Last spring Ian Macintosh invited Griffin Post and I to join him on a camping trip to the Tordrillo mountain range in Alaska, with the objective of climbing and skiing the Razorback Spine Wall. Razorback is a gnarly looking spine wall named after its razor sharp spines, nestled in a protected nook off an unnamed Glacier.
I’ve been on many heli-trips to Alaska, but never on a foot powered mission. I had seen the Jeremy Jones trilogy and was blown away by the lines they chose to climb, the overhead exposure seemed next level, granted the exposure can be managed but not completely avoided. At some point you will find yourself under hanging pillows and cornices as you climb the easiest route which happens to be in the belly of the beast. If you’d asked me a few years prior if I’d be climbing spine walls in Alaska I would have said “I dunno, climbing lines seems pretty wild.” And here I was, scrambling to order gear and organizing winter camping equipment.
I was nervous thinking of the adventure ahead, yet excited to take on a new aspect of skiing. I’ve participated in numerous skiing disciplines, from ski racing to urban hand rails, slopestyle, pillows and AK heli-skiing. It seemed suiting to challenge myself in Alaskan terrain on foot, it also aligned with my journey of “given’r hell” and pushing myself physically in the mountains.