April 2, 2011

Lost Video from Balchen

I happened upon this tiny segment which somehow I overlooked when making our Hayes 2010 video. This was taken just before starting our final simul pitch to the summit ridge on the Northeast Buttress of Mount Balchen: 3000 feet up a new line, Ryan and I converse about the conditions. Though we decide to continue, intersect the line of Balchen's first ascent, and make it to within 100 feet of the summit, we are turned back by St. Elmo's Fire and the threat of impending lightning strike. Ryan having been struck before, there wasn't much of a discussion about which way to go in the end: Down, rappelling through spindrift avalanches. Mount Balchen's weather also treated me harshly the year before during the first ascent of Alchemy Ridge with Matt Klick. You can hear my desire to continue at this juncture, but it was not to be in the end...

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