The mountain ranges of North America are beautiful and diverse.  From the prominent glacier cones that dominate the skylines of the Pacific Northwest, to the rugged granite plutons of Yosemite Valley, and the sawtooth razor points of the Tetons, the mountains of North America are a veritable playground for mountaineers.

But for climbers and alpinists looking to put their physical, mental and psychological fortitude to the test- perhaps no range is better suited, than the Canadian Rockies.

Although the Rockies offer opportunities for mountaineers of all abilities, it’s the giant peaks, with their menacing and fearsome north walls, that have cemented the Candian Rockies as one of the world’s most storied alpine arenas. 

And today, I’m chatting with one of the rockies most accomplished, and enduring alpinists of his generation, Jon Walsh.

Jon’s alpine resume is uniquely impressive – with dozens and dozens of first ascents ranging from Patagonia, The Karakoram and The Bugaboos.  But it’s his climbs in the Canadian Rockies, particularly his routes on the legendary peaks like Alberta, North Twin, and Robson, that stand out the most (at least to me).  

I recently got a chance to speak with Jon about his career in the Rockies, and in some ways, this conversation was special.  In the next hour, you’ll hear deep wisdom, and unmatched experience.  For aspiring alpinists, and folks who are interested specifically in the Candian Rockies – you’ll want to pay extra attention.  It’s not so often you get to hear first hand accounts, from true masters of the craft.

This conversation is focused primarily on Jon’s experiences on the North walls of Mount Alberta, Robson, and North Twin – but like a lot of conversations on The Firn Line, we started by talking about Jon’s early years, and how he got into climbing in the first place.