In 2015, Canadian Piolet d’Or recipient Raphael Slawinski and Europeans David Goettler and Daniel Bartsch attempted a new route on Mount Everest up the northeast face of Everest. The attempt was stopped after an earthquake stopped that year’s climbing season in its tracks.
American Cory Richards and Ecuadorian Esteban Mena plan to attempt the same line in the spring of 2019. There’s been no new route climbed on Everest in over 10 years. The unclimbed line heads up between the Integral Northeast Ridge and the Northeast Ridge via a couloir that has many objective hazards and joins the regular route to the summit.
Richards told Alan Arnette in an interview, “This trip has been a long time in the making for both of us. While we are implicitly aware that altitude can affect us differently than it ever has in the past, the knowledge that we have both managed to climb it without oxygen is very additive to our collective sentiment towards the attempt. It’s calming in a way. The other thing that we have is time under the face…six seasons collectively. We have had time to watch the couloir, watch the weather and wind patterns, watch the snow pack change, move, and settle. That time and observation has given us cautious optimism and confidence regarding the objective hazards on the route and it lends itself to a unique positioning for us. I fucking HATE avalanches…and (knock on wood), I feel really good about this objective. Obviously, the mountain dictates success or failure more than anything else, but we feel really good.”
Everest Attempt 2019
The Canadian Route
Few people know that there’s an unrepeated Canadian route on Everest. In May 1986, Canadians Sharon Wood and Dwayne Congdon reached the summit of Everest after climbing a new route up the West Shoulder on the Canadian Light Expedition.
The route climbs from the Rongbuk Glacier and continues to the summit via the Hornbein Couloir. Wood became the first North American woman to summit Everest on the ascent. The Canadian Light route has had seven attempts since 1986.
In the darkness we watched their headlamps twinkle and fade.One went ahead. We found out later that Dwayne’s oxygen bottle had run out. He wanted to dump the bottle but couldn’t for fear of hitting Sharon. He gave up and sat down. Sharon hallucinatining-the mountain trying to take her. She had to keep moving. Fifteen hours later,they reunited at camp 6 only to have the stove blow a hole in the tent. Laurie came up to meet them as they descended.Laurie’s effort was not just an individual helping out, it was part of the network of mutual responsibility to make sure everyone came home safe.#everest#grippedmagazine#safetyfirst #teamwork#values