Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mt. Logan - Hummingbird Ridge

":There are strange things done in the midnight sun
      By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
      That would make your blood run cold;"

Robert W. Service

Since high school these words from Robert W. Service have intrigued me but up there they really resonated.  Days and days without sleep along side a constant barrage of objective danger had me feeling strange.  

This route has a history, and with the moments of glory heavily outnumbered by darker history it has also built up allot of myth and legend.  The first assent was 20 years before I was born, it took close to a month on route to complete in a committing fashion they referred to as the "forward retreat".  Since then many have died and turned around trying to repeat it.

Dave Cheesmond was an inspiration especially growing up in the Canadian Rockies where his commitment to a sense of adventure lead to some of the most remarkable alpine routes of our time.  Attempting this route I had no delusions of being a better climber then Cheemond, just hope for good enough cards.
After a few cornice failers we headed off the ridge to camp under a serac, I had a moment while realizing we were sleeping very close to where Cheesmond and Catherine Freer lay.  The moment wasn't formed from fear, it was a realization of why we do these strange things.  So as we lay preparing our minds and body's for the mile long corniced ridge to come I was very happy to be with awesome friends in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  
To read the story, learn more about my friends and see the pictures Mark Smiley wrote a beautiful piece on his blog and will be producing a video series this fall.