May 25, 2010

The Athabascahorn

Simon R taking it to the chains on Mt. Athabasca.

This past weekend kicked off another much anticipated guiding season on the regal Athabascahorn. Myself, along with four of Yamnuska's finest and eighteen well-honed students, summitted La BĂȘte on Monday, May 24th at 10:30 am. Our ascent was the coup de grace of a three day Snow and Ice Long Weekend hosted by Yamnuska Mountain Adventures.

In the days leading up to our ascent, students were versed in the art of mountain travel. When game day arrived at 3:30 am Monday morning, there was nothing left to do but cover our faces from the driving wind and ascend in to the darkness. Although our ascent may have started out as more of a Parthian Shot than a full-on summit raid, the winds soon abated and we were well positioned to attain the heights.

Barry B is So Stoked! All he kept talking about was laying tracks down The Skyladder.

Barry performs a magic trick whereby he extricates a helpless woman from a crevasse using only two fingers and lots of mechanical advantage.

Students attempt to duplicate the magic.

Heading up in the early am.

Barry leading the brigade beneath the Andromeda Strain.

Climbing up to the glacier.

Cool morning light.

Certain paranormal activity.

Climbing the Hillary Step.

Like Everest only harder and with 120 less climbers.

Athabascabots. Some companies have taken to hiring robots to guide the mountain.

The Robots even dance.

More paranormal activity.

Heading towards the light.

The precipitous North Face of Athabasca falls away to the climbers left.

Just another 5.14 tick for Strong Simon R.

I was worried that the mountain would have trouble supporting the weight of this many climbers.

Sean Iceaxe and company in the shadow of Mt. Andromeda.

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