Skiing and Climbing Alaska’s Remarkable Ruth Gorge

By Scott Rinckenberger When I was invited on a mission to spend two weeks climbing and skiing the Ruth Gorge in Denali National Park, I knew I’d have to bring some pretty serious equipment. Fortunately MSR was willing to help outfit the expedition. I’m exceedingly thankful for the gear, but that’s not all I picked up from the MSR HQ before my departure. I also ran into a long time friend, and while I was being told to “be safe” by nearly everyone who heard the plan, it was the words from my friend Diane which put me on the right track for the trip – “Listen to the mountains.” Our plans included climbing lofty alpine walls in the Ruth Gorge, and climbing summits from their less-technical sides for some…

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The Unpredictable Alpine

By Jewell Lund “Should we take bivy gear?” I peered up at the dauntingly sheer granite face of Mt. Huntington, the scale of which overwhelms base camp on the Tokositna Glacier. Standing so close to the mountain, I knew the colossal face was foreshortened. Traversing the systems all the way across the West Face could take a few hours, or more than a day. Who knew? “Um. Bivy gear could be nice?” This conversation has actually started via email a year ago. A friend had connected Chantel Astorga and me, knowing our mutual interest in alpine climbing. Pictures and ideas were bandied about regarding Mt. Huntington in the Alaska Range. We’d heard rumors of stellar rock quality and nightmarish corniced ridges, and most importantly promises of adventure. In November 2013,…

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Leif Whittaker on the Privilege of Climbing Mountains

Photos and story by Leif Whittaker The view from the barren promontory above Namche Bazaar in Nepal looked out on a windswept hunk of the Himalaya where the sunrise struck, bathing the world’s highest mountain in flattering gold light. Dad and Mom stood next to me, their breath white in the frigid morning. The alpine air was redolent with juniper. We talked about climbing, a favorite subject of the guides, Sherpa, and photographers who clustered around us. I listened intently to Dad’s stories about his ascent of Mount Everest in 1963 and Mom’s stories about the 1978 K2 expedition. Though they spoke of daring, superhuman feats—like descending from 29,035 feet half blind and without bottled oxygen—I heard a conspicuous tone of humility in their voices, as if they acknowledged how lucky…

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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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Speed Ascent Recap: Chad Kellogg’s Oxygen-Less Attempt on Everest

Chad Kellogg shares the details of his oxygen-less attempt on Everest. We are proud of Chad and his efforts. Read the details of his summit attempt here: “At 2:45 pm with all hands ready to see me off, I paid my traditional respects for safe travel. Offering incense, water, rice and making three circumnavigations of the team stuppa. When all was in order, I posed with my friends for some photos and reminded myself that this was going to be fun and to enjoy every step.

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As the Glacier Churns: Unfortunate Events on Everest

A Report from Chad Kellog MSR Ambassador Chad Kellog is on Mount Everest, acclimatizing for his 2013 speed attempt from Base Camp to the summit. Earlier this week, Chad reported from Base Camp after a violent incident occurred between a group of European climbers and a group of Sherpas at Camp 2. “I want to say that there were four or five men responsible for this unfortunate incident at Camp 2. Since I do not know their names I have used the name “Sherpas” to represent the mob of men who rallied against Ueli Steck, Simone Moro and Jonathan Griffith. However, I do not want to misrepresent the Sherpa community that I have grown to love over the past 15 years of traveling to Nepal and sharing in adventures with…

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Chad Kellogg Everest 2013

Chad Kellogg is returning to Everest this spring, intent on setting the speed record from base camp to the summit and back. As he did in earlier seasons, he’ll be climbing solo and without oxygen. With two previous attempts and over six years of training, Chad is better prepared than ever to achieve his goal. The Summit Register will offer exclusive content about Chad’s attempt, including a video series, informational articles and regular updates from Base Camp. You can even follow Chad’s progress in real time on our Everest map. Join us in wishing Chad speed and safety on the mountain!

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