canadian rockies triptychs

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nah000

climber
canuckistan
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 16, 2014 - 01:27pm PT
so the geikie thread got me thinking...

it's interesting how among climbers and partnerships that have really pushed standards in the canadian rockies [and i know it's blasphemy but due to proximity i have to include a few peaks that are just outside of what are technically the canadian rockies] how many there are that have three first ascents that really stand out as having pushed the bar for everyone that followed in/to the region [and in a few cases globally]:


kain/maccarthy

beckey/chouinard

george lowe

dave cheesmond


while the four above have sets that are mostly inarguable the following get a little more subjective:


brian greenwood

jeff lowe

blanchard/cheesmond

barry blanchard

steve house

and so while a lot of these climbers have other significant first ascents in the canadian rockies, [blanchard on robson, house on alberta and robson, etc] these are the ones that stand out to me as having the biggest hand in shaping the climbing that came after...

what say you? any climbs and/or climbers that should/n't be on here?

if nothing else it shows the short window where a single individual/team is able to significantly push the game for everyone that follows...

[photos are mostly from john scurlock's and steph abegg's sites]
johnkelley

climber
Anchorage Alaska
Aug 16, 2014 - 02:08pm PT
Nahoo- what do you think would be next in the Canadian Rockies? What are the 3 most prized unclimbed faces/lines? What would require the most imignation, greatest commitment, skill, etc...?

Here in Alaska I'd say it's the West Face of Middle Peak, the North Face of the Devils Thumb, and ?
nah000

climber
canuckistan
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 16, 2014 - 03:54pm PT
thanks all.



johnkelley:

while i'm neither hard nor active enough to give a really authoritative answer, my guess is that we are past the era of there being significant remaining large unclimbed faces or obvious lines in the canadian rockies.

this is not to say that there won't be harder routes to come [the north twin for one still has lots of room to explore], just that they will be due to continuing to explore the spaces in between rather than following an obvious unclimbed line or face.

but who knows... hard asses usually keep their black books to themselves...

what i do know is coming is more link ups, ridge connections, and free climbs...

the way i break cutting edge can rockies alpinism down is like this: the early 1900's were focused on virgin peaks [basically until alberta was climbed in 1925], the mid 1900s were focused on virgin faces and ridges [basically until north twin in 1974] and the late 1900s/ early 2000's have been focused on winter/ice/mixed climbing [house, gadd, slawinsky, walsh etc.] as well as free climbing the old free/aid lines [marshall, wharton, walsh, etc.]

at this point i suspect the winter and free climbing of old significant lines is mostly exhausted and the next phase will be speed, link ups, and sweet multisport adventures [there are some significant ski descents still hanging out there]...

and there will always be new levels of free climbing difficulty exploring the spaces in between...

all that said: you know of any? or anybody else want to open up their black books? hahaha.



Tami:

hadn't heard about that. if it's half as good as the article he wrote for alpinist mag quite a while back, i'll pay double whatever the asking price is...
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Aug 16, 2014 - 05:21pm PT
you have far too much spare time on your hands
or your toque is too tight
anita514

Gym climber
Great White North
Aug 16, 2014 - 06:45pm PT
Raphael Slawinski comes to mind.
He's put up some hard routes in the Rockies and beyond.
MH2

climber
Aug 16, 2014 - 07:01pm PT
That's a lot of triptychs. And I agree with JB and T about PA.
nah000

climber
canuckistan
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 16, 2014 - 07:47pm PT
yeah, i consider arbic, robinson and doyle to be kind of the hamish frasers of the rockies...

while there were a few photos published of them here and there and they were/are spoken of with very high regards by other hardmen, they didn't seem to chase after the spotlight and/or moved onto other lives sooner than those who did find the spotlight...

and yeah, you'd think slawinski would fit, as he seems to have climbed most every hard route in the rockies [ha!], but his rockies first ascent cv is primarily fronted by hard waterfall and mixed ice...


SLR:

no, almost no free time. the equation = one part too tight toque + one part master procrastinator...
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Aug 17, 2014 - 07:28am PT
Great thread...thanks!
nah000

climber
canuckistan
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 17, 2014 - 03:15pm PT
thanks for the great post Tami!

you or someone else who knows them should poke them and tell them they either need to write books or get internet connections and pull chairs up to the supertopo fire...

while their blow by blow climbing stories may not be any more interesting than other blow by blow accounts, anybody who makes their climbing home big peaks that are as crumbly/chaotic/wild as some of the canadian rockies are, probably has a personal story intertwined with their climbing histories that would make for stories that are both worth telling and listening to...

you probably owe the world a book with some of your stories at some point, too! if not, thanks for the climbs and the toons...
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Aug 17, 2014 - 03:22pm PT
Nice work on your photo montages nahOOO . . . Alpinism bump.
nah000

climber
canuckistan
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 23, 2014 - 10:01am PT
last week, i thought of a couple of more recent triptychs...

while there's only one first ascent in this bunch, they have both made significant pushes to the style bar in the canadian rockies...

[or, in the case of jourdan, not just a push but basically a pole vault over a high jump bar...]


frank jourdan

jon walsh
nah000

climber
canuckistan
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 24, 2014 - 10:45am PT
ok. too tight toque has to finish this project up... hahaha.

i'm reading c. jones' climbing in north america and so have to round this out with the two pre-kain english gentleman who, while also searching for hooker and brown, were the primary competitors at the turn of the 20th c. in the quest for first ascent glory in the can rockies.

so including all of the triptychs to this point...

[and look the sets of triptychs organized themselves into sets of three... how satisfying... hahaha]:



VIRGIN SUMMITS

j. norman collie

james outram

kain/maccarthy



NORTH FACE FA'S

beckey/chouinard

brian greenwood

george lowe



5.9 A2

jeff lowe

dave cheesmond

barry blanchard



FAST/HARD/FREE

frank jourdan

steve house

jon walsh
MH2

climber
Aug 25, 2014 - 07:26am PT
Is a tile game coming?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Aug 25, 2014 - 10:03am PT
After the almost climb of the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat (which is right up there beside the almost climb of Latok 1) Mark Twight attempted to describe the level at which Kevin Doyle climbed. I think what he said was "If Kevin ever builds a church around his religion, Barry and Ward and I will be the first to join the congregation."

Given the level at which those three guys climbed, that is some fairly significant praise.
nah000

climber
canuckistan
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 25, 2014 - 05:58pm PT
great quote, Ghost...

while i'm glad that alpinism [especially the north american version] is still relatively free from the complicating influence that golf or other pro sports-like money and scrutiny would bring, i also feel torn.

torn because most people have no understanding of the kind of human achievment and mastery that so many alpinists quietly manifest.

when the tv shows a wallenda crossing a canyon on a tight rope, all i can do is laugh robustly. while i'm not at their level i've done enough to have a small inkling of the physical and psychological mastery and commitment required by the feats that the likes of doyle, jourdan, et al have achieved. this creates awareness that raining cash and fame down on someone putting one foot in front of the other with a 20' balancing pole, is the equivalent of if we as a society rained cash and fame on olympic potato sack racers, while the marathon runners did it for love of personal exploration...

it truly is a strange world we have created for ourselves...



MH2: pm me and i'll make sure you are first on an email list for my forthcoming kickstarter to raise funds for canadian rockies alpinism trading cards... collect them all, trade them with your friends... special holographic "mountain" cards to be hidden in unmarked packs...
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