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nah000

climber
no/w/here
Dec 30, 2014 - 09:17pm PT
i was curious about the vulgarian ascent in '65 and so did a bit of kicking around...

i found a recent post in tribute to John Hudson by Peter Geiser that mentions their ascent. while the portion specific to chephren is very brief, it still adds intriguing details:

My most memorable experience with John was when we spent most of the summer of 1965 climbing and traveling together. First in the Kitchatnas where as part of the exploratory VMC expedition, we spent a month grappling with the reality of the weather (horrible) and the extraordinary ascents that we weren't really anticipating. After getting out, John and I left the rest of the VMC crew at Haines Junction, hitching to Haines where we caught the inland Ferry to Prince Rupert ($24 for deck passage for a 36 hour trip and then no even collected our tickets!). We then rode the freights across the Rockies to Jasper where we hooked up with Art Gran and did the first ascent of the east Face of Chephren. The three of us then went down to the Bugaboos where John and i did the 2nd ascent of the E. Face of Bugaboo and about half of the first ascent S. face of Snow Patch. Don't really remember why we bailed, but we did. Ended the summer in the Tetons at the "traditional" end-season climbers rendezvous at the old climbers camp. It was in many ways the most wonderful summer of my life and much of this was due to having such a wonderful companion..



i also found a longer written account by Art Gran called the East Face of Mt. Chephren located here on the vulgarian chronicles website.

while the full article is worth reading, I've pulled out an excerpt below:

Our objective now was a small shelf 100 feet above, separated from us by a blank wall. I traversed right around a corner and started ascending an exceptionally rotten fault. From around the corner my companions heard a rumble and shouted, “Art, are you all right?”

“Yes! That was the ledge I was standing on.” More rumble. At last the shelf was reached. John followed while Pete used the Jumars.
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 30, 2014 - 09:30pm PT
Curiouser and Curiouser, nah000.

Has the "Gran" route been climbed in winter?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 30, 2014 - 10:11pm PT
Yikes - epic of loose rock.
The looseness makes the winter climbing look almost sane? :-)
Not bad for Gunks climbers! (Actually they got out a lot in the summers to the Rockies, Tetons, etc.).
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1342739/John-Hudson-a-lost-great-one
Peter Geiser

Mountain climber
Lyons, CO
Dec 31, 2014 - 09:50am PT
I was asked by Ryan to add a few words about the first ascent of the East face that I had the good fortune of being on. Basically it was Art Gran's concept. I think it was part of the competition that he was having with Becky on doing all the best first ascents in the Rockies before Becky did them. Things that stick in my mind were the horrible approach, rotten rock and the Olenellus zone at the base of the carbonate section that makes up the main part of the face. I assume the approach still has the same river crossing to wade and 1/2 mile of Alder slide to negotiate where about every third step you were up to your crotch in Alder. That 1/2 mile took about an hour. For those who aren't geologists, as Hudson was and I am, Olenellus is the marker fossil for the base of the Cambrian. It's a big trilobite and there were museum specimens all over the place. i actually thought of sticking one of the slabs in my pack, but then I looked up at the remaining 3000' of rather ominous climbing and thought the better of it.
Anyway, it was a great climb. We bivied at the base, half way up the face and then at the top. Other than my getting my Jumars somehow jammed and Art's having to deal with a rather large piece of the mountain which decided to join him rather than the mountain, it was a pretty flawless summer ascent.
I still am trying to wrap my mind about folks doing 1st ascents of the face in the winter! Maybe that's the way to avoid the river wade and the Alder slide. We didn't think of that. Congratulations to the mad men who actually pulled it off. You can never have too much fun!
Pete Geiser
micro_marc

Gym climber
Squamish
Dec 31, 2014 - 12:59pm PT

Josh on the crux pitch. Kind of a freaky lead. Great route, great memories.

We waded the river. It was f*#king cold.

When we did the route I was fully unaware that it had any sort of reputation, but at some point near the end of the route it dawned on me that we were getting pretty out there on this face.
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 31, 2014 - 02:06pm PT
Thanks a lot, Marc and Peter (and Ryan), I appreciate it.

You can't beat a first hand point of view!
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Dec 31, 2014 - 04:42pm PT
Man, that looks hard and cold!
Avery

climber
NZ
Dec 31, 2014 - 04:47pm PT
Nice to hear from you, Largo. (Love that "Kind of Blue" pic)
Avery

climber
NZ
Jan 1, 2015 - 06:36pm PT
Mt Chephren, The Wild Thing: Jonny Simms and Jon Walsh. (1st Free Ascent)

In late November 2008 Jon Simms and Jon Walsh made the first free ascent (and likely fifth overall) of The Wild Thing, climbing an M7 chimney to the left of the original A3 crux, in a 44-hour round-trip from the road.
[VI M7 W5]

American Alpine Journal 2009.



Jonny Simms and Jon Walsh have completed a rare ascent of The Wild Thing on the east face of Mt. Chephren in the Canadian Rockies, making the probable first free ascent of the route. The two climbed the 1,300-meter (4,300') mixed climb in a 44-hour round trip at M7 WI5.

The Wild Thing was first climbed in 1987 by Peter Arbic, Barry Blanchard, and Ward Robinson, after four previous attempts by Blanchard. The first ascent took three long days and was graded 5.10 A3 WI4, with a crux rock corner that consumed most of a day.

Sustained pitches of M5, M6, and WI3–5 ensued. Pretty much every pitch was run-out, but there was always just enough gear to proceed: Both men free-climbed the entire route.

Simms and Walsh climbed partway up the face on the first day, and then pushed through the crux headwall to the summit in about 13 hours. They topped out at 9:15 p.m. and rappelled through the night, collecting their bivy gear along the way, and reached the highway at 6:15 in the morning after 24 hours on the go. Walsh said The Wild Thing was “an amazing route that totally exceeded my expectations with its quality and quantity of superb pitches.”

Although it’s impossible to say for sure, Walsh believes this was the fifth ascent of The Wild Thing. The first ascent of Chephrens east face was by Pete Geiser, Art Gran, and John Hudson in 1965, via a rock route on the left side.

http://www.climbing.com/news/canadas-wild-thing-gets-free-ascent/


Thanks to Dougald MacDonald.

Avery

climber
NZ
Jan 1, 2015 - 08:23pm PT
Mt Chephren, The Wild Thing: Dana Ruddy, Raphael Slawinski and Eamonn Walsh (Direct Start)

The Wild Thing is an amazing route! By Canadian Rockies standards it is also a road side alpine climb. If one knows the way to the base it is only about a 1.5 hr. approach. I was lucky to find it in perfect condition full of ice and low on snow. I also had what I believe to be the strongest team in the universe with Eamonn Walsh and Raphael Slawinski. I wish I had a more exciting story for you but the climb just went so smoothly. Eamonn and I had been most of the way up the route before our single push effort which also helped with route finding and strategy. What made the route go as smoothly as it did was Raphs incredible technical skill which allowed us to maintain momentum through the hard rock climbing pitches.

Thanks to Dana Ruddy.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
Jan 2, 2015 - 07:44am PT
Gym Climber my ass Marc! :)

Thanks for this thread Avery!
Avery

climber
NZ
Jan 3, 2015 - 02:27pm PT
Mt Chephren, The Wild Thing: Chris Alstrin and Josh Wharton. (1st one day ascent: climbed free)

In May 2012, Chris Alstrin and Josh Wharton made a rare (possibly the seventh) ascent of the hard classic the Wild Thing (VI WI4 M7) on the northeast face of Mt. Chephren (3,307m). In doing so, they made the first one day ascent of the route.

American Alpine Journal 2013


Thanks to Chris Alstrin
Avery

climber
NZ
Jan 3, 2015 - 03:53pm PT
Mt Chephren, The Wild Thing: Joshua Lavigne and Marc-Andre Leclerc.

The Wild Thing was my first alpine route in the Rockies. I climbed it with Joshua Lavigne towards the end of a 13 day trip. It was an incredibly good experience overall, but certainly had a real 'out there' feeling as we climbed the headwall, pitch after pitch of runout dry tooling in the dark.

There wasn't lot of snow in the couloir either, early season conditions, so the lower section was punctuated by overhanging snow mushrooms that provided some hard climbing early on.

Josh led the crux, taking the next groove left from the original A3 pitch. This was burly and very poorly protected, say awkward M7 with an X rating.

On the descent I botched the route finding while trying to use my nearly dead headlamp. Ended up trying to rappel but found myself dangling in space at the end of the ropes and had to prussik back up, all off one hammered in wire.

By the time I was up it was light and we found the way down. Took us 29 hours car to car and was definitely one of my favorite alpine adventures to date.


Thanks to Marc-Andre Leclerc
Chris Jones

Social climber
Glen Ellen, CA
Jan 6, 2015 - 01:29pm PT
Some wonderful accounts here. Thank you all. Would be interesting if anyone will come forward with an account of a repeat or winter ascent of the 1965 Art Gran, Pete Geiser, Jon Hudson route. Taken in the context of the times, this was a very bold endeavor. Gran was a very accomplished climber, with quality first ascents from the Gunks to the Canadian Rockies. But interestingly, it was the ascent of Mt. Chephren that had the most meaning to him. In speaking of his climbs, he once told me that he considered Chephren to be his finest achievement - and that he would forgo all his other climbs for just that one.
Others have often remarked how the legendary alpine climbs influenced them. That whatever they might be doing on rock or ice, they somehow had to get to grips with the quasi-mythical alpine routes. This was as true for Art Gran and his companions as for so many who are providing accounts on this and other Canadian Rockies threads.
Avery

climber
NZ
Jan 6, 2015 - 01:36pm PT
Thanks Chris
Avery

climber
NZ
Jan 7, 2015 - 11:02pm PT
Mt Chephren, The Wild Thing: Dana Ruddy, Raphael Slawinski and Eamonn Walsh (Direct Start) Cont...


Thanks to Raphael Slawinski
Avery

climber
NZ
Jan 9, 2015 - 03:14am PT
Avery

climber
NZ
Jan 9, 2015 - 08:58pm PT
Mt Chephren, The Wild Thing: Chris Alstrin and Josh Wharton. (1st one day ascent: climbed free) Cont...


Thanks to Chris Alstrin
Avery

climber
NZ
Jan 10, 2015 - 12:12am PT
Mt Chephren, The Wild Thing: Chris Alstrin and Josh Wharton. (1st one day ascent: climbed free) Cont...


Thanks to Chris Alstrin
Avery

climber
NZ
Jan 10, 2015 - 01:31pm PT
Mt Chephren, The Wild Thing: Chris Alstrin and Josh Wharton. (1st one day ascent: climbed free) Cont...


Thanks to Chris Alstrin
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