Canada’s Sultan of Stone
Looking down between his legs, Greg Foweraker felt dizzy. Sixteen-hundred metres of exposure made his stomach churn. With only his ice tools and crampons, a lapse of concentration would condemn him to the glacier far below.
It was July 1985, cutting-edge climbing pioneers Peter Croft, Don Serl and Foweraker were climbing unroped toward the summit of Mount Waddington: peak one of nine on way to the first traverse of arguably the finest massif in the Coast Range. “This tr ip really opened my eyes to what was possible when you combined clear thinking, lots of effort, technique and fitness,” Foweraker reflected in a recent interview. It was one of his first major alpine outings and it didn’t all go according to plan.
As sun dawned on the fourth morning of the climb, the stable weather window seemed to be coming to an end, the stove was malfunctioning, and Foweraker had fallen ill. Stomach retching, they were halfway through the traverse on Tiedemann’s East Ridge. With tremendous exposure either side of them, retreat would be highly problematic. Fully committed, the team pressed on, encounter ing