem important were the heights to which we had already pushed ourselves and the freedom we had found there. But this freedom is a transitory thing, and for this reason there is always a next climb, for each one is only a stepping-stone along the path.
“If he is irresistibly driven towards this goal, he must set out on his way again, take the road to the artless art. He must dare to leap into the Origin, so as to live by the Truth and in the Truth, like one whom
has become one with it. He must become a pupil again, a beginner; conquer the last and steepest stretch of the way, undergo new transformations. If he survives its perils, then is his destiny fulfilled: face
to face he beholds the unbroken Truth, the Truth beyond all truths, the formless Origin of origins, the Void which is the All; is absorbed into it and from it emerges reborn.”
—Eugen Herrigel, Zen in the Art of Archery
Summary of Statistics:
Area: Mount Robson, Canadian Rockies.
New Route: Emperor Face (James Logan, Terry Stump) , third week of
July, 1978.

American Alpine Journal 1979
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Dec 7, 2014 - 05:24pm PT
Wow it is wonderful to be able to read that wonderful write up by Jim Logan, about an amazing breakthrough climb, well done.
feynman

Trad climber
chossberta
Dec 7, 2014 - 07:08pm PT
Nice to hear about Kanzler's contribution: he did a lot down in my neck of the woods, and getting some perspective is nice.
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 7, 2014 - 07:20pm PT

"The Emperor Face," Mount Robson, Canada,
Climbing 52.

Credit: Jim Logan
Credit: Jim Logan
Credit: Jim Logan

Thanks to steelmnkey
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 7, 2014 - 10:58pm PT
Mount Robson, Emperor Face: 1981

Tony Dick and I climbed a new line in the Emperor Face in August 1981. We went left of the Stumps-Logan line. There was much hard ice climbing, much rockfall and rock climbing up to 5.9, A3.

David Cheesmond, Alpine Club of Canada
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 8, 2014 - 05:40pm PT
Thanks Avery - very nice.
Is the Scurlock photo from the 2008 AAJ?
Thanks for the typo fix.
nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 8, 2014 - 07:46pm PT
Avery: what's the source for that last image on the second post with the colored lines of ascension drawn in? that's the most comprehensive and explicit topo i've seen for those lines... very nice.

also anybody know about a french ascent that made it to the top of the face but didn't top out robson itself? or is that something i made up... haha. iirc, i thought that happened in the latish 90s sometime...

edit:
vvvvv thanks Avery.
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 8, 2014 - 08:03pm PT
Hey nah000,

Here's the link:

http://www.iborderline.net/intotherocks/2010/07/una-scalata-imperiale/
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 9, 2014 - 04:51pm PT
Mt Robson, Infinite Patience.

In mid-morning on October 23 Eric Dumerac (Canmore, Alberta), Philippe Pellet (Briançon, France), and I (Canmore) stepped from the warm interior of a Jet Ranger helicopter and into the early winter environs of Berg Lake, below the Emperor Face. For an hour we hiked and scrambled up onto the side of the Mist Glacier. We toiled for the next four hours overcoming the first steep band, via an M5, WI4+ system that could probably be avoided by going farther right. This was by far the hardest pitch of the route. These pitches gave access to the large couloir that is the prominent feature on the right side of the Emperor Face. Moderate snow climbing brought us to a ledge at about 8,500', where we shoveled a bivy site. The night was calm and the Northern Lights phenomenal.

Day two began with five ropelengths of class 4 up the big gully. A traverse and two ropelengths on 5.7ish mixed ground brought us into the upper ice strip. After three more ropelengths of 4th class on ice, we belayed an M4 ice chimney. Above lay another five rope¬ lengths of 5th class climbing, each containing cruxes in the M3–M5 range. The last of these pitches merged us with the Emperor Ridge-North Face option and its more substantial gully. That night on the ridge at about 10,800', we bivied in brisk winds and bitter wind chills,

Day three (October 25) started with one ropelength up the substantial, gully, then a fine ice strip up a chimney (finest pitch of the route, absolute classic), followed by a half ropelength of dry and fine rock on the ridge proper. Much 4th-classing and bypassing small and sometimes hard (5.9) cruxes brought us to an ice ledge at about 12,000', where we chose to avoid the infamous gargoyles of the Emperor Ridge by traversing an ice ledge for a kilometre. A true test of one’s frontpointing and calf-muscle endurance! We finished the route via the gully atop the Wishbone Arête in three pitches at midnight. We bivied east of the summit, in a large, bridged crevasse: It provided some protection from an awful wind-chill. The day clocked in at 20 hours.

On October 26 we descended the Schwarz Ledges route to the Forster Hut, where at 4 p.m. the good people at Yellowhead Helicopters agreed to come get us and whisk us off to the trailhead.

Overall an absolute classic route on mostly ice and snow, as good as any on the globe, that gains an impressive 7,500'. The mountain was in perfect condition, and it was a grand adventure in the company of good men.

Barry Blanchard,
Canada


American Alpine Journal 2003
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 10, 2014 - 04:49pm PT
Infinite Patience: Jon Walsh and Josh Wharton
(1st one day ascent of the Emperor Face)

A few weeks ago now, on May 12th, I finally had the opportunity to tie in with Josh Wharton. I first met Josh in Patagonia in 2005, and over three consecutive seasons, watched him and his mates raise the bar, time after time. I observed, got inspired and tried to copy, and a string of my own successes ensued. More recently, he’s been making regular trips to my main stomping grounds - the Canadian Rockies, and getting amongst the big mixed routes they’re renowned for. We were totally psyched on the same types of adventures and frequently exchanged conditions updates and beta. We often talked about climbing together, but our schedules had never quite meshed until now.

As the weekend of May 12th and 13th approached, the cosmos seemed to fall into alignment. Not only did I have an ideal partner for a big alpine outing, but four days of sunshine were forecasted, with perfect temperatures, and excellent snow conditions all at the same time. I suggested we go to Robson, and we agreed on a hiring a helicopter to save us the half-day approach to its north side. This would hopefully allow us to be quick enough to climb the Emperor Face and have me back to work for 7 a.m. Monday morning, not to mention keeping our legs fresh for the excursion ahead.

So on Friday afternoon, I ducked out of work two hours early, drove directly from my job in Calgary to Canmore (all my food and gear was prepacked), met up with Josh, and we were on the road by 3. Four hours / 400 kilometers later, we repacked in the Mt. Robson provincial park parking lot, agreeing to bring only enough food for a big day, mostly in the form of gels and bars (Vega of course in my case) and waited for Yellowhead Helicopters to show up and whisk us away to the other side. By 9 p.m., we were at Mist Lake, gawking at the Emperor face, which towered 2000 meters above us! Conditions were generally looking a bit snowy, so the route Infinite Patience seemed to be the most logical option. I had looked down it a couple of years ago while descending the Emperor Ridge, after climbing another line just to its left. Incoming weather had forced my partner Jason Kruk and I to descend the ridge instead of continuing to the summit after topping out above the face. What I had seen was a perfect strip of silver ice dropping for a long ways, and I knew at that moment that I would be back to climb it someday. Since Barry Blanchard, Eric Dumerac and Philippe Pellet had opened the route in October of 2002, it had remained unrepeated.

We made a small fire from the dry shrubbery around the lake to hang out by for a bit, and after a few hours of “sort-of” sleeping under a light tarp without sleeping bags, the alarm went off at 3. A quick bit of coffee and we were off, cramponing right from the lake on a well-frozen snowpack. A couple hours later, it got light at the first steep rock band, which is the hardest climbing on the route. I liked the look of a corner 20 meters right were the FA party had climbed, although soon I was battling up 80-degree snow, steep rock and run-out M6 for two pitches, wishing I had taken the original line. “We’ve climbed the crux” Josh said, “I guess we can go home now”. A lot of simul-climbing ensued across a snowfield, followed by some delightfully fun / moderate ice climbing, that weaved around huge snow mushrooms, to connect different couloirs and gullies. One of the more memorable moments for me was a fun overhang past frightfully detached, belay-threatening snow mushroom, that required persevering a relentless spindrift wave. I hesitated for a moment to ponder the 13cm ice-screw / ice-tool belay that Josh was hanging from 20 feet below, and the absence of any gear between us. Waiting for the spindrift to stop seemed futile so a quick wipe of gloves, and a couple of lock-offs later had me into the upper ice runnel. This continued for about six magical rope-lengths, and we began pitching it out.

Conditions were absolutely perfect. Where there was snow, there was just enough for secure bucket steps that had mercy on our calf muscles, yet not enough to cause us any concern for avalanches. Temperatures were very comfortable, and just warm / cold enough for optimal snow stability. The ice was generally soft and our ice tools bit securely into it with light one-stick swings ninety percent of the time. In other words, we were making quick and efficient work of the face, and having a good time doing it. The one drawback of the soft ice was that it didn’t protect very easily with ice screws, but between that and the lack of too much rock gear, there wasn’t much to slow us down.

After about 11 hours and 1700 meters of elevation gain, we were off the face and onto the Emperor Ridge. The wind was screaming up the 3000-meter SW face which made using our Jetboil to melt snow into drinking water an impossible task. An 800-meter sideways traverse was ahead, as well as another 500 meters of elevation to gain to reach the 3954 summit – the highest in the Canadian Rockies. The plan was to go over the summit and down the South Face route to the car. If we were lucky, we might even get to the Ralph Forster hut, which is halfway down and have a luxurious bivi. So we trudged on getting thirstier by the step. Going sideways for that far is tedious and monotonous but fortunately the snow was good and a few interesting moves around some snow, ice and rock features presented themselves from time to time. We simul-climbing all the way to the summit, switching off the trail breaking whenever the leader needed a break.

As we got closer to the top, the “gargoyles” which are the massive rime formations that tend to wildly overhang the ridges near the summit on all sides, got bigger and bigger. We climbed a dead-end gully right into the heart of them, but a straightforward way through didn’t present itself. Instead, more sideways climbing over steep Patagonian-like rime features and down their other sides repeated itself several times before we finally found passage to the top. The wind was nuking! Snow crystals stung our faces and after a quick hi-five and a couple of photos, we began the long descent. It was 8:45 and it had taken us 17 hours from the lake, making it the first one-day ascent of Mt. Robson via the Emperor Face.

The descent wasn’t easy and we were surprised at the amount of down climbing we had to do. The terrain was steep all the way to the valley, and very little of it was free of objective dangers. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time exposed to potential serac fall! Shortly after midnight we stopped in a sheltered spot for a short brew, as we were beyond dehydrated at this point. A little while later, we had made it to the yellow bands, but were lost in the dark and losing hope of finding the hut. It was now 2:30 and we needed daylight to find our way through the cliffs below. We laid out the packs and rope, and crawled under the tarp for a quick power nap. By 5 a.m., it was getting light and we were tired of shivering. The rest of the descent remained tedious, but went smoothly and by noon we were back in the parking lot, with 10 000 feet of descending behind us, and stoked to have had such a fine first adventure together. Although it wasn’t nearly the most technically difficult route either of us had done, it made up in pure physical burl factor, and was of extremely high quality. We would highly recommend it and I think it deserves to become a classic. Easily one of the best I’ve done in the Rockies!

Summery: the first one-day ascent of Mt. Robson via the Emperor face and the route Infinite Patience (2200m M5-6 WI4) JW / JW, May 12th and 13th 2012

32 hours from Berg Lake to the parking lot; 50 hours Canmore –Canmore return.

Jon Walsh

Credit: Jon Walsh
The North Face and the Emperor face of Mt. Robson from the helicopter. Our line is marked in red.
Credit: Jon Walsh
Josh hanging by the fire and scoping the face. There were about six hours to kill between the helicopter drop and wake up and go time.
Credit: Jon Walsh
Josh heading towards the some sweet ice and mixed climbing about halfway up
Credit: Jon Walsh
Josh, swapping leads and scoping. A snow covered Berg Lake below.
Credit: Jon Walsh
Josh following a pitch in the upper reaches of Infinite Patience, a little below the ridge. There were at lease 6 consecutive pitches of this nature in a row here.
Credit: Jon Walsh
Josh in cruise control mode during the six hour traverse accross the upper west face, eyes on the summit.
Credit: Jon Walsh
Looking back at our track accross the west face. Can you see it?
Credit: Jon Walsh
Josh, about to head more upwards than sideways at last.
Credit: Jon Walsh
Entering gargoyle country.
Credit: Jon Walsh
Hopefully these crazy rime features aren't ready to succomb to gravity.
Credit: Jon Walsh
Climbing through these things reminded us of Patagonia.
Credit: Jon Walsh
Thumbs up on the summit! The strong winds driving rime crystals into our faces and preventing us to melt snow for water kept out summit time to about a minute. Only 10 000 feet of tedious descending to go...

Special thanks to Jon Walsh
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 10, 2014 - 05:28pm PT
Pretty cool - thanks, Avery.
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
Dec 10, 2014 - 05:47pm PT
Not sure about the west but the north face is one of the 50 classic ski descents.

nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 10, 2014 - 07:28pm PT
so i made half of it up. it was slovenians in 2002, not french in the late 90's, who climbed to the top of the emperor face, but didn't continue on up the ridge to the summit herself...

the following is copy pasta'd from a post by Dru on cascadeclimbers:

That August team was two Slovenians. Here's the beta from Raphael Slawinski:

Two Slovenian alpinists, Matej Mosnik and Jure Prezelj, climbed what they originally thought was a new line on the Emperor Face in August. This is the obvious big gully on the far right side of the face which leads to the base of the steep step on the Emperor Ridge. They reached the ridge, bivied, and descended back to Berg Lake. However, this line had in fact been attempted several times before by Blanchard, House and Josephson, who reached the same high point as the Slovenians. So although any activity on the Emperor Face is noteworthy, the Slovenians did not in fact climb a new route. As to whether the route in question is in fact complete depends on whether you consider a new route finished when it joins an existing line, or only when the summit is reached.

Below I have pasted in a portion of an email from Matej Mosnik in which he describes their effort. Pretty impressive! And to further put the depth of climbing talent in Slovenia in perspective, neither is well known back home.

"I and Jure climbed in 16.august. We start at 3 am from our tent. After we crossed a river we start to move up trough moraine to the snow. We climbed up inline with big couloar and reached first short rock section (4+,UIAA). After that we came to the snow field and moved up to the rock at right at the bottom of the big couloar. We got roped then. The next was a five or six pitches of snow and ice climbing. It was an intresting climbing because of a big, 3 meters deep gully in the middle of the couloar. We have to traverse it several times. It gave us some fun. And we were lucky, because there wasn't any rockfall at all. In next two pitches we have to climb a rock section (5, UIAA) to the upper couloar. We just start to climbed a rock when the snowfall began. So, in upper part of the routh we were attacked by avalanches all the time. Upper we climbed the bigger avalanches came down. After a steep ice chimney we were in the bottom of the last couloar which leads to the Emperor Ridge. But we were forced to move to the right. The avalanches in last couloar were too often and too big. In next two pitches of mix climbing we reached the Emperor Ridge. The weather were still bad, and we decided to go down. At 11pm we were in the bottom of Emperor Ridge. We climbed about 13 hours to reach the ridge and next 5 hours to the point where we take a bivouac. The next morning we moved back to our little tent."


so depending on how much of a stickler a person wants to be, either another ascent of the emperor face or at least [most of?] the emperor face portion of what became infinite patience...

and at 13 hrs [or 15, as the total time doesn't add up to their climbing time] from camp to ridge, bloody fast as well.
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 10, 2014 - 08:31pm PT
Thanks nah000,

I had no idea about this fine effort.

Cheers!
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Dec 10, 2014 - 08:35pm PT
Speaking of the west face, anyone heard the tale of a bunch of bone heads from whistler "skiing" it back in the late 70's?

I remember that Bruce. What a circus. Did Chrzanowski fly to the summit? I heard tales of him attempting to rap onto the face from 2x4 "pickets" using hardware store polypro rope.

I thought the N Face has been skied successfully just once. By Ptor Spriceniks and Troy Jungen in September, 1995. They spent some time waiting for conditions and nailed it. Big scary descent!
nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 10, 2014 - 08:42pm PT
regarding the slovenian ascent, the ironic part is that they weren't well known back in slovenia...

which as the quoted post mentions, just goes to show the relative depth of slovenian alpinism...

i think house mentions how some of the slovenian newspapers include a section on alpinist ascents in the sports section...

but i might be making half of that up too... haha.
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Dec 10, 2014 - 08:50pm PT
^^ At his AAC talk the other night, Steve House described how excited he was when he was 19 years old and received an "invite" to take part in a Slovenian Nanga Parbat expedition. At the time, he didn't realize this "invitation" went out to all 2 million+ members of the Slovenian Alpine Club, roughly 10% of the population of Yugoslavia.

So I'm not surprised that Slovenian newspapers have alpine climbing in the sports section.
nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 10, 2014 - 09:11pm PT
^^^^

ha! that's funny.



yah. chrzanowski tried a few times, with at least a couple of those via helicopters. he did succeed, [i believe sans chopper?] in summiting and then skiing the kain face.

a few years back, i found and watched the movie that documented his first attempt, and it was pretty funny. basically everything got hyped and the cbc and other media were creating a big circus due to being drawn in by chrzanowki's hype man. then, when it was go time chrz and his partner got super snaileyed. i think you're right that they were trying to rap into the west face on polypro ropes as the north face wasn't even plausible to them at the time...

and yah, spricenieks and jungen are the only [known] ones to have skiied the n. face... that descent is the epitome of soul skiing... they timed the weather, new snow and full moon, bombed in there under their own power and ripped that mother.

this is an old writeup:

Ptor Spricenieks and Troy Jungen summited the 3,954-metre peak in the pre-dawn moonlight last Saturday after a gruelling four-and-a-half day ascent and skied down the entire mountain in a day-and-a-half. "This is the greatest adventure so far in my life," says Spricenieks, 27, a global ski tourer and cosmic consciousness raiser. According to Spricenieks, cosmic couch surfer Jungen had been carefully monitoring the snow conditions on Robson all summer and a combination of summer storms and the full moon prompted the pair to attempt the descent. They were also motivated by their daring chauffeur, Whistler's Robin Allen, who plied the boys with energy and positive prompting. A number of ski descents have been attempted on Mount Robson, but all have failed. Spricenieks and Jungen are what he calls "natural partners" and are both in the process of writing their PhD thesis on Ski Shamanism and the Robson adventure should be worth at least a chapter. "Since way back Troy and I have been spending years getting scared together," laughs Spricenieks. The two made the ascent over the upper Mist Glacier under the full moon and had to free climb the last pitch of 70 degree ice to the summit at 3 a.m. Saturday. They had climbed most of the route they skied down, but opted for the ice climb to the summit because the chute they were going to descend was full of "like, totally winter powdies," says Spricenieks. After a power lunch on the summit, Jungen and Spricenieks jumped into the 70 degree chute. "We dropped in right off the summit and it was really, really, really, really steep and really, really big and we were way scared… it was great," recalls Spricenieks, adding snow conditions ranged from winter powder at the top to slushy, isothermic snow over top of ice near the lower elevations — but there was snow all the way down. "We had to blow like 20 feet of air to get to safer exposures on the glacier because of all the crevasses," he says. Spricenieks and Jungen dedicated their effort to Peter Chrzanowski, the Canadian extreme skiing pioneer who attempted to descend Robson four times, and Jerry Garcia who motivated the boys to higher heights. "It's a real gnarly place and if the weather came in it would be almost impossible to get off the mountain," Spricenieks says. "The cosmic forces were definitely with us." He says their success can also be attributed to the fact that they called the mountain by its original Indian name — Yuh-hai-has-hun — and did their adventure during the Indian Summer. "It's really important to remember the original Indian name," he says. "That's what these mountains should be called, not under some name of some Hudson's Bay dude who walked into the area to make cash off the natural resources."
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