Home > Profiles

Will Stanhope Talks Howser Towers in a Day

In August, Will Stanhope and Leo Houlding climbed the three biggest faces on the Howser Towers in B.C.’s Bugaboos, climbing them all free in 23 and a half hours.

The big day had been on Stanhope’s mind for nearly a decade. The American Alpine Journal’s Chris Kalman spoke with Stanhope about the planning, how to free climb so much ground so quickly and the primal energy boost from an alpine sunrise after 23 hours on the go.

Managed to complete a long term project with @leo_houlding : the three west faces of the Howser Towers in the Bugaboos, free in a day. I've had this in the back of my head since climbing the Central Howser in 2009 with @jason_kruk and @mattsegal. It's a dream come true and we really had to dig deep for this one. Thanks so much Leo for believing in the project and for all the inspiration over the years. 2000 metres of climbing up to 5.12+, 58 rope lengths in 23.5 hours. Started with Chocolate Fudge Brownie on the Central at first light, then did Spicy Red Beans/ All Along the Watchtower on the North, and finished with the Beckey-Chouinard on the South Tower. Thanks so much @wilstone8 @adriansamarra @waldo_etherington and Leo for the great vibes and a trip I will never forget. @arcteryx @fiveten_official @metoliusclimbing @maximropes @coldhouse_

A post shared by Will Stanhope (@willstanhope) on

Stanhope started climbing at the Edge Climbing Centre as a kid in the mid-1990s. When he was a teenager, he started getting rides with older climbers up the Sea To Sky highway often with best buddies Dave Nykyforuk and Jason Kruk.

After completing high school, Stanhope left on a road trip with Kruk in a Navy Blue 1987 Chevy cargo van. They arrived in Yosemite lacking big wall experience but keen to climb.

They teamed up with Jeremy Blumel and Craig McGee to climb The Nose of El Capitan in 27 hours. Stanhope is one of Canada’s most accomplished rock and big-wall climbers.

In 2016, he climbed the 35-pitch El Corazon 5.13 all-free with fellow Canadian Mike Doyle.

Listen to Stanhope and Kalman chat about the Hower Towsers link-up below.