Mt. Proboscis, Piton Karmik and various repeats. The story starts from a discussion we had with Paul Piana and Todd Skinner in Greenland, in the Tasermiut Fjord, in 1998. They told us about Proboscis and their route Great Canadian Knife, and we learned of possibilities for new routes. So last year on July 10 Thierry Bionda, Antonin Guenat, and I were at the Geneva airport, ready to visit the land of gold for a six-week trip. The trip was organized from Switzerland with Warren LaFave of Inconnu Lodge.
Four days later the magic of a helicopter brings us to the base of the southeast face of Proboscis, with our gear and food. We contemplated some lines, but when we looked closely, there were bolts or belay anchors. Finally, we chose the left pillar. There is no route on this side of the wall, it dries quickly, and the rock seems solid. There is no risk of rockfall, as in the central part. After two days of continuous rain the sun came out, and six days of perfect weather awaited us. Six days later our route, Piton Karmik (550 meters, VI 5.10b A3), is finished. The rock was as good as we expected, and the crack systems were clean and nice to climb. The route was mostly aid climbing, with some free pitches.
Three days later, after a friendly visit from a grizzly bear that we witnessed from the top of our route, we started the Great Canadian Knife (VI 5.13b). On the 26th we fixed 200 meters and came back the day after to finish the route. We stopped one and a half easy pitches before the end of the route because of a heavy hailstorm. Now we decided to come back to civilization. By the 29th all our gear was on What Notch pass, and we took it to base camp in Fairy Meadow. On August 2 we climbed the Lotus Flower Tower’s Southeast Face route (V 5.10) on a rainless day. The climb is very amazing and dry except the first two pitches. After some days of boul- dering with locals we climbed the route Jonny Copp and Tim O’Neill freed one week before, Club International (V 5.11b) on Bustle Tower’s south face.
We took the next helicopter out and went fishing and climbing near Whitehorse until our return to Switzerland.
Denis Burdet, Switzerland