Bolting Climbs: The Ethics of First Ascents

Evaluating the ethics behind first ascents begged the question of whether or not we’re creating safer climbs by “conquering routes”. Were we providing positive accessibility by bolting walls? Or just flaunting our abilities?

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Second Ascents: The McNerthney Pillar

Photos and Story by Ben Kunz On July 20th, 2013, Tim Halder, Joe Sambataro and I completed the second ascent of the McNerthney Pillar on the north face of Mount Waddington in British Columbia’s Coast Range. This prodigious rock pillar was climbed by the Northwest’s own McNerthney brothers, Pat and Dan McNerthney, back in 1986. Despite the appeal of this beautiful rock pillar and “providing far and away the most powerful climbing line of this face of Waddington”, it had yet to see a repeat ascent. Climbing a big, steep route like the McNerthney Pillar was a huge undertaking for the three of us. Despite forays into the other Great Ranges (Peru, Alaska, Alps, Himalaya), none of us had climbed such a technical, once-touched line on such a colossal mountain…

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Climb for a Cause profile: Summit for Someone

Mountaineering can be a selfish endeavor but there are programs out there that help combine one’s love for the summit with aiding a noble cause. Big City Mountaineer’s program, ‘Summit for Someone’ aims to improve the lives of under-served urban youth.  Funds that are raised through SFS climbs allow Big City Mountaineers’ to lead transformational wilderness mentoring expeditions to thousands of urban youth across the country in need of “positive adult guidance in challenging and restorative environments.”

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