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Barry Blanchard Talks North Faces of Edith Cavell and Howse Peak

At the time, they were two of the hardest winter ascents in Canadian climbing history

Legendary Canadian alpinist Barry Blanchard will be talking about the first winter ascent of the North Face of Edith Cavell and three days later the first Aascent of the North Face of Howse Peak in 1988. Watch on on Feb. 2 here.

Barry, Ward Robinson and Geoff Creighton drive away from Banff at 2:00 a.m. on March 9th. Geoff calls it quits at the end of the 20-kilometre ski in, but Barry and Ward are keen, despite the – 25 C. The team of two advances on the face via the Angel Glacier and its spooky bowel wrenching cracking and groaning.

They find the sole patch of snow deep enough to dig a snow cave into that night and finish their “Z” shaped route the next day complete with a dropped rope misadventure. Three days later Barry and Ward cross Chephen Lake to begin the North Face of Howse Peak via the line that they’d pieced together in their imaginations while descending from The Wild Thing one year earlier. Over the next four days, they put up the hardest winter route in the range.

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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