Doing the 2nd ascent, in a day, of Slipstream was a life changing event for me. Sadly we didn't take a camera. Finding Chris' photos last night has allowed me to relive that experience in a small way from the comfort of my computer desk :)
The new cover photo on Cold Thistle shows a team topping out on Snow Dome after climbing Slipstream.
Some truly amazing photos. Thanks Chris for sharing them.
A few more but not all from Chris' face book page.
Gary Silver and I used a half dozen old Chouinard tube screws, one Warthog, one 9mm x 150' rope and these ice tools to climb Slipstream in early Jan. '81.
Had a very good friend killed on Slipstream back in the '90s. Such a beautiful, deadly route.
It's all good, until it isn't.
Sorry to hear that Largo. Been a number of climbers killed on Slipstream over the years. We were lucky...but I suspect every team is just lucky. Too many stories of close calls by the successful teams. There is so much objective danger on that climb IMO every ascent is just a crap shoot betting on the fact you won't get flushed off the route.
wondering if you saw the youtube videos or knew about the first guided ascent of slipstream which occurred a couple years ago. with your opinion that the route holds so much objective danger and is a 'crap shoot', curious your perspective on guided climbs on climbs such as this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDVkAJH4BDw
in the beginning of the video, the guide, Eric Dumerac, explains his rationale and strategy. would love to hear what you think about that...
Saw the video when Eric first published it.
Pretty clear they didn't actually climb Slipstream. Rather confusing title to the video...since no ascent actually happened. As the reputation builds around Slipstream so do the stories. Many that I have heard, seen and read are simply hyperbole. How hard can it be? Twight and Radcliff soloed it in 2:04 and 3:20 hrs respectively in 1988. We did it with a rope in 8:15 in '81. I'd suspect the majority of successful teams still get benighted on route. Or it is possible those are the only ascents we hear about these days, minor epics and failures?
Rational? Any alpine climb is a "crap shoot". Walk in the park or a death trap depends on conditions and team.
Ice/mixed/alpine is always all about conditions. "Conditions" is a really long list that you might want to start at home :)
Gary Silver was a straight up good guy. I always enjoyed climbing with him. Was walking along the river this summer in Spokane and saw his memorial for the first time. Tripped a lot of memories. John Culberson and I climbed Slipstream in '87 (January) in one day from a bivy in the scree next to the glacier. Storm came in halfway up and things turned pretty hairball fast. We topped out with enough light to dig out the headlamps. I remember having John walk down hill from me so in case I went off the cornice he could self arrest. We could not see anything. We made it to the hostel by midnight. The finish was very stressful but I thought it was a fantastic climb.
Tim and I tried to talk two guys out of going up on Slipstream . We had just come down and met them on our way out . Conditions were changing fast but they were not interested in anybody else’s opinion . Two days later Tim was back up there with a heli looking in crevasses looking for them
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