Legendary Canadian climber Jim Elzinga will be talking about ice climbing first ascents for the Nipigon Ice Festival tonight, Marcy 3, at 7 p.m. EST. Watch the event here and use the password 221472 to enter.
Elzinga’s focus has consistently been on a search for new more difficult routes on the world’s most challenging mountains. While Everest today is climbed mainly by the route Sir Edmund Hillary climbed in 1953, Elzinga’s time on Everest was to try an unclimbed route by fair means – without the use of traditional Sherpa support.
In the Canadian Rockies, Elzinga has made the first ascent of Slipstream WI4+ 1,000m with John Lauchlan, the first ascent of The Elzinga/Miller 5.9 WI4+ on Mount Cromwell, the first ascent of the Northwest Ridge of Mount Alberta 5.9 V with Barry Blanchard, dozens of new ice and mixed routes over the past 45 years and more. Elzinga made the first winter ascent of the North Face of Mount Robson in 1989 with Barry Blanchard and Ward Robinson in -40°C temps. Elzinga also made a -40°C ascent of the Ramp Route V+ on Mount Kitchener with Lauchlan in the dead of winter.
Abroad, Elzinga made the first ascent of the South/Southwest Ridge VI of Mount Logan in 1979 with Raymond Jotterand, Alan Burgess and Lauchlan over 15 days. With Steve House, Elzinga climbed the previously unclimbed southwest face of Brahamasar II up a 1,000-metre burly alpine line. On the mighty Nuptse, Elzinga and Peter Arbic climbed within 350 metres of the summit after spending nine days climbing The Southeast Pillar. It’s the high-point for an alpine-style attempt on the grade-VI wall.
The Nipigon Ice Fest is Canada’s longest running ice climbing festival features ice climbing clinics, presentations by outdoor adventurers, gear swaps and more. For this year’s schedule see here.