All athletes have their own ideas of adventure. Some are keen to build massive jumps and stomp new tricks, while others seek remote zones and terrain that’s never been ridden.
As for Ralph Backstrom and his North Face compadres, their sights were set on exploring the fabled Corrugated spine lines within the Tsriku Glacier that boarders Alaska and the Yukon.
This three-part series delves into their excursion and highlights the myriad of highs and lows that come with exploration. The crew spent nearly a month in the Yukon splitting time between base camps in Haines Pass and at Corrugated, where they made advanced route plans to accomplish their mission. What transpired was undeniably an adventure of grand scale and with first descents to boot.
Episode 1: No Man’s Land
In late March of 2016, the team arrived at a base camp in Haines Pass, a region straddling the borders of the Yukon, British Columbia and Alaska. While awaiting better conditions to venture onto the Tsirku Glacier, they took the opportunity to explore the terrain surrounding Haines Pass by helicopter.
Episode 2: The Drop
Faced with a sixty-kilometer snowmobile route across a massive glacier marked by crevasses, seracs, severe wind, and avalanche terrain, the journey soon became as relevant to the story as the destination. Due to the constantly changing weather and snow conditions, the team took over a week to develop the route and drop fuel and gear caches before completing the full day mission from Haines Pass to Corrugated basecamp.
Episode 3: Corrugated
One last thing stood in between the athletes and the face of Corrugated; mammoth cornices were blocking their access. Led by Mountain Guide Sam Anthamatten, the team worked together to find their way onto the spine wall.