Kevin Hjertaas, Chris Rubens, Eric Hjorleifson and Martin Lefebvre skied the north face of Mt. Clemenceau on Sunday May 27, 2012. We will be updating this story throughout the day but here is an initial interview with Chris Rubens.
How'd you know it was in shape?
We didn't really. We just took a chance it was. Martin had just completed the grand traverse (the high line of it) and Kevin had been skiing lots of big lines, so we had an idea. But no beta on the face.
How'd you get in there?
We heli'd from Nordeg. Which was almost the coolest part. What a sick flight.
That must have been expensive?
Yeah, it was. But it was the cheapest option we could find and it was worth it.
Tell me how it went?
We got in on the Saturday and climbed the first big pitch. From there we could see the big ice face. We skied back down it and camped and then went for the whole thing the next day. We woke up at 2am and we were hiking by 3am. We crossed the bergshrund around 6 am and topped out around 9 am. We were back down at 11. It was pretty much perfect conditions. Basically no ice: we got so lucky. The whole line has insane objective hazard. The worst part was the begining of the day when we had to cross under these massive hanging seracs. That was the scariest part for me. But the whole thing is exposed. There's these massive gargoyles that over hang the route and you just have to try and not think about them.
Did you get to the summit?
Yeah, when we got up high there was this crazy sneak around the big hanging cornices that let us up to the ridge. So we got to ski it from the Summit.
Was that a first descent?
As far as I know of it was but you never really know. I get the impression it doesn't even get climbed too much
What would you compare it to?
It was like nothing I've done. It was so different. The big ice and the objective danger made it stand out. It's big too. About 2500ft of skiing and it's super sustained. I basically skied it top to bottom and it took me 12 minutes!
More coming on this story later today.
-Interview by Tim Grey