Our “Guides Talk” videos are a series of interactive talks with Yamnuska’s senior guides. Originally a part of our Facebook Live series, the topics include education and informative talks about favourite climbing and skiing locations, risk management, favourite pieces of gear, training for mountain activities and more! Meet and get to know the Yamnuska team.
Barry Blanchard First Ascents: Episode 6 – March 30, 2021
Barry Blanchard First Ascents: Episode 5 – March 9, 2021
1998, most of my alpine climbing partners had started families, moved on from alpinism, or moved away. Steve House was the next generation, a man whose desire, drive and ability would lead him to become one of the very best alpinists in history. I got to tie in with Steve for the first time on the Emperor Face of Mt Robson in 1997 when, along with Joe Josephson, we made my second attempt there in winter. The next year was to see us return in April, but given a meagre forecast of one day of good weather we hightailed it south to the Columbia Icefield and a striking unclimbed gully line on the northernmost wall of Mt Saskatchewan. Twenty hours after leaving my truck we returned having put up The Silver Lining and Jo-Jo and I had witnessed how well Steve climbed. The next year, 1999, the Emperor Face wasn’t in the weather cards again so Steve, Scott Backes and I headed to the mythical ice lines that drape Howse Peak with banners of silver. A storm, a new route climbed in horrendous conditions, an avalanche that broke my leg and got me rescued from the face via a helicopter long line just in time for the large fortieth birthday party my wife had arranged. Twenty years down the road came the tragic loss of Hansjörg Auer, David Lama and Jess Roskelley. This episode is dedicated to those three men.
Barry Blanchard First Ascents: Episode 4 – February 16, 2021
Barry Blanchard First Ascents: Episode 3 – February 2, 2021
The First Winter Ascent of the North Face of Mt Edith Cavell and three days later The First Ascent of the North Face of Howse Peak, 1988. Barry, Ward Robinson and Geoff Creighton drive away from Banff at 2:00 a.m. on March 9th. Geoff calls it quits at the end of the 20-kilometre ski in, but Barry and Ward are keen, despite the – 25 C. The team of two advances on the face via the Angel Glacier and its spooky bowel wrenching cracking and groaning. They find the sole patch of snow deep enough to dig a snow cave into that night and finish their “Z” shaped route the next day complete with a dropped rope misadventure. Three days later Barry and Ward cross Chephen Lake to begin the North Face of Howse Peak via the line that they’d pieced together in their imaginations while descending from The Wild Thing (episode 2) one year earlier. Over the next four days, they put up the hardest winter route in the range.
Barry Blanchard First Ascents: Episode 2 – January 19, 2021
The North Pillar of North Twin, 1985 and The Wild Thing on the Northeast Face of Mt Chephren, 1987. Ten days after descending from the First Ascent of the East Face of Mt Fay (episode 1) in March of 1984, Barry teamed up once again with Carl Tobin and for the first time the legendary alpinist George Lowe III to make the initial attempt on the Northeast Face of Mt Chephren. Barry made two more attempts that winter, and three winters later one more attempt, and finally success, in 1987. The first ascent of “The Wild Thing” was accomplished with Peter Arbic and Ward Robinson and by then Barry had spent fifteen days of his life on the face. Between those two winters, in the summer of 1985, Barry and David Cheesmond made the first ascent of what Mark Twight once described as, “the apocalyptical North Pillar of North Twin.” One of the most treasured and possibly the hardest climb of Barry’s life.
Barry Blanchard First Ascents: Episode 1 – January 5, 2021
Andromeda Strain and the East Face of Mt Fay: After four attempts, David Cheesmond, Tim Friesen and Barry finally succeeded in cracking The Strain in April 1983. Commonly the first ascent party names the route, but because this alluring alpine couloir on Mt Andromeda had been attempted over a dozen times by some of the best alpinists in North America, it had become an unrelenting strain, “The Andromeda Strain”. The next winter Carl Tobin, David Cheesmond and Barry battled their way up the East Face of Mt Fay surviving a leader jump/fall, an avalanche, a relentless storm and a box of smarties split 3 ways for dinner before being two days late for work.
Patagonia and Petzl Gear Talk – September 29, 2020
Join Jason Billing from Onward Up, an outdoor retail sales agency, and Tim Ricci as they discuss new Patagonia clothes and gear as well as the latest from Petzl. They will also discuss some tips on how to keep your gear looking new and working its best.
How to Pack Light for a Bivy – August 25, 2020
Join Tim Ricci as he explains how and what to pack for a night in the mountains.
Nick Sharpe: A Life in the Mountains – June 24, 2020
Join Barry Blanchard as he interviews Yam guide Nick Sharpe about his life, his work in the Royal Air Force Mountain Rescue Service and his journey to becoming a mountain guide working for Yamnuska.
Top 5 Multi-Pitch Climbs with Pat Delaney – June 17, 2020
There is an incredible number of multi-pitch rock climbs to be found in the Canadian Rockies and the surrounding mountain ranges. So how do you choose the ones for your bucket list? Climbing has been a passion for Pat Delaney since he first experienced it at the age of 14. During this episode of Guides Talk, Pat will present his top 5 multi-pitch climbing routes.
Lights, Camera, Action! Yamnuska in Film – June 10, 2020
It’s not all Hollywood stars, bright lights and glamour when shooting films. Yamnuska site safety specialists and guides have worked on many feature films including K2, Vertical Limit and Cliffhanger. Join Barry Blanchard as he talks about filming experiences to provide mountain safety and stunt rigging, locations scouting and acting as climbing and stunt doubles.
Top 5 Guided Hikes with Lisa Porter – June 3, 2020
Lisa Porter shares her top 5 favourite hikes and backpacking trips that she’s had the pleasure to guide over the years with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures. Each program has its own unique ambiance, beauty and challenges.
What it takes to be(come) a Mountain Guide – May 27, 2020
So you want to be a mountain guide? A guide’s role is crucial in managing and mitigating risks on the mountain. Join Jesse, Tim and Jacob as they explain what it’s like to be a mountain guide – and how you can get into it.
Up Close & Personal with Chhering Sherpa – May 20, 2020
Join host Barry Blanchard as we dive into the life of Yam guide Chhering Sherpa. Chhering was born in a remote mountain village of Nepal and at the age of seventeen, he began his career in the mountains. He has since successfully summited Mt. Everest seven times. Chhering began working with Yamnuska during an expedition in Nepal where he worked together with Dave Stark on an Island Peak expedition. Barry will explore Chhering’s childhood, his work in Nepal as a Sherpa and guide, surviving the 2015 earthquake disaster and how he came to work with Yamnuska.
Backcountry Skiing Essentials – What & How to Pack It! – May 13. 2020
Have you ever wondered what a ski guide puts in their pack every day? Yam guide Shaun King will provide some insight into ski touring gear, what and how to pack it and some of his favourite go-to pieces. You don’t want to carry more than you need to, but there are also some keys items not to miss when you head into the backcountry.
Ups & Downs – 20 years of ice guiding with Pat Delaney – May 6, 2020
Yam guide Pat Delaney will share some of his favourite ice climbing stories, talk about how he manages risk, share some training techniques as well some of his favourite climbs in the Canadian Rockies.
Alpine Climbing with Daire Maguire – April 29, 2020
Daire Maguire will take you on a virtual tour of a few of his favourite alpine trips, spanning from the Bugaboos to the Columbia Icefields, that he gets to guide with Yamnuska Mountain Adventures.
Barry Blanchard’s encounter with Bears (and what he has learned from it) – April 22, 2020