Home > Events

Watch Live: Barry Blanchard Talks Andromeda Strain and Fay

One of Canada's top alpine climbers will be doing six free events showcasing his most legendary first ascents in the Rocky Mountains

Legendary Canadian alpinist Barry Blanchard will be talking about his first ascents of The Andromeda Strain and the East Face of Mount Fay on Jan. 5 The free event will stream on Facebook live starting at 1 p.m. MST.

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

After four attempts, Blanchard, David Cheesmond and Tim Friesen succeeded in cracking The Andromeda Strain in April 1983. “Commonly the first ascent party names the route, but because this alluring alpine couloir on Andromeda had been attempted over a dozen times by some of the best alpinists in North America, it had become an unrelenting strain, The Andromeda Strain,” said Blanchard.

“The next winter, Carl Tobin, Cheesmond and Blanchard battled their way up the East Face of Fay surviving a leader jump/fall, an avalanche, a relentless storm and a box of smarties split three ways for dinner before being two days late for work.” In 2019, Brette Harrington, Luka Lindič and Ines Papert made the first repeat of the East Face and continued directly to the summit via their The Sound of Silence VI M8 WI5 1,110m.

Blanchard, who lives in Canmore, is an honorary member of the Alpine Club of Canada, winner of the Summit of Excellence award and his book, The Calling, A Life Rocked By Mountains was shortlisted for the Banff Mountain Book Competition and won the Boardman Tasker prize for mountain literature.

We will update the website shortly before the following episode. Be sure to watch here.

Blanchard jumaring on day two on Mount Fay Photo Carl Tobin

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