Fitz Roy Winter Solo

During the past few years I have been lazy about writing on my blog. I think this is largely because I now share snippets of my climbing on social media, and after already writing about a climb on social media, even if only very succinctly, some of my motivation to…

NUGGET #2 – current recommendations from Patagonia

NUGGET: NERDY, UNSOLICITED, GREAT GEAR ENDORSEMENT / TIP For total transparency, I will mention straight away that one of my contacts at Patagonia (the company, not the place) asked me recently if I would mind making another one of my nerdy gear posts, highlighting my favorite Patagonia gear. However, the…

NUGGET #1 – the Petzl PUR’LINE

NUGGET: NERDY, UNSOLICITED, GREAT GEAR ENDORSEMENT / TIP This is the first iteration of something I’ve been thinking of starting for a while. The purpose of these “NUGGET” posts will be to share some bits of climbing/mountaineering equipment that I feel are exceptionally good/functional/useful, with some explanation of why I…

Kale Borroka

After a couple weeks of ice climbing around Chamonix, Alisa and I returned to Siurana again one month ago. This time I came with plans of trying a specific route, and today those plans were realized when I did my first ever 5.14, a redpoint of “Kale Borroka” (8b+ /…

Chaltén 2020

It hasn’t been long since I departed El Chaltén, but sitting in quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it already feels like a long time ago. I spent the entirety of January and February in El Chaltén (Argentine Patagonia), teamed up for the month of January with Fabian Buhl, and…

A Brief Visit to Patagonia, and Reflections on Hard Solo Climbing

I’m currently beginning the long journey back from El Chaltén, concluding my shortest-yet trip to Patagonia, and by far my least productive. I have by now made a total of 16 trips to El Chaltén, and the biggest, most stable window of good weather I’ve ever seen was during the…

Not Sending the Gnar in Peru

I’m currently traveling from Peru to Chamonix, reflecting on a totally unsuccessful three and a half weeks in the Cordillera Blanca. At the end of May I traveled with my special lady friend, Alisa, to Huaraz, the major city in Peru’s Ancash region, situated adjacent to the Cordillera Blanca. Unfortunately,…

A Taste of Khan Tengri

Khan Tengri is one of a bunch of mountains that often get called “one of the most beautiful mountains in the world.” I think those statements are pretty silly, since beauty is so extremely subjective, but I do personally think that Khan Tengri is a particularly beautiful mountain. I’ve felt…

Cassin Ridge Speed Solo

BACKGROUND I have recently returned to civilization from my eighth expedition to Denali [edit: Not recently anymore! This blog post is finally making it online 3 months after the fact…], the highest mountain in North America. Although the summit of Denali is only 6,155 meters, I think the altitude on…

Chalten 2017-2018 Photo Essay

On the Argentine side of the Patagonian Andes, the Chaltén Massif is a dense range of extremely steep mountains, famous for Cerro Torre and Chaltén itself (the native name for the peak also known as Fitz Roy). I have been coming to this mountain range on an annual basis since…

Gasherbrum 2 Half-Hearted Attempt

I am beginning to draft this blog entry while currently stuck in Islamabad, eager to get back home to Seattle after a long stint in Pakistan. The idea for this trip started roughly one year ago. I was in Chamonix for one week, after a super successful trip to Alaska,…

Begguya North Buttress Solo Ascent

  I’ve just returned to Seattle from a trip to the Central Alaska Range, which was shorter than most with only two weeks of camping at Kahiltna Base Camp, but more successful than some Alaska Range trips I’ve done three times the length. In May 2012 I attempted to solo…

Patagonia 2016 – A Dud

[Editor’s note: This was now written more than three weeks ago, on Dec. 31] I’m beginning to write this blog post on an airplane from El Calafate to Buenos Aires, on my way back to the northern hemisphere, after three weeks in the Chaltén Massif of Patagonia. I had planned…

Expedition to Kun, Northwestern Himalaya

I spent the month of July in the far northwestern Indian Himalaya, climbing with Jed Brown, with whom I’ve done a bunch of good climbing, but with whom I hadn’t climbed in many years. Going off some tips from friends and some limited research, we travelled to the Zanskar region…

My first Skimo Race – Tour du Rutor 2016

Here’s a rather tardy blog post about my first ski-mountaineering race, last April in Arvier, Italy, told partially by myself, and partially by my partner in crime, infamous trail runner Jenn Shelton. COLIN: I had never done a ski mountaineering race before. Jenn had just started learning how to ski.…

Infinite Spur Laps

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…

Chalten 2015-2016

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…

Thwarted on Nuptse

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…

Colfax Peak, Kimchi Suicide Volcano

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…

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

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…

Earthquake in the Langtang Valley

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…

Chalten 2014-2015

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…

Colfax Peak and the Heart of Darkness

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,…

Hunger Games at Cerro San Lorenzo

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,…

Minivan Alpinism in Canada

Despite my best intentions to dedicate myself to becoming a better rock climber, I somehow keep getting distracted by the call of high mountains… This past summer I tried to rock climb in Squamish a fair amount, but found myself returning a few times to the interior ranges of BC…

Mt. Sir Donald

In July 2012 my friend Dylan Johnson and I made an 11-day road-trip through interior BC, and although we climbed several fun things, the highlight for me was the Northwest Arête of Mt. Sir Donald. Although I had driven through Rogers Pass many times, I had never climbed there previously,…

Springtime in Cham (and a bit elsewhere)!

A couple weeks ago I returned to North America after spending almost all of the spring in Chamonix. I had missed the two previous spring seasons in Cham, so it was exciting to be back in the ultimate alpine playground. People often ask me what my “goals” are when I…

Cerro Pier Giorgio, First Complete Ascent

Last week the weather forecast showed one of the most promising windows of the 2013-2014 Chalten climbing season (which doesn’t say much this year), and Rolo and I hiked into Niponino on the 22nd with ambitious plans. When we went to sleep it was snowing heavily, but we felt confident…

Cerro Madsen, Aguja de l’S and Cerro Domo Blanco

The 2013-2014 season in El Chalten continues to be a cold and stormy one. Since my arrival in mid November there hasn’t been a single weather window that I would call “a good one,” and the gnarliest summits, Cerro Torre and Torre Egger, have both yet to see a single…

Cerro Marconi Central – La SuperWhillans

Another semi-good weather window arrived in the Chalten Massif this past week. The forecast showed decent weather for the 18th and 19th, so Rolo and I hiked into the mountains on the 17th. This season continues so far to be the “Old Patagonia,” with plenty of wind, plenty of precip,…

Techado Negro and Aguja Volonqui

The last couple weeks in El Chalten the weather has been neither particularly good nor bad. There hasn’t been a lot of truly burly storms, but there haven’t been any periods of weather forecast good enough to feel confident about trying big, hard routes. There have been a handful of…

Farewell Magnus

Shortly before leaving Seattle for Patagonia, it happened again – a phone call during the middle of the night brought news of another friend who had died in the mountains. While ski mountaineering with Andreas Fransson on New Zealand’s Mt. Cook, Swedish evil-genius/warm-hearted-mad-man, Magnus Kastengren had fallen from a high…

Guillaumet x2

Sarah and I have been in El Chalten for a week now, and just got back to town from our second foray into the mountains. On the 20th, during a nice but very brief break in the weather, we tried to make a day-trip to Aguja Val Biois via Paso…

Winter, followed by Fall, followed by Spring…

Here’s a somewhat late blog post, of the remainder of my time in Patagonian winter, and the journey back to the Salish Sea. While it was very cool to finally explore the Chalten Massif in wintertime, it wasn’t a highly successful trip for me in terms of climbing accomplishments. I…

Domo Blanco and Cerro Electrico

I had a bit of climate shock a couple weeks ago, traveling from the Squamish summer of shirtless sport climbing, down to a snowy, icy El Chalten in mid-winter. I arrived in El Chalten on August 23, and supposedly proper winter had arrived only a few days beforehand. People around…

Summer in Squamish – Dedication to Rock

When I finally finished university in early 2009 I was just about ready to explode, and for the next three years I was nearly always on back-to-back alpine climbing trips, making extended annual visits to Chamonix, Alaska, Pakistan and Patagonia. For three years I think I averaged about 180 days…

Spring in North America – Skiing and Crevasse Falls!

NOTE: THIS IS A BLOG POST THAT I WROTE IN EARLY JUNE. IT’S ONLY TWO MONTHS OLD! It’s been an odd spring for me. Always for me the most difficult aspect of my Patagonia addiction is the conflict it creates with my skiing addiction, and after spending most of the…

Adela Traverse

I have been back home in Seattle for the past week, and while I often feel that life in Chalten is very busy, life in Seattle is busier yet. After missing all of the Northern Hemisphere winter I have been out skiing almost every day – the thing I miss…

El Mocho

Last week there was yet another good weather window in the Chalten Massif. However, the window was unfortunately immediately proceeded by a torrential storm, and wet conditions thwarted many climber’s attempts. Sarah and I hiked into the Torre Valley with our sights set on some lower summits, that fortunately accumulated…

Mojon Rojo – El Zorro

Sarah is back in El Chalten with me again, and after a few days of bouldering and sport climbing, we were back up in the mountains with yet more good weather. On Wednesday the 20th we hiked into the Torre Valley with our sights set on the enigmatic west face…

Red Pillar of Mermoz

With the clock ticking on Dylan’s two-week Patagonia sojourn, we have continued to try to make use of every bit of decent weather. Last Wednesday we hiked into the Torre Valley and up to the Niponino bivouac, with plans to try something on the Torres on Thursday. When our 2am…

La Via Funhogs

My good friend Dylan Johnson has managed to briefly escape his responsibilities as a new father and self-employed architect to come down to El Chalten for some alpine adventure. Since he is only here for a whopping two weeks, and since he arrived exactly at the end of the enormous,…

The Corkscrew

After Sarah and I had rested from Fitz Roy, we unfortunately squandered several more days of good weather. However, this weather window turned out to be longest I have ever seen here in El Chalten, and I had yet another chance to go climbing. Sarah headed to Bariloche to start…

Mate, Porro, y Todo con mi Dama

My girlfriend, Sarah Hart, is joining me for some of this season in Chalten, and arrived on the same day that Jon took off. We had a week of bouldering in relatively stormy weather, and then yet another weather window descended upon Chalten – this time an extended one. Although…

Festerville

For Jon’s last window this season in Patagonia, we hiked back up to Niponino on the last day of 2012, both with lingering colds. On the first day of 2013 we left Niponino early and headed to the Standhardt Col to try “Festerville,” the north ridge of Cerro Standhardt, first…

Ragnivenas Attempt

Papa Noel brought a few days of calm but humid weather to the Chalten massif over Christmas, with poor conditions for rock climbing, but good conditions for crampon climbing. Jon and I hiked into the Torre Valley on the 23rd, and on the 24th we passed through the Standhardt Col…

Tobogan

Last week some calm weather blew into the Chalten massif, but with cold and snowy conditions. Jon and I hiked into Niponino with some loose plans to scratch around on something while wearing crampons. After hemming and hawing for a while on the Torre Glacier at first light on the…

Guillaumet Laps

For the past couple weeks in El Chalten my climbing has been mostly limited to sport climbing at El Calamar, Chalten’s best crag. However, I have gotten a couple day-trips in to climb Aguja Guillaumet. When the weather forecast is marginal, and a day of approaching and camping in storm…

Cerro Solo and Cerro Torre

I have once again escaped to the Austral summer in Argentine Patagonia, returning as usual to the town of El Chalten. The nature of Patagonian alpinism continues to evolve at a rapid pace. The availability of reliable weather forecasts and route information (in particular, the publication of the massif’s first…

A Week in the Rockies

My girlfriend, Sarah Hart, and I just spent a week climbing out in the Rockies, enjoying perfect late-summer weather. Mostly we climbed at the Back of the Lake, which is I think one of the highest-quality crags I’ve ever climbed at (right up there with the Lower Town Wall at…

Forbidden Peak and Mt. Dione

In the past couple weeks I’ve been mostly just rock climbing, but made a couple quick trips into local mountains. First, my dad, brother and I made a reunion climb of the West Ridge of Forbidden Peak – a climb that we did all together fifteen years ago, and was…

How I Blew My Wadd – Trying to Imitate Frank Jourdan

I had planned to spend most of this summer rockclimbing in Squamish, and little of it in the mountains. However, I was back in Squamish for only a few days after my road trip with Dylan before taking off to the mountains again. This past winter at the Vancouver International…

West Coast Mountains Mini-Road-Trip

My friend and climbing partner, Dylan Johnson, recently became a father, and thus has been very busy at home. Nonetheless, on July 26 he made the epic drive from his new home in Ventura, CA, back up to Seattle, and the next day we took off on an 11-day mini…

Solo Attempt on North Buttress of Begguya

I have just recently returned to Seattle/Squamish from a long trip in the Central Alaska Range. This year I ended up spending 55 days living on the Kahiltna glacier system. Although a lot of time generally makes your odds of success better, it is obviously no guarantee, as this year…

Farewell Bjørn-Eivind

A week and a half ago I woke up to see a missed call from a Norwegian telephone number that I didn’t recognize. Somehow I felt that there had been an accident. I went to my computer, and sure enough, my friend Nils Nielsen had sent me an e-mail when…

The Removal of Cesare Maestri’s Bolt Ladders on Cerro Torre

A couple weeks ago, climbers Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk completed the first “fair means” ascent of the southeast ridge of Cerro Torre, and on their descent successfully removed a large portion of the bolt ladders installed there in 1971 by Cesare Maestri. This has sparked a large debate within…

Temporada de Locura

This summer season in El Chalten has been exceptional in many ways, and the past few weeks in particular have been the craziest I’ve ever experienced in Patagonia. Immediately after Jorge and I climbed Torre Egger, my girlfriend, Sarah Hart, came down for a visit of a couple weeks. She…

Torre Egger, east pillar

For Christmas Papa Noel brought yet another weather window to El Chalten, and on Dec. 24th Jorge Ackermann and I hiked into the Torre valley again, intent on trying the east pillar of Torre Egger, which we had previously attempted a few weeks earlier. We spent Christmas Eve at the…

Aguja St. Exupery, Aguja de l’S and the “Seven Summits”

On my second trip to Patagonia, in 2005 with my friend Mark Westman, we had many days of good climbing weather. Thus, we had a very busy, fruitful trip, and I was able to complete a goal of mine at the time: to climb the seven main summits of the…

Aguja Innominata (aka Aguja Rafael) Solo

After my Standhardt adventure with Jorge, I got in two days of rest in town before another mini-window appeared in the forecast, and I hiked back into the Torre Valley. I spent the night of Dec. 7 at the Polacos bivouac, and departed at 5:00 am the next morning for…

Cerro Standhardt, El Caracol

On November 30th, I hiked into the Torre Valley with my friend Jorge Ackerman, who is from Bariloche, but has been living in Squamish for the past year. We hoped to climb Torre Egger via the O’Neil-Martin route, so continued past Niponino to the Norwegos bivouac. On December 1st we…

Cerro Pollone Attempt

I have returned to El Chalten, in Argentine Patagonia, for hopefully some more great climbing in the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre massifs. As seems to be my un-breakable curse, I arrived just a bit too late to take full advantage of a weather window. Fortunately, at least this year…

Slesse Climbs

During the past few weeks I have spent most of my time in Squamish, trying to progress my rock free-climbing skills. I have also been teaching myself how to rope solo, and after practicing on some smaller routes I soloed the Grand Wall and University Wall. I have made a…

Kahiltna 2011: Easy Peak Bagging and Single-Push Failures

I’ve just returned to Seattle after spending 41 days on the Kahiltna Glacier with Norwegian friend Nils Nielsen. Due to unlucky timing with weather and conditions we were unsuccessful on our main objectives, but it was an enjoyable trip nonetheless. We flew into Kahiltna Basecamp on May 12. We wanted…

Verte-Courtes-Doites-Eiger

The last couple weeks have been very busy for me here in Chamonix, catching first bin at the Midi or Grands Montets most days. During a week of on and off snowfall I went mostly lift-served skiing – most of it mediocre, but with some nice snow in the Capucin…

The Alpine Playground

I’ve returned for a few weeks to the ultimate alpine playground, Chamonix, to do some enjoyable skiing and climbing on the fantastic peaks here, and hopefully gain some fitness for the Alaska climbing season. Chamonix has experienced a really lean snow year, but there are always good things to do…

Viking Alpinism

In May 2006 I spent a magical week in the Lofoten Islands of northern Norway. Situated above the arctic circle (aka, outside of the “moral circle”), and jutting out into the North Atlantic, the Lofoten Islands have an enchanting scenery of craggy peaks coming straight out of the rough ocean.…

Cerro Torre Attempts

My last two forays into the mountains of the Fitz Roy massif were to attempt a natural line on the Southeast Ridge of Cerro Torre. Zack Smith and I made an attempt that was thwarted by iffy weather, and a week later I made another attempt with Rolando Garibotti and…

David Lama and Cerro Torre – Good news

A couple days ago, on January 28th, David Lama posted on his blog that he will not rappel-bolt on Cerro Torre. It is written in German, but Doerte Pietron made a quick translation for me. The third paragraph, where he refers about his planned tactics, roughly reads: “Unfortunately I couldn’t…

Clarifications about Cerro Torre, David Lama and Redbull

After making my earlier blog post, most all of the climbers in El Chalten headed into the mountains in pursuit of a forecasted weather window. The weather window turned out worse than was forecasted, which was a relief for me because I’ve got a bit of a cold and wouldn’t…

Cerro Torre, David Lama and Redbull

In 1959, Cesare Maestri attempted to climb Cerro Torre via it’s North Face. At some point during the climb, descent, or descent of the glacier below the face, Maestri’s climbing partner, Toni Egger, perished. Maestri claimed that they had made the first ascent of Cerro Torre, and the third member…

Jardines Japoneses

The last several weeks delivered mostly all bad weather to the Chalten region. On one of a few slightly better days, Tommy Caldwell and I headed out to climb the Brenner Ridge on Aguja Guillaumet. Guillaumet is one of the smallest, most accessible of the spires here, but nonetheless it…

Exocet Solo

For the third year in a row, I arrived in Patagonia just at the end of an excellent and long weather window. I immediately hiked up to the Torre Glacier, but alas, I was too late and it closed down. C’est la vie. Fortunately, a two-day window of good weather…

Yosemite, Skiing and Joe Puryear

With the exception of Devil’s Thumb, I’ve had generally bad luck with the weather during the past year. September, which is normally a wonderful month in the Cascades, was horrible. I went down to Yosemite for most of October, and the weather was actually better back home in the Cascades!…

Early Winter Spire, Slesse, and Upcoming Slideshows

During the second half of the summer I managed to spend pathetically little time up in the alpine, and pathetically little time climbing in general. This was largely because I spent a few weeks remodeling the SHWOP (small house without plumbing) in my dad’s backyard that is my home. I…

Devil’s Thumb, The Diablo Traverse

Mikey Schaefer (mikeylikesrocks.com) and I have just come back to Seattle from a quick, fantastic trip to the Stikine Icecap region, on the BC-Alaska border, near Petersburg, Alaska. I have been planning to visit Devil’s Thumb for years, but until now never made it to this beautiful mountain range. Our…

Tahoma Ski Descent and North Rib of Slesse

After Alaska I had to nurse my frostbitten toes for a couple weeks before climbing on them. Since then I have been mostly just rock climbing, at Index, Squamish and Skaha, but have made it up into the alpine a couple times – for a ski descent of Tahoma’s (aka…

Alaska 2010: Dracula and Cassin Simul-Solo

HERE, FIRSTOFF, IS A TRIP SUMMARY: Bjørn-Eivind Årtun and I have just come out from a 37-day trip to Denali and Mt. Foraker, which was partially funded by a Mugs Stump Award and the Norwegian Alpine Club (NTK). Here is a report of what we did. We flew onto the…

Supercouloir Solo

Last Wednesday afternoon I took a late cabin up the Aiguille du Midi telepherique for an attempt on Supercouloir the following day (April 27). Supercouloir is an 800 meter ice gully route on the east face of Mont Blanc du Tacul. The direct start to Supercouloir was not formed, so…

Back in Chamonix

After Patagonia I was home in the Cascades for a whopping ten days, and then took off for my vernal pilgrimage to Chamonix, France. Just as Yosemite is the ultimate playground for rock climbing, Chamonix is the ultimate playground for alpine climbing and ski mountaineering. And just as Yosemite is…

Shuksan North Face Descent

Last Friday my brother, Booth, and I went and skied the North Face of Mt. Shuksan after skinning up the White Salmon Glacier. Conditions were great, with plenty of well-bonded powder and only a few small windslabs right over the lee side of ridges. The snowpack this winter in The…

Fin de la Temporada – Care Bear Traverse and Mermoz Solo

The weather here in El Chalten remained poor for all of January and most of February, with only the occasional one-day mediocre window. Fortunately, unlike an expedition to Alaska or the Himalaya, the time spent waiting in Patagonia is quite enjoyable – you can live indoors, eat fresh fruit and…

Guillaumet Solo

Much of my time in Patagonia is spent waiting for a large weather window to try a difficult objective, and I often let pass many mediocre but nonetheless climbable days, which are suitable only for smaller objectives. However, after festering for a while, and with no properly good weather in…

Poincenot Solo

I arrived in El Chalten, Patagonia at the start of a several-day good weather window. Unfortunately, the cold that I had caught right before leaving Seattle had not been cured by four days of stressful travel, and I was forced to pass two good weather days in town. Since I…

Fall in Yosemite and the Halloween Linkup

I’m posting this a bit late, but here is a summary I wrote a few weeks ago of my fall pilgrimage to Yosemite: When most climbers ask me what they should do to prepare for a Patagonia trip, I recommend winter climbing in the Cascades. However, because I come from…

Slesse, East Face Attempt (or why Sean Easton is badass)

On Wednesday through Friday Dylan Johnson and I made an attempt on Slesse’s East Face route. Established in July 1997 by Sean Easton and Dave Edgar, the East Face of Slesse is most likely the hardest route in the Cascades, and like most of the Cascades hardest routes (pretty much…

Another Expedition Fails on the Choktoi…

Despite 30 years of expeditions by many of the world’s best alpinists, Pakistan’s Choktoi Glacier maintains a 0.0% success rate on the magnificent objectives that are accessed there (Latok 3, Latok I, Latok 2, Ogre 2, Ogre I). The snowpack this year in the Karakorum was the biggest since 1976…

Mt. Hunter!

I have just returned to Seattle from a three-week trip to the Central Alaska Range with Norwegian climber Bjørn-Eivind Årtun. The weather this May was significantly better than average – Apart from a few days of snow showers and a wind storm that lasted for a few days, the weather…

Col du Diable, Macho Couloir

I headed out for some more steep skiing today, with Italian snowboarder Luca Pandolfi. From below the east face of Mont Blanc du Tacul we climbed up the Capucin Couloir, which is between the Petit Capucin and the Grand Capucin. That brought us to the Breche du Carabinier, and from…

Midi North Face Ski Descents

New snow finally came to the Chamonix valley, so I’ve switched back to ski mode for the past few days. I had the pleasure to ski a couple lines on the North Face of the Aiguille du Midi with Swedish ski badass, Andreas Fransson. After checking out the snowpack with…

Midi North Face Climb

I had planned to attempt a solo today of the Supercouloir on Mont Blanc du Tacul, but arriving at the top of the Aiguille du Midi in the midst of strong wind and clouds, I decided it would be imprudent. So I took the telepherique back down to the Plan…

Aiguille d’Argentiere

Yesterday I joined Maxime Turgeon and another Quebecois friend of his, Nick, for a ski tour off the Aiguille d’Argentiere. We skinned and climbed up the Glacier du Milieu, and skied down the Barbey Couloir to the Saleina Glacier, and eventually through the Fenetre du Tour to get back down…

Les Doites, Le Ginat Solo

The predicted storm front keeps getting pushed back in the weather forecast, so today was another nice day with good climbing conditions. I headed back up the North Face of Les Doites, for a solo of the Ginat route. When I spent a winter in Chamonix three years ago I…

Torres Traverse Slideshow

If you happen to be in Chamonix, and have an interest in Patagonian climbing…I’ll be showing a slideshow of the first ascent of the Torres Traverse, Friday at 8pm, at the Patagonia store in Chamonix Centre.

Aiguille Verte, Couturier Couloir

My planned rest day on Sunday ended up being spent sportclimbing at Gietroz, Suisse. But today was forecast to be the last day of high-pressure, so rested or not, it was necessary to head back up in the ‘pine! On Saturday I had mentioned to Aymeric that I had never…

Les Doites, Colton-Brooks

On Saturday I teamed up with Aymeric Clouet, a French climber whom I met in Patagonia this winter and last. We caught the third bin up the Grands Montets telepherique and headed to the North Face of Les Doites to climb the Colton-Brooks route. Conditions were not amazing but were…

Skiing and Les Courtes Solo

After Les Grandes Jorasses some more storms rolled in, and conditions changed in favor of skiing. I had a couple great days at Le Tour, skiing powder down Posettes to the Vallorcine (Suisse) side. On Sunday Jonna Jacobs, Martin Jern and I had a couple great laps down the Glacier…

Les Grandes Jorasses

With the remainder of the high-pressure system, and fairly consolidated snow conditions, Maxime Turgeon, Adam George and I headed toward the Leschaux hut Saturday afternoon, for a crack at the famed north face of Les Grandes Jorasses. We left the hut yesterday morning at 3am, and a couple hours later…

Bienvenue a Chamonix

I arrived in Chamonix on Sunday night, and as the weather has since been excellent I have been busy every day. High winds were forecast for today, so I am resting for the good weather that is predicted to follow, running errands, and posting some photos here… On Monday I…

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