Mountaineering

Pushing The Limits On North America's Deadliest Ridge | North America's Fifty Classic Climbs, Ep. 5

With one of their party having already turned back, the three-man team of Mark Smiley, Jed Porter and Reiner Thoni push on in their attempt to make the second ascent of the 'Hummingbird Traverse' on Canada's Mount Logan. After a grueling day of ice climbing on steady terrain, the team encounter the crux of the route; the shovel traverse. So-called because the first ascensionists literally dug their way through the cornices that cap the ridge, the traverse offers both danger and technical climbing. Despite making solid progress, the team soon realise that to continue any further would be to knowingly flirt with disaster. In the tradition of prudent alpinism, they bow to the elements, admit defeat, and return to more solid ground. A failed attempt perhaps, but there's a good reason why this route still awaits its second ascent. Only time will tell if our team will return to claim it.   

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