A birthday show for Alex



Alex is a skier and loves the mountains (can one live in Switzerland and NOT love mountains?), and while we often talk high horlogerie, we are also keen to discuss high altitudes.  Unfortunately I was away for the wonderful stories and adventures that others posted, but in response to Alex's question below, here is a brief journal of my ups and downs for the week...sorry there is no VC on my wrist as the Sea Shadow is presently in the shop for a date magnifier to complete its customization.

20 km away and the Mount Robson massive peeks above its lesser neighbours

A birthday show for Alex

First a cosy mountain cabin to rest up

A birthday show for Alex

and study the situation while contemplating that only 15% of attempts on Robson succeed.  We would approach from the back side, not visible to the hordes of tourists that stop to admire from the roadway

A birthday show for Alex

With 2 days of good weather forecast we couldn't afford the time to hike in

A birthday show for Alex

First probe the camp for hidden crevasses which can run hundreds of meters deep

A birthday show for Alex

Then build a wind wall to keep the tent from blowing away during the night, with us in it

A birthday show for Alex

A closer view of the objective and our access via the ice face which was the first route pioneered in 1913

A birthday show for Alex

A closer look...the true summit (3954m) is hidden behind this visible high point

A birthday show for Alex

An alpine start at 0400 the next morning meant no pictures until the sun broke over the horizion

A birthday show for Alex

50 degree slope looks worse than it really is

A birthday show for Alex

At the top!

A birthday show for Alex

Nothing higher in the entire Canadian Rockies

A birthday show for Alex

Mt Resplendent over yonder - tomorrow's objective

A birthday show for Alex

Back down always feels more challenging, and is when most accidents occur

A birthday show for Alex


A birthday show for Alex


A birthday show for Alex


A birthday show for Alex


A birthday show for Alex

A little over 9 hours round-trip and we're back to camp just as the heat from the sun releases several snow and rock avalanches

A birthday show for Alex

An early start the next morning for Mt Resplendent

A birthday show for Alex


A birthday show for Alex

The view of Mt Robson from its smaller neighbour.  Bad weather has already closed the summit with vicious winds that will knock you off your feet...not good on a narrow ridge with 1000m of vertical drop

A birthday show for Alex

Time to go home, but first some tricky routefinding through the glacier field, then two more days to pack out all that gear so easily delivered by helicopter

A birthday show for Alex

And a pause to pay our respects to past mountaineers who did not survive their adventure

A birthday show for Alex
Wow Dean! That is a great present for all of us!
09/13/2012 - 04:07
Having trekked all over the Sierras as a boy and young man, you present an amazing world. Really great photographs and I must say you have quite an eye, particularly at the altitudes you are talking about. Many thanks, Tim
Glad you enjoyed
09/13/2012 - 23:00
the scenery as a fellow adventure traveller yes
All I can say is, Wow!
09/13/2012 - 04:45
Excellent adventure.  Thank you for sharing it. Robert
My pleasure Robert :-) nt
09/13/2012 - 23:01
nt
Fabulous report, Dean!
09/13/2012 - 09:06
Thanks for posting this wonderful account -- congrats on bagging two summits, and I'm very happy that all returned safe and sound. As Ed Viesturs says, getting up is optional, but getting down is mandatory! Best, Gary
True words
09/13/2012 - 23:02
Gary, I'm convinced that most mountain tragedies would be avoided if those words were followed broken heart
A dream Dean, I dived into those photos what a beautiful trip
09/13/2012 - 09:51
.
so glad Alex
09/13/2012 - 23:06
that you enjoyed this little diversion from the daily grind wink BTW, after a few days eating dehydrated food and sharing a tent with two others, I can tell what a real old fart is, and you don't qualify...yet devil
a beautiful hike in the summer time...
09/13/2012 - 13:49
in knee-deep (or higher) snow - amazingyes beautiful pictures as usual, dean! takes courage and experience to do stuff like that. you're the man of the hour (lounge)wink
LOL, reminds me
09/13/2012 - 23:09
of a saying; "the difference between a hero and a coward is imagination".  I think I'm just to dim to get scaredenlightened  Thanks for the compliments re photos but its just a point-and-shoot camera with a bit of processing afterwards to brighten people in the foreground that tend to get underexposed.
Very exciting, Dean
09/13/2012 - 14:28
Quite an adventure, wonderful scenery. Thanks for sharing such a fabulous trek! Best, Joseph
Much appreciated Joseph
09/13/2012 - 23:11
what a wonderful place THL is, with reports from the Paris Opera to the Rocky Mountains and the entire world in between!
Fantastic Trip and Beautiful Photos!
09/13/2012 - 15:48
I have not see scenery like that since I lived in Colorado many years ago.
Met many great climbers from Colorado
09/13/2012 - 23:12
they sure have some giants there!  Cheers,
A peak performance...
09/13/2012 - 18:03
Dean, a wonderful pictorial journeyyes You mention that only 15% of attempts on Mount Robson succeed. This seems a very low percentage but clearly underlines the fact that your achievement was not 'a-run-of-the-mill' feat. I'm intrigued. It's good to see you safely back and thank you so much for sharing a wonderful experience in the canadian rockies. Best wishes Tony 
Mostly weather Tony
09/13/2012 - 23:16
Mt Robson is a bit mystical to us Canadians, as a sub-climate exists around it.  There are rain forest conditions at the base with giant cedar trees otherwise only found at the coast, while the summit can generate hurricane winds and sudden snow squalls any time of the year.  AFAIK only about 4 groups made the summit this year and the snow storm that hit as we left likely means no further attempts will be made until next summer.
Breaktakingly beautiful photographs
09/13/2012 - 23:09
Thank you for sharing them with us Dean. I love to read about outdoor adventures while having absolutely no desire to participate in them. Bill
Hee hee, I feel the same
09/13/2012 - 23:17
about Reality TV angel
Awesome Dean!
09/14/2012 - 00:39
I'm happy to see that you are still living the life - Carpe Diem, Carpe Diem...  Congrats on getting to the top - 15% ain't very high Thanks for making the guy who's Carpe Dieming in the office, eating some cold chinese take-out, dream a little... Cheers,  Francois
Yummy!
09/14/2012 - 19:20
Cold Chinese food, my favorite next to cold pizza cheeky.  Have a great day Francois!
Stunning pictures - -
09/14/2012 - 16:07
and a great adventure. Your climbing skills are impressive!  Robert
Let's be clear Robert,
09/14/2012 - 19:22
my climbing skills are mediocre at best, having come to the activity far too late in life to have acquired the fearlessness of those I truly admire.  I do, however, believe that tenacity can overcome to a certain extent...
Re: A birthday show for Alex
09/16/2012 - 14:17
Beautiful photos of my favourite space in the world, on top of mountains. I must organise the next boys trip to the Alps. BTW, what camera were you using, they are truly amazing shots. Thanks for the insight... Enjoyed it greatly. Gary
My prejudice
09/17/2012 - 01:48
for cameras has been Canon since the days of film and their superb FD lenses heart.  Just by habit I've stuck with Canon point-and-shoot cameras as very simple to operate in the field, especially with both Snow and Landscape programs.  The one I have right now lacks a viewfinder which I miss very much and will likely lead to a new purchase blush.  Say Gary, didn't know you were an alpinist!  Do you also find it very "spiritual" on the top of mountains?
Incredible journey. You're brave and take great photos.
09/19/2012 - 18:35
Thank you for bringing us along the photo tour.