North Pil­lar Re­peated 28 Years Af­ter First As­cent

Gripped - - NEWS - Cour­tesy of the Alpine Club of Canada

The world is chang­ing more quickly than ever be­fore and the Alpine Club of Canada ( acc) is evolv­ing with it. We know that in or­der to stay rel­e­vant, we must step boldly into the fu­ture, keep up with cur­rent tech­nol­ogy and de­liver pro­grams that con­tinue to meet the needs of our mem­bers. The last few years have seen a num­ber of ma­jor changes within the club; and now we are tak­ing another im­por­tant step in launch­ing a new look for our logo. “While the ex­ist­ing logo has tons of char m and tra­di­tion and has sym­bol­ized the great things about the club to so many peo­ple for a hun­dred years, the fact is that the old logo no longer rep­re­sents who we are presently or what we do.” said acc Pres­i­dent Peter Muir, “Coils of hemp rope and wooden ice axes are just not what the acc is about in the 21st cen­tury.”

One of the big­gest is­sues with the old logo is the fact that it did not rep­re­sent the two of­fi­cial lan­guages of Canada and of our club. The name of the club is now in­cluded in both French and English, sep­a­rated by 1906, the year of the club’s found­ing. Our logo must re­flect the en­tirety of who we are to­day and sym­bol­ize our dy­namic fu­ture. Chang­ing some­thing that’s so es­tab­lished and loved is a sig­nif­i­cant is­sue and one that the club took very ser iously. We are proud of our r ich his­tory and the sym­bol that has rep­re­sented us so well in the moun­tain com­mu­nity. For this rea­son, we de­cided that our new look would be a re-work rather than a fresh slate, but one that rep­re­sents the club in a more mod­ern light. In the new logo the ice axe, the sym­bol of the alpin­ist, is a mod­ern yet time­less de­sign, and the sec­ond ice axe has been re­placed by a pair of skis. The hemp rope was re­moved. The sheep’s head has been re­worked into a more ab­stract look.The shield re­mains with the or ig­i­nal colours of green, grey and white cor­re­spond­ing to the for­est, the rock and the snow and ice of alpine en­vi­ron­ments in which we play. The shield is over­set with a new panel, pr imar ily in green, but it will also ap­pear in al­ter nate colours, rep­re­sent­ing dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the club’s work, which, as stated in our mis­sion state­ment, is to fos­ter alpine ex­per iences, knowl­edge and cul­ture; pro­mote re­spon­si­ble ac­cess; and sup­port ex­cel­lence in alpine lead­er­ship and skills.

As we look to the fu­ture and the ex­cit­ing changes that lie ahead, the Alpine Club of Canada is proud to un­veil our new logo that rep­re­sents our vi­sion, pre­serv­ing, prac­tic­ing and pro­mot­ing Cana­dian moun­tain cul­ture and self-pro­pelled alpine pur­suits, and our mem­bers from coast to coast to coast.–

weather win­dows in years, the alpine duo of Jon Walsh and Josh Whar­ton have made the sec­ond as­cent of Al­berta’s North Pil­lar of the North Twin, one of most spo­ken about and well known routes in North Amer­ica. It was first climbed in 1985 by Dave Cheesmond and Barry Blan­chard. This is the fifth as­cent of the face and the fourth in sum­mer.

Walsh and Whar­ton spent four days car to car to com­plete the North Pil­lar. The weather was per­fect, “We only saw one cloud,” said Walsh who added, “1985 5.10d is more like 2013 5.11b, we aided a thin seam on the fi­nal pitch, we free climbed the rest.” Whar­ton who had only climbed in the Rock­ies in win­ter (Em­peror Face, Wild Thing, Green­wood/Locke) said, “I have climbed lots of routes that have a big­ger bark than bite, but this route lived up to its rep­u­ta­tion.”Whar­ton left a food stash in the Mount Al­berta Hut in 2011, it re­mained in­tact un­til a few weeks ago, “Our stash was gone! We only had 5,000 calor ies be­tween the two of us for the climb, barely enough.” The crux pitch was a chim­ney on the head­wall that Whar­ton led. “The head­wall was im­pres­sive, 14 big pitches be­fore the mixed climb­ing up the r idge,” Walsh said, “We were on the or ig­i­nal route most of the way, Kruk and I were off route for most of the head­wall on our at­tempt, we never found their head­wall bivi from the first as­cent, maybe it fell off, we found one pi­ton about half­way up the head­wall.” The evening they re­turned Blan­chard met them for a pint and they shared stor ies about the climb. Dave Cheesmond passed away on Mt. Lo­gan, on the Hum­ming­bird Ridge, dur­ing the late ’ 80s, so Blan­chard was the only liv­ing climber who had climbed the route.

Other as­cents of the face: Ge­orge Lowe and Chris Jones in 1974. Tim Friesen and Dave Cheesmond in the early ’ 80s (they at­tempted the Lowe/Jones, but it was too wet so they tra­versed left and up mixed ground nam­ing it Tra­verse of the Chick­ens, few know of this route). Barry Blan­chard and Dave Cheesmond in 1985. Steve House and Marko Prezelj in 2004 via the Lowe/Jones

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