SKAGIT ALPINISM

Infinite Spur Laps

June 8th, 2016

This blog post is dedicated to my good friend and longtime climbing partner, Mark Westman. I first met Mark in 2001 at Seattle’s Vertical World (the country’s first climbing gym), during Dale Remsberg’s birthday party. I was just a sixteen-year-old highschool kid, but already completely obsessed with alpine climbing, and I had heard stories about the Infinite Spur from my mentor Mark Bunker, who had gone to attempt it once. I knew that Mark Westman […]

Rob climbing up the side of the "Ice Rib."

Chalten 2015-2016

April 7th, 2016

Because this blog post is so long, I’ve divided it into chapters: 1. INTRODUCTION 2. CALIFORNIA ROUTE SOLO 3. SUPERCANALETA CAR-TO-CAR 4. CERRO SOLO, “EL DRAGON” 5. CERRO HUEMUL 6. TORRE EGGER AND PUNTA HERRON, SOLO 7. CERRO HUEMUL, “END OF FAITH” 8. TORRE TRAVERSE IN A DAY 9. WAVE EFFECT IN A DAY   1. INTRODUCTION [Editor’s Note: As I begin to write this summary of my Patagonian climbing season, I’m sitting on a […]

Alone on top of Torre Egger, for the first solo ascent.

Thwarted on Nuptse

November 5th, 2015

I’ve just recently returned to the US from my second trip to the Nepalese Himalaya. In late September I met up with Ueli Steck in Kathmandu, and the next day we flew to the Khumbu region. Our plan was an alpine-style attempt on the southeast buttress of Nuptse East, the line named “Moonlight Sonata” by its first ascensionists, Valeri Babanov and Yuri Koshelenko. In addition to Nuptse, we had procured permits for Lobuche East and […]

Hélias crossing a little bergschrund at about 6,100m.

Colfax Peak, Kimchi Suicide Volcano

August 23rd, 2015

This past winter/spring I had a little obsession with Colfax Peak, the prominent sub-summit on the western side of Kulshan.  Ever since simul-soloing the Cosely-Houston route with Roger Strong back in 2007 (a couple nice photos from that climb here) , I knew that Colfax Peak held some of the highest-quality alpine climbing in the Cascades. This past March Sarah Hart and I made an early repeat of the Polish Route, which was a spectacular ice […]

Colin starting up the first pitch of Kimchi Suicide Volcano, with a short section of unprotected M5.

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.