In 2012, with John Furneaux and myself half way up the face of Mt. Thor (Artic Circle), pioneering a new route and not knowing with certainty that it would go, a gear holding strap broke which sent all of the pitons on a 2500ft free fall down the face. The pitons were necessary for any potential retreat and as such the only option became topping out to descend the backside; that descent did not require as much gear. After a brief moment to comprehend what just happened, and recognizing that the closest rescue helicopter was 3000km south of us, John looked at me and said, “well … I guess we are definitely making the news now … one way or the other”
June 2014: After enduring an injury plagued 2013, I am back climbing and now well into the heart of the 2014 Canadian rock climbing season. I have about 20 more planned rock climbing days between now and the end of September. Most of those days are being spent in one my favorite places in the world, Squamish, BC which is home to the world famous “Stawamus Chief” and also home to my great friend and climbing mentor Mr. John Furneaux. Although I don’t have any major objectives planned for this season I might be upping the ante with some more significant climbs in the latter half of this season if I’m doing well.
Outside of my climbing objectives, I am currently planning an expedition to the 1996 location of the Magnetic North Pole in March 2015 from Borden Island (approximately 130km). This more minor, yet full on, (3-4 week) expedition is preparation for a much more major expedition in which myself and one other will attempt to do in 2016; Break the world record (currently 42 days) for the fastest trek to North Pole from Ward Hunt Island. Both of these expeditions will be challenged by Polar Bears, -60 degree celcius weather, pressure ridges, open water swimming required for major leads, negative drift and endless darkness. The tools for these expeditions will include a combination of snow shoes, skies, dry suits and inflatable paddle boards. Stay tuned for more updates this climbing season and a new section coming to this website called “The North Pole”.