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Barry Blanchard Talks FA of Stiving for the Moon and SW Ridge of Alberta

The climbs are among two of the most difficult alpine routes in the Rockies

Legendary Canadian alpinist Barry Blanchard will be talking about his first ascents of The North Pillar on the North Twin in 1985 and The Wild Thing on Mount Chephren in 1987 on Jan. 19. The free event will stream on Facebook live starting at 1 p.m. MST on Feb. 16. Watch here.

This event will be episode two of six in a series called: Barry Blanchard’s Greatest Alpine First Ascents in the Canadian Rockies, 1983 to 2002.

Big Jim Elzinga managed to wring five days out of his rich and fulfilling metropolitan life in Toronto. Barry and Jim forded the Sunwapta River on Aug.7 , 1990, and marched up Woolley Creek to use Barry’s new and refined access to the unnamed glacier below the North Face of Mt Alberta, under which they plodded to gain the unclimbed Northwest Ridge, and summit, two days hence.

At 2 a.m. on Dec. 2, 1992, Barry motored towards Lake Louise to rendezvous with Ward Robinson who, in the time since their first ascent of the North Face of Howse Peak, had gotten married and had two kids. Ward also had a titanium rod in his tibia after the bone had been shattered by a tree that he’d fallen. Barry and Ward spent the next two days climbing a virgin waterfall system up the East Face of Mt Temple to merge with the East Ridge route and the summit. The last big hurrah for the team of Blanchard and Robinson, although they still love hanging out together.

Barry Blanchard’s Greatest Alpine FAs in the Rockies

Episode 1: The Andromeda Strain and the East Face of Mount Fay
Episode 2: The North Pillar of North Twin in 1985 and The Wild Thing on the Northeast Face of Chephren in 1987
Episode 3: The North Face of Edith Cavell and The North Face of Howse Peak in 1988
Episode 4: The Northwest Ridge of Alberta in 1990 and Striving for the Moon on the East Face of Temple in 1992
Episode 5: The Silver Lining on Saskatchewan in 1998, and M-16 on the Northeast Face of Howse Peak in 1999
Episode 6: Sans Blitz on the East Face of Fay, 2001, and Infinite Patience on the Emperor Face of Robson in 2002