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Watch Live: Barry Blanchard Talks North Twin and Wild Thing

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

Photo by: John Scurlock of North Twin

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. 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.

Ten days after descending from the first ascent of the East Face of Fay (episode one watch below) in March of 1984, Blanchard teamed up once again with Carl Tobin and for the first time the legendary alpinist George Lowe III to make the initial attempt on the northeast face of Chephren. Blanchard made two more attempts that winter, and three winters later one more attempt, and finally success, in 1987.

The first ascent of The Wild Thing was accomplished with Peter Arbic and Ward Robinson and by then Blanchard had spent 15 days of his life on the face. Between those two winters, in the summer of 1985, Blanchard and David Cheesmond made the first ascent of what Mark Twight once described as, “the apocalyptical North Pillar of North Twin.” One of the most treasured and possibly the hardest climb of Blanchard’s life. Read about the first ascent here.

Blanchard 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.

Episode 1

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


Lead photo: John Scurlock of North Twin