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'Spicy All the Time' on North Twin: A Photo Essay
Wharton brews coffee before a second day of climbing. "Coffee time! Yes we 'slept' here!" commented Walsh on his blog. [Photo] Jon Walsh
Both Walsh and Wharton had previously been to the wall. Walsh attempted the face in 2011 with Canadian Jason Kruk (who was thwarted on the climb earlier in the year by bad weather while climbing with American Hayden Kennedy), but retreated when a block dislodged and crushed Walsh's foot. The injury forced the team to endure an open bivy before making a difficult retreat the following day. Also in 2011, Wharton hiked in, only to find the route too wet to climb.
A low snow year and a hot summer yielded prime conditions on the face this season. Nonetheless, Walsh and Wharton completed the ascent with a meager amount of food. Having planned to use rations stockpiled during Wharton's visit to the wall two years prior, the pair skimped on food supplies. However, after someone cleaned out the stash, the two suffered. "On the fourth day we woke up to a bite of granola and that was it. I'm still feeling skinny," Walsh said afterward. "We're not mad at the guys who did it. We blame ourselves for not bringing in enough extra food."