Ice climbing will be a cultural event at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games – and MEC Envoy Jen Olson has been chosen to represent Canada in Sochi, Russia. Jen fills us on the sport of ice climbing and explains how World Cup ice climbing is completely different from climbing vertical blue ribbons of ice in the Rockies.
In the spirit of the season, we’ve created special digital wallpaper for our members.
This shot was taken by the talented Canadian photographer and climber Andrew Querner at Wells Gray Provincial Park, BC. It features Will Gadd (leading) and John Freeman climbing spray ice from Helmcken Falls on the first ascent of “Sabre.”
Pop quiz, alpine climbers: Imagine you’re running-it-out on desperately small footholds with one waist-high finger-stack in a disappearing seam. Your other arm’s stretched high above for the only hold offering a rest, when suddenly you realize your jacket is holding you back, leaving you a few centimeters short of the send. What jacket should you have packed instead? MEC Envoy Joshua Lavigne has the answer, and the reasons why.
Nancy Hansen is on a quest to climb all of the 50 classic climbs of North America. To date, she’s completed 46 of them – more than anyone else. One of these, the East Buttress of Middle Triple Peak (VI 5.9 A3), has yielded some unforeseen problems for her not just once, but twice. Nancy takes us through her most recent East Buttress attempt, and how she and her climbing partner made the best of an unexpected situation. Read more…
In July 2012, MEC Envoy Sarah Hart suffered a minor mid-life crisis, quit her cushy full-time desk job, and has been on one very long climbing trip ever since. She’s managed to keep her calendar full of adventures, including a trip to the Waddington Range in July, the Sierras in November, Patagonia for the winter, Indian Creek in April, and the Rockies in May.
MEC Envoy Joshua Lavigne returned to Baffin Island this summer with his younger brother Delano, hoping to scale some new lines and free some old ones. He recounts how they narrowly avoided a certain and serious epic on Mount Turnweather, and how the roles of student and teacher can be reversed between brothers.
MEC Envoy Amy Sutley recently celebrated a win at the Youth National Championships in Saanich, BC, where she was also awarded the Canada Cup, given to the best overall climber in each category. We caught up with Amy to chat about her recent success.
Veteran climber Gord Betenia doesn’t suffer fools – or foolish design – quietly. That’s why we love having him as our Field Testing Coordinator and Lead Gear Tester at MEC. If something’s not cutting it, he’s not shy about saying so.