Before she and Bev Johnson made the first female ascent of El Capitan, Sibylle Hechtel lead her first unclimbed big wall in the Wind Rivers: "Dick handed me our minimal gear, pointed, and said, "Just head up that corner until you get to a good ledge, and set up a belay.' I gulped."
Bill Lindberg and I are several pitches up a narrow couloir on the north side of Mt. Helen. A thick, even ribbon of white divides the tawny-grey granite walls that rise steeply above us on either side. The granular, late-season ice accepts the picks of our piolets and rigid crampon points perfectly. Thus far, the climb has been so straightforward that we might have rehearsed it ahead of time; we are both exhilarated to be moving rapidly on an unclimbed alpine line." In 1971, two climbers put new alpine gear to the test on what was the first ascent of Mt. Helen's now-classic ice couloir.
Reviewer Drew Thayer notes, "The Ultamid 4 is currently the lightest option for a spacious, four-person shelter that can adapt to just about any conditions.... It's a great shelter for backcountry pursuits where versatility and light weight are necessary. And it's made right here in the USA." 5 out of 5 stars
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[This week, we're sharing seven essays from the Mountain Profile of the Wind River Range. Stay tuned for essays by Joe Kelsey and Dick Dorworth.--Ed.]

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