Robson's Emperor Face in a Day

In an incredible single-weekend effort, Jon Walsh and Josh Wharton claimed the second ascent of Infinite Patience on the Emperor Face of Mt. Robson, completing the 7,500-foot route in 18 hours from Berg Lake to the 12,972-foot summit.


The Emperor Face of Mt. Robson. Pink line: Cheesmond-Dick, 1981 (approx. line). Red line: Logan-Stump, 1978. Green line: House-Haley, 2007. Yellow line: Infinite Patience (Blanchard-Dumerac-Pellet), 2002 (approx. line). Photo courtesy of Jim Logan

Josh Wharton on the summit of Mt. Robson, the high point of the Canadian Rockies, after climbing the Emperor Face in 18 hours. Photo by Jon Walsh

5/14/12 - In an incredible single-weekend effort, Jon Walsh and Josh Wharton claimed the second ascent of Infinite Patience on the Emperor Face of Mt. Robson, completing the 7,500-foot route in 18 hours from Berg Lake to the 12,972-foot summit.Infinite Patience was first climbed in late October 2002 by Barry Blanchard, Eric Dumerac, and Philippe Pellet. Blanchard had tried the line twice before with Steve House and Joe Josephson, reaching the summit ridge but not the top of the peak. The successful first ascent required two bivouacs during the climb and one on top.

Walsh and Wharton left Canmore, Alberta, at 3 p.m. on Friday, drove about 250 miles, and then helicoptered to Berg Lake, below Robson's northwest side, where they had a short open bivouac. They started climbing at 3:45 a.m. and summited at 8:45 p.m., then continued down the peak's south side. They took a 2.5-hour break about halfway down, and when it got light they resumed the descent, making it to the road around noon, 40 hours after leaving the car. The round-trip from Canmore was only 50 hours, and Walsh was back at work early on Monday morning.

This is likely the first one-day ascent of the complete Emperor Face to the summit.

"We thought the route was absolutely amazing, and in perfect conditions," Walsh said. "It was a big two-day weekend!"

Dates of ascent: May 12-13, 2012

Sources: Jon Walsh, American Alpine Journal, climbing.com

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