In 1990 alpinist Barry Blanchard found himself trapped in a blizzard high on Yexyexescen (Mt. Robson), the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies–with eleven other climbers, two of whom were injured, and no certain way down. In this Full Value story from Alpinist 72–which is now available on newsstands and in our online store–Blanchard tells the story of how they all miraculously survived.
In this Mountain Profile essay from Alpinist 67, which is now available on newsstands and in our online store, Barry Blanchard relives a couple of new routes that he explored with Mark Wilford in 1998 on Mt. Alverstone in the St. Elias Range. He recalls one particular moment: “I lay raw and exhausted, shouldered to the mountain and anchored to it…. Our ledge was two feet at its widest and nine feet long. Strangely, I felt secure, as if I belonged there, as if I’d been in land like this at some time in the past.”
In 2006, Barry Blanchard wrote “The Calling” for Issue 15. In writing his new memoir, The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains, Blanchard used the Alpinist feature story as a springboard to continue exploring the climbs and partnerships that developed from his childhood musings growing up in Calgary.
Growing up poor in Calgary didn’t just encourage dreaming; for one young boy, it necessitated it. Canada’s storied alpinist recounts the climbs and partnerships that sprung from his childhood fantasies.