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9/15/13 – Jon Walsh and Josh Wharton have done the second ascent of the North Pillar of Twins Tower, a subpeak of 12,240-foot North Twin Peak in the Canadian Rockies. The route, put up in 1985 by Barry Blanchard and Dave Cheesmond at VI 5.10d A2, was the second line up the face, after the 1974 Jones-Lowe route, and is the steepest and most sustained line on the 5,000-foot north wall.
Walsh and Wharton climbed the North Pillar in a four-day round trip from the car. (The route lies a full day from the road.) Wharton said they likely did “some variations here and there” but mostly followed the original line. He called it a “great adventure, but so chossy that I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. Honestly, [it was] right on the edge, if not beyond, my level of acceptable risk.”
Walsh told Gripped that they had perfect weather for the ascent and climbed the route mostly free, aiding only part of the final rock pitch. He said Wharton led the crux chimney pitch on the route.
Walsh and Jason Kruk attempted the right side of the north face, near the North Pillar, in September 2011, but bailed after one bivouac and a painful incident when Walsh pulled a large block onto his foot.
Wharton said he was “extremely impressed by the route. This one actually has a bite as big as the bark!”
Click here to read the Dave Cheesmond article in the AAJ about the first ascent of the North Pillar.
Dates of ascent: September 9–13, 2013
Sources: Josh Wharton, Jon Walsh, Gripped