SKAGIT ALPINISM

Random climbing history: Prusik Peak and Cerro Chaltén (AKA Fitz Roy)

May 18th, 2015

Recently, while skimming through Fred Beckey’s classic book, “Challenge of the North Cascades,” I was surprised to see the name Guido Magnone. When I first read Beckey’s book, nearly twenty years ago, I surely thought nothing of Magnone’s name, but this time I recognized it immediately. It made me quite curious, I pestered Fred a bit, and with some help from Megan Bond Pauli, learned some local climbing history that I thought was pretty fascinating: […]

The south face of Prusik Peak. Photo by Mark Bunker, the day before we made a winter ascent of the West Ridge. I had just returned from my first trip to Patagonia, in Jan. 2004.

Earthquake in the Langtang Valley

May 14th, 2015

I got on a plane in Vancouver around midday on April 16. I was exhausted. After a four-month season in Patagonia, my six weeks back in North America turned out much less restful than I had imagined. Conditions had been excellent, and I couldn’t keep myself from going out in the mountains a bunch. The downside to my most successful ever season in Patagonia is that I was swamped with requests for photos, requests for […]

Destruction.

Chalten 2014-2015

April 16th, 2015

2014-2015 Chalten Season Because this blog post is so long, I’ve broken it up into chapters: 1) Introduction 2) Torre de la Medialuna and Rescues 3) Tomahawk and Aguja Cuatro Dedos 4) Piergiorgio Attempt 5) La Travesía del Oso Buda 6) Cerro Torre Southeast Ridge Attempt 7) Directa de la Mentira 8) Torre Egger Daytrip 9) Torre Traverse Daytrip Attempt 9) Torrisimo   1) Introduction I’m far behind on updating my blog. Contrary to the […]

Colin starting up the third pitch of Venas Azules.

Colfax Peak and the Heart of Darkness

April 7th, 2015

I’m breaking with chronological order for once – publishing these reports from winter climbing in the Cascades while I still finish writing up a juggernaut of a blog post about my Patagonia season. Colfax Peak Upon getting home from Patagonia on March 1st, I spent a few days jetlagged in Seattle, dealing with the various life chores that accumulate when you’ve left the continent for four months. Normally skiing would’ve been my top priority, since missing […]

John Scurlock's beautiful photo of the northeast side of Slesse. I don't think it's necessary to draw in the route line!

Hunger Games at Cerro San Lorenzo

December 10th, 2014

After years of climbing exclusively in the Chalten Massif, I have finally exposed myself to another location in the Patagonian Andes. I spent most of November underneath Cerro San Lorenzo, Patagonia’s second-highest peak, with my longtime friend Rob Smith. While El Chalten becomes a bit more like Chamonix every year, the rest of the Patagonian Andes maintain a similar climbing experience as twenty years ago, except that now one can get weather information via satellite […]

Aguja Antipasto on the left, showing the line of "Romance Explosion," with the big, unclimbed tower on the right.