Remembering Fred is New Rockies Mixed Route

Rockies-based climbers Kris Irwin and John Price have climbed a new mixed route in Banff National Park.

The new 330-metre Remembering Fred M6 WI5 climbs an aesthetic line above O’Brien Lake northwest of Castle Junction near Taylor Lake.

Remembering Fred. Photo John Price

As Price noted, “It’s located on the north aspect of an unnamed peak south of Mount Bell. High quality mixed climbing on good quartzite with no large slide paths threatening the route and a casual walk off.”

This is an early season route that shouldn’t be considered if there have been heavy snow as Price points out there are large avalanche paths below and on the walk off.

“With the exception of pitch four, the gear is quite good and the belays are sheltered,” said Price.

“The route went on natural gear, no bolts were placed.” Price spotted the line while on a trail run earlier this season.

There are seven pitches of fun looking mixed climbing with snow, ice and rock.

“We named this climb after Fred Beckey, who passed away on the same day, at age 94 after a long life lived in the mountains,” said Price.

“I had pleasure of spending time with Fred over the last 10 years and always looked forward to our next conversation. Climb on Fred.” Click to play the clip.

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"In the Mountain magazine I understood the importance of contrasting information"

In the life of John Porter,
crossed many mountain icons, including the great Alex
McIntyte (central figure of his book 'A day like a tiger') or the
famous editor of the magazine Mountain Ken Wilson, who
He taught the importance of contrasting all the data. Whenever I received
 important information Ken said: "I want photos, I need photos, tests!"

Darío Rodríguez / DESNIVEL
– Tuesday, October 31, 2017 – Updated at 11:45 p.m.

John Porter (Massachusetts, USA)
enrolled in the English university of Leeds in 1975, but it was not
very good. "I spent too much time climbing," he says today.
He edited the university magazine and one day he received a call
Ken Wilson who proposed to him to work in Mountain, the magazine of
mountaineering and mountaineering more influential at that time. "I thought
if it was okay to leave the doctorate, but I must admit that I learned more
working nine months with Ken that in the three previous years of
college. It was one of the best choices of my life. "

"When Ken received an information he would pick up the phone immediately and ask:
"I want photos, I need photos, proofs!" .

How was the experience of
to work with an editor the likes of Ken Wilson?

Working for him was an experience
fantastic Ken was the first person who understood the importance
to have good information when it is going to scale
. Magazine
Mountain had correspondents in every continent that sent
the latest news We had an amazing group of
correspondents who, in addition, were respected climbers. Even
so, if Ken received a letter informing him of a new way in
Yosemite, to say the least, picked up the phone immediately and asked:
"I want photos, I need photos, proofs!" .

He was always contrasting the
information. One of my first jobs was writing news and
learn to check the facts. He always told me that things
they should be simple, that I should remember that the magazine was going to
read all over the world, so you had to publish the facts without
mistakes but in a way that all people could understand.

"Mountain ended some mysteries, but inspired
to many climbers "

Mountain was the
most important magazine at that time.

was the Bible. One of
the numbers led to the cover a color photomontage of the face
North of the Eiger in winter. I joked with him and said he was
like Playboy which was opening the imagination of the
. The secrets of the Eiger had long been revealed to
long. "Is what we do good?" He joked. The
magazine ended with some mysteries and with mysticism, but it inspired
to many climbers.

How long did you work with him?
I worked with him for nine months
They seemed like nine years. I noticed that I edited news from people
that he was climbing while I worked for Ken. In the end he
I had to say that I was going crazy, that I needed to go back to
the mountains
. He did not want me to leave but we stayed as friends
and we have been until he died last year (Desnivel published a
report in number 361 that you can consult here ).

How has the mountain changed?
Today things are changing a lot
with social networks. Mountain guides are a thing of the
past, everyone has an application where to consult the tracks.
That has advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes, social networks
cause the climbers to talk to the people they know and
that does not explore other sources too much. The good thing about the magazine
Mountain is that it included news from all over the world and it was the
only source of information. Now there are so many stories
contradictory that can sometimes give rise to confusion

"Everyone has to find their plot of adventure"

How was climbing in the 70s?
Climbing in the 70s was completely
different. When you left Rawalpindi or Kathmandu there was no
communications, it was pure adventure, you were isolated and very concentrated.
There were fewer climbers because it was not a commercial thing, so
You ended up meeting everyone. We did not make as much fuss as
now because there were not so many magazines, we just scaled by
the pure pleasure and fun. I think almost nobody had the goal
to become a professional, we just enjoyed it.

How do you see the climbing and mountaineering that is practiced today?
Today many incredible things are done and
I think everyone has to find their plot of adventure. Alex
who is an exceptional climber, has to do things
Exceptional to make true adventure. We went
fortunate because the Himalayas was a blank map while
today almost all the routes have been made. People should look for new
approaches or ways of doing things, although now I feel that
everything is more commercial.

John Porter is the author of the book
day like a tiger
the biography of his friend and companion Alex
MacIntyre, who died in 1982 at age 28 at the Annapurna and
who Reinhold Messner described as one of the Himalayians most
highlights of his generation.


AlexMacIntyre's biography:


 A day like a tiger "src =" "style =" width: 150px; height: 230px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px; float: left; "/> </p>
<p> A day like a tiger </p>
<p> <strong> Alex MacIntyre and the birth of light and fast mountaineering </strong> </p>
<p> <em> by John Porter </em> </p>
<p> The exciting and revealing biography that John Porter has dedicated to his friend and companion, shows us the mountaineering in its most extraordinary facet and its most tragic aspect, while it draws an unforgettable image of the dazzling, controversial and exuberant legend that it was Alex MacIntyre. </p>
<p>                                </p></div>
<p><br />
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10 Things to Not Miss at the Banff Mountain Fest 2017

The 2017 Banff Mountain Film Festival will be taking place this week in Banff. For 10 things not to miss, see below.

1. Chris Bonington is perhaps the most celebrated climber of his time. He has made first ascents around the globe including as expedition leader of the South Face of Annapurna in 1970 and the South West Face of Everest in 1975, reaching the summit of Everest himself in 1985.

Now in his 80s, he is still active and climbing in the mountains. The UK alpinist appears in Banff on opening night of the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival for the World Premiere of Bonington: Mountaineer. Following the film, Sir Chris joins writer and climber, Geoff Powter, in conversation. This event is sold out but you can catch the rerun on Monday, October 30 at the Lux cinema in downtown Banff.

2. Beyond Summits (Le Doigt de Dieu) is a film that explores the vast landscapes between philosophy, action into the vertical world where men and women travel, looking for what mountaineering is all about: self-discovery. Opening Weekend, Sunday,  October 29.

3.The Dirtbag Café with Will Stanhope: It really comes down to one simple thing: Will Stanhope loves granite. A climber since age eight, he is now one of Canada’s top climbers who spends most of his time in Squamish, British Columbia.

He has made many first ascents and has free-climbed big walls in Yosemite. In 2015 he completed the first free ascent of one of the world’s hardest alpine big walls with Matt Segal, the Tom Egan Memorial Route (5.14), Bugaboos, British Columbia. He will be appearing to talk about his exploits on Wednesday, November 1.

4. Bernadette McDonald will be presenting her latest book, Art of Freedom: The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka, on Friday, November 3 as part of the Banff Mountain Book Festival.

Her book chronicles the life of Polish climber Voytek Kurtyka, one of the greatest alpinists of all time, and includes one of his most significant feats that has subsequently been dubbed as the “climb of the century”, an unrepeated alpine-style ascent of the Shining Wall on the West Face of Gasherbrum IV.

McDonald just picked up the Banff Mountain Book Competition award for Mountain Literature for this book and is a finalist for the Phyllis and Don Munday Award (Grand Prize), which will be announced on Thursday, November 2.

5. Nico, Sean and the Coconut Connection: Nico Favresse and Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll have been in a few tight spots together over the years while climbing and making first ascents around the world. But they always seem to push the harsh realities of life on the big wall aside with the help of a few musical interludes and the occasional bout of nonsensical behavior.

They recently had some laughs on The Coconut Connection (5.12d), a challenging big wall route in Baffin Island. Festival audiences may remember their antics from the popular 2016 Festival film Dodo’s Delight. They will join us on stage for a handful of great stories and if we’re lucky, a special musical performance with a friend or two. Friday, November 3.

6. Psycho Vertical: Follow Britain’s unlikeliest hero-mountaineer and funny-man, Andy Kirkpatrick on an 18 day solo ascent of El Capitan, Yosemite. Psycho Vertical is a raw and intimate portrait of one of climbing’s most interesting figures. Inspired by the best-selling autobiography of the same name, the film explores themes of identity, fatherhood, and how our pasts shape us. Andy Kirkpatrick and director Jen Randall will be here to present the film on Friday, November 3.

7. Mothered by Mountains: When a punk rock singer from Kathmandu and a world class Sherpani get together to climb a peak in the Himalaya, they discover what being women in modern day Nepal can really mean. Also on Friday, November 3.

8. Bullock, Boswell, and the Bear – Two Scottish climbers on the cutting-edge of winter alpinism, an ice climbing trip to the Canadian Rockies, and an encounter with one very protective bear. Two years ago while descending Mount Wilson in the dark, Greg Boswell and Nick Bullock were attacked by a grizzly – managing to escape but not without injuries and an epic story to tell. Both climbers appear on Saturday, November 4 to share their experience.

9. Mayan Smith-Gobat is one of the most accomplished rock climbers today. She continually pushes limits on sport and traditional climbing as well as high alpine routes, and holds a female speed record on The Nose, El Capitan.

In 2016, together with Ines Papert, she climbed Riders on the Storm (5.13a, 38 pitches), in Patagonia and was the second woman to free Yosemite’s The Salathé Wall (5.13c). She will be presenting her story on Saturday, November 4.

10. Beyond the Border, the story of Ettore Castiglioni: A journey suspended between past and present, Beyond the Border tells the story of the remarkable mountaineer Ettore Castiglioni who abandoned his career as a lieutenant in the military to escort refugees and Jews safely from Italy to Switzerland during World War II. Directors Andrea Azzetti and Federico Massa will be in attendance for the screening on Saturday, November 4.

Bonus: Best of the Fest –If you can’t make anything else, this is probably your best bet. One of the most highly anticipated events at the Festival for both the audience and filmmakers —the international film jury announces the Banff Mountain Film Competition award winners and many of the winning films from this year’s Banff Mountain Film Competition are re-screened. November 5.

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Climbing Legend Fred Beckey Dies at 94

Fred Beckey was one of the greatest climbers of all time, he’s died at age 94 in Seattle. A friend close to Beckey announced the news on social media.

Known for his remote and bold first ascents, visionary lines and for being one of the toughest partners a climber could have, Beckey touched the hearts of many and inspired generations of climbers.

Fred Beckey

In Canada, he climbed many new routes, including the North Face of Edith Cavell, The Beckey/Chouinard on South Howser Tower and the Northeast Buttress of Slesse. In Squamish he opened many of the now classic rock routes.

One of his earliest first ascent was in 1939 up Mount Despair in the North Cascades in Washington.

Beckey was born in Germany in 1923. His family emigrated to the U.S.A in 1925 and ended up in Seattle. He started climbing at around age 13.

He went to the University of Washington and had a degree in business administration. He wrote a number of books, many likely sit on your bookshelf. He was never married and never had children.

In 1942, Beckey and his brother Helmy made the second ascent of Mount Waddington on Canada’s West Coast. It was considered one of the finer alpine achievements of the time. It was the start of Beckey’s amazing climbing career.

A documentary on Beckey’s life, Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey, was released in 2017.

Top alpinist Conrad Anker once said of Beckey, “In the pantheon of climbing legends, he’s the man. He never got the big, famous peaks, he never did Everest. But just that unrelenting drive to do new routes—that’s what puts him on top in my book.”

Beckey was one of our heroes at Gripped and we’ll miss seeing him around.

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Alex Fricker Sends His First 5.14a on Birthday

Canmore-based Alex Fricker is one of Alberta’s top young climbers. He sent his first 5.14a on Oct. 30, his birthday.

The route Fricker ticked to enter he 5.14 territory was Geminis in Rodellar, Spain. The steep limestone line was also Canadian Marieta Akalski’s first 5.14a back in 2014.

Fricker has long been one of Team Canmore’s top competitors in a number of comp circuits.

He has won the Youth Bouldering National Championships and competed at the Youth World Championships and Arco Rock Masters this year.

Fricker’s first 5.13d was in 2016 with his climb of Endless Summer at Acephale. He’s also climbed Army Ants 5.13c, Cosmos 5.13c, Surface of the Sun 5.13c and Tale of Two Guys 5.13c.

Watch this short profile on Fricker from 2015.

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B.C. Comps: Weber and Muller Win Arq’s Inaugural Event

The first competition to take place in British Columbia this 2017 season happened at Arq in Cranbrook.

It was the Interior B.C.’s gym’s inaugural Speed and Boulder event. Climbers came from around Alberta and B.C. and in the end, Josh Muller and Alyssa Weber took top spots.

The next Canadian competition is on Nov. 4 at Rock Oasis in Toronto. The next B.C. comp is Pop and Lock at Gneiss in Kelowna on Nov. 11.

Boulder Open Finals Results Male/Femlae
1. J. Muller / A. Weber
2. S. Eveleigh / E. Thompson
3. T. Martino / L. Van de Panne
4. R. Wong / C. Spurrell
5. M. Gauk / R. Kennedy
6. M. Derksen / E. Kay-Leighton
7. S. Roy-Brenneis / M. Lee
8. C. Hajduk / A. Poffenroth

Boulder Youth D Male/Female: N. Smith / O. Gelinas
Boulder Youth C Male/Female: A. Edwards / A. Vanier
Boulder Youth B Male/Female: T. Foley / G. Wieninger

Speed Open Male/Female: Ben Stromner / Christy Spurrel
Speed Youth D Male/Female: Nathaniel Smith / Ainsley Rolstad
Speed Youth C Male/Female: Adam Edwards / Zosha Sernik
Speed Youth B Male/Female: TJ Foley / Tula Sherkat

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The Direct Line is New 39-Pitch 5.13+ El Cap Route

The Direct Line is the newest route up El Capitan in Yosemite and it was climbed all free.

Rob Miller and Roby Rudolf spent 14 days on the wall to complete the 39-pitch 5.13+. But it took years of effort to piece together.

Rob Miller and Roby Rudolf on The Direct Line. Photo Tom Evans

Miller noted here, “The Direct Line is a top-down job. Make no mistake. For three years I swung around searching for free climbing weaknesses that would unite long sections of climbable rock straight up the center of El Cap. In the end, after four additional years of work and effort, three different partners, it is not a project but an established free climb.”

Miller continued, “The top of pitch nine is a significant milestone. Because the route follows the path of least resistance, it goes where it goes, following the freeclimbing. Some logistical challenges due to the wandering nature of the route will be encountered when hauling and camping on the wall.”

They topped out the the big southwest face of El Cap on Oct. 22. It starts on the original start by Warren Harding up The Nose and links sections of The Muir, The Shaft and PreMuir.

Miller made the first free ascent of PreMuir 5.13+ with Justen Sjong in 2007. The crux pitch of The Direct Line is number 34, it includes a hard V8 boulder problem after steep 5.13 climbing.

During their first free ascent, where both climbers freed every pitch, they encountered smoke from wildfires and hot temps.

Tommy Caldwell recently noted on Instagram, “This wall is far from tapped out for free climbs.”

A few days ago awoke in the middle of the night, walked to the top of El Cap alone, and spent a day rappelling and searching for a new free climb. My intention was two fold. First, I wanted to to feel the excitement of possibility that El Cap so often provides. The second was that I needed to create space for introspection. Here is where my mind went. Why is it that some people witness natures most beautiful places, and are brought to tears, while others feel little? Why do some nights we feel moved to gaze in wonder at the stars while on other nights we don’t even think to look up? The question as to why we climb is endlessly pondered and hard to answer. The tragedy in our community lately has made me doubt it more than ever. But it also reminded me of something. Pain reminds us to love. Over the last few years I had grown increasingly distant from Hayden. We talked little and saw each other less. Now that he is gone I think of him constantly. And somehow, the pain of loosing a friend has helped me to love my family more immediately, and to cherish my friendships. There is no beauty without emotion. And these days I feel more than most. Maybe that’s why we climb. Because it helps us to feel the fear, the excitement, the friendship the uncertainty, the triumph and the loss. Hayden was the kind of guy that noticed the stars. To live and love so deeply must have been a blessing. I aspire to live more like Hayden did. As for El Cap. This wall is far from tapped out for free climbs. I feel as though something might have been ignited.

A post shared by Tommy Caldwell (@tommycaldwell) on

Miller concluded his post about the route with, “When I first free climbed the Freerider in 2001, El Cap was still much more an aid climbing wall than a free climbing crag. This distinction has blurred, especially in recent years.

“With free climbing standards now up to the challenge that El Cap presents, Novembers in the valley are almost entirely dominated by free climbing parties. It’s a different world than it once was on El Cap.

“I hope The Direct Line inspires this emerging generation of climbers to repeat its passage as well as to seek out other hidden possibilities.” See topo and more here.

For daily updates from Yosemite during the fall, visit Tom Evans’

El Capitan Free Climbs
West Face 5.11b 20 pitches
Lurking Fear 5.13b 18 pitches
West Buttress 5.13c 20 pitches
Dihedral Wall 5.14a 25 pitches
Heart Route 5.13b 34 pitches
The Shaft 5.13c 33 pitches
PreMuir 5.13c 33 pitches
Magic Mushroom 5.14a 31 pitches
Salathe Wall 5.13b 35 pitches
Freerider 5.12d 37 pitches
Golden Gate 5.13b 41 pitches
El Corazon 5.13b 35 pitches
The Nose 5.14a 34 pitches
The Direct Line 5.13+ 39 pitches
Dawn Wall 5.14d 31 pitches
El Nino 5.13c 30 pitches
Zodiac 5.13d 21 pitches
The Prophet 5.13d 13 pitches
Secret Passage 5.13c 15 pitches
Lost in Translation 5.12c 10 pitches
Golden Years 5.12a 10 pitches

Rob Miller taking a whipper on The Direct Line. Photo Tom Evans

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Massive Mount Cook Caroline Face Skied

The Caroline Face rises nearly two kilometres above the valley to the summit of Mount Cook in New Zealand and was skied for the first time on Oct. 27.

The massive alpine line was descended by British skiers Ben Briggs and Tom Grant and by Italian Enrico Mosetti.

Mount Cook, which is the informal name of the 3,724-metre Mount Aoraki, is the highest mountain in New Zealand.

The three climbed the classic East Ridge to the Porter Col, according to, before dropping into the massive line.

The Caroline Face has big seracs, dangerous objective hazards and large drop offs. This is extreme skiing in ever sense of the word.

Grant posted on Instagram, “Just back down from an unforgettable adventure … First descent of Aoraki/Cook’s 2,000m Caroline face. One of the bigger unskied faces around, and the biggest I’ve ever skied, truly colossal in scale.

“The icing on the cake was skiing it in powder most of the way. 3 raps [abseils] and despite all the seracs [ice towers] in the photo, it was good, clean skiing. Thanks to Ben and Enrico for being such solid partners and for everyone else who supported us.”

Mosetti said on Facebook, “Such a big day. The biggest thing I’ve ever skied, the biggest line I could imagine to ski, and in great powder conditions!”

The first ascent of the Caroline Face was in 1970 by Peter Gough and John Glasgow. It’s the largest wall on the mountain.

In 2015, Mosetti solo-skied the West Face of Tocllaraju and the Southeast Face of Aresonraju in Peru, both over 6,000 metres.

Simon Middlemass, the manager of the New Zealand Alpine Club’s lodge at Mount Cook village said the descent was “outrageous.”

And continued with, “It sounds like they followed the climbers’ line which is the line that goes directly right down – that’s just hearsay – and that would be really impressive because the bottom part of the route is really threatened by ice cliffs.

“That’s the thing about climbing the Caroline; it’s not a hard climb, it’s a dangerous climb.”

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Everest will have a plant to recycle excrement and produce biogas



The American project has been
awarded by the UIAA and is scheduled to be installed during 2018 and be a
reality facing the winter of 2019.

– Monday, October 30, 2017 – Updated at 4:30 p.m.



 Project video Mount Everest Biogas (MEBP)  Play

Video of the Mount Everest Biogas project (MEBP)




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Watch The Nose Speed Record Climb Clip

Watch a clip by Tristan Greszko of Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds making the King Swing on The Nose.

The two strong climbers recently set a new speed record for the route of two hours, nineteen minutes and 44 seconds. They bested the 2012 record by four minutes.

In an interview with, Reynold said, “I think we were four minutes faster because we are both dedicated young climbers with a ton of Yosemite experience.

Nose speed climbing suited each of us well and we put in a lot of time and energy to learn the intricacies of the mountain. El Cap speed climbing in taxing physically and psychologically, but we were patient and determined.”

The Nose Speed
10/2017 – 2:19:44 Brad Gobright and Jim Reynolds
06/2012 – 2:23:46 Hans Florine and Alex Honnold
11/2010 – 2:36:45 Dean Potter and Sean Leary
10/2008 – 2:37:05 Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama
07/2008 – 2:43:33.Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama
10/2007 – 2:45:45 Thomas Huber and Alexander Huber
09/2002 – 2:48:55 Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama
2001 – 3:24:20 Dean Potter and Timmy O’Neill
1992 – 4:22 Hans Florine and Peter Croft
1991 – 4:48 Peter Croft and Dave Schultz
1991 – 6:01 Hans Florine and Andres Puhvel
1990 – 6:40 Peter Croft and Dave Schultz
1990 – 8:11 Hans Florine and Steve Schneider
1986 – 10:05 John Bachar and Peter Croft
1975 – 17:45 Jim Bridwell, John Long, Billy Westbay, first repeat in a day
1960 – 7 days: Royal Robbins, Joe Fitschen, Chuck Pratt e Tom Frost, first repeat
1958 – 47 days: Warren Harding, Wayne Merry e George Whitmore, first ascent

10/2014 – 5:02 Mayan Smith-Gobat and Libby Sauter
09/2013 – 5:39 Mayan Smith-Gobat and Libby Sauter
09/2012 – 7:26 Mayan Smith-Gobat and Chantel Astorga
06/2012 – 10:19 Jes Meiris and Quinn Brett
09/2011 – 10:40 Libby Sauter and Chantel Astorga
2004 – 12:15 Heidi Wirtz and Vera Schulte-Pelkum

The Nose Speed Record :: 2:19:44 from Tristan Greszko on Vimeo.

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