Second Winter Route on Temple
Raphael Slawinski has made his second trip up the North Face of Mt. Temple this winter, climbing the “Eiger of the Canadian Rockies” with Valery Babanov, the outstanding Russian climber who has just emigrated to Canada. Slawinski and Babanov made the first winter ascent and probable second ascent overall of the Sphinx Face, established in October 1988 by Ward Robinson and Rob Orvig. Slawinski was perversely drawn to the face by the guidebook description, which includes a reference to “atrocious rock which provides a supreme test of one’s climbing cool.” The two climbed the route with one bivouac, drytooling the notorious “5.9 A2” sections at around M6. With the weather deteriorating and poor snow conditions on their planned descent route, they decided to forego the summit and rappel and downclimb the ascent route.
In February, Slawinski made the first winter ascent of the Greenwood-Locke Route on the North Face with Ben Firth. For Babanov, who won France’s Piolet d’Or for his first ascent of Nuptse East last fall with Yuri Koshelenko, the winter ascent of Temple was his first route in the Canadian Rockies, other than a day of sport mixed climbing at Haffner Creek. “I was very impressed with how he took immediately to Rockies choss,” Slawinski said.