North Twin Finally Climbed Again!

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Steve House and Marko Prezelj have made the coveted third ascent of the North Face of North Twin in the Canadian Rockies—the third ascent in 30 years. The two chose to climb in early April to minimize rockfall on the notorious face. They followed a new ice and rock line between the legendary and unrepeated Lowe/Jones (1974) and Blanchard/Cheesmond (1985) routes. House and Prezelj climbed the 4,500-foot wall over four days. The two overcame near-disaster after the plastic shell from House's right boot was dropped during their third bivouac, high on the vertical headwall of the face. With few options, Przelj led four difficult traversing pitches to reach the left shoulder of the face, while House gimped along with a single boot and crampon, at one point shredding one of their two ropes in a swing after pulling a piece. After managing to attach his other crampon to his inner boot, he followed Prezelj up the remaining 10 pitches to their last bivouac on April 7, just below the summit. With House hobbled, the planned descent route to their skis was impossible, and the two had to posthole 14 miles across the Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Glacier to reach the road.