Ueli Steck is a Swiss climber who recently set the speed record for climbing the Eiger in Switzerland. In 2 hours and 47 minutes, he ascended 1,800 metres without any ropes and in the middle of winter. This made me think, are there any crazy Vancouver climbers?
After doing some digging, I found out that a guy named Mike Walsh set the pace for BC’s crazy mountaineers. Walsh came to BC while in the Royal Canadian Air Force and started climbing in Comox Valley. Young and full of energy, Walsh was climbing frequently on Vancouver Island and gaining a reputation.
It wasn’t until he soloed Mount Colonel Foster that he gained recognition. A mountain sporting a 1000m face, Walsh made the first ascent in 1968. Consequently, everyone thought he was crazy, but Walsh kept going. By the time he retired from his climbing career in the 80’s, Walsh had made at least 13 first ascents, many of those in BC.
Although Walsh was more of a Islander than a Vancouverite, he still set the pace for the entire province. But is he the only one? Give me a shout out if you ‘re a crazy climber in Vancity.
Title photo: Jeff Pang.