David Dornian wrote the following about Frank Jourdan's summer for the Calgary Mountain Club World News' alpine report in 1994.
A stiff little reminder of what can be accomplished when you put a few caffeine pills into your butt bag, hang a couple of ropes and your shoes off your harness, and get out whilst everyone else is still "waiting for things to come into condition"
What did YOU do on your summer vacation? In July, visiting German alpinist Frank Jourdan managed a quick two-week trip to the Canmore/Banff/Jasper corridor to finish off a North American tour.
Discovered sleeping in his car at the ACC clubhouse parking lot in Canmore, he was taken into town by staff, coffeed up, and the following amazing tale was extracted in halting English.
It seems that a few days previously, Frank had driven north to the Columbia Icefields where he soloed a route he referred to as "Skyladder Direct" on Mt. Andromeda. He then descended the line, crossed the glacier to the northeast, and ascended "The Shooting Gallery". From there, he traversed the summit of Andromeda, climbed down one of the "Practice Gullies" and moved across too the base of "The Andromeda Strain".
In the dark now, he ascended the "Strain" by headlamp, carried on past the Andromeda/Athabasca col, over the summit of Athabasca in blowing conditions and what he called "...very strong snow" and arrived back at the parking lot 45 hours after he had left.
Moving north a bit, Frank then soloed the Robinson/Arbic on the North Face of Cromwell.
Next, he attempted the North Face of Alberta. Going up without a rope, Frank decided he didn't like the inconsistent nature of the rock band above the icefield, and so he traversed off the face and descended the NE ridge. As a consolation, he bagged the peak by the Japanese Route before returning to the highway.
And still more...
He drove to Jasper and had a look at the North Face of Edith Cavell, coming down because of wet rock and unconsolidated snow.
Returning south past Mt. Kitchener, where he soloed the Grand Central Couloir - "Only to be climbed ven zer's eis..." - apparently spending over an hour tunneling through the summit cornice.
After resting and cragging around Canmore for a few days, Frank decided that he wanted "...perhaps one more peak" before he headed home to Germany. When he showed up at Acephale around noon on Sunday, looking for Todd, we mercilessly insisted that he have a go on Mirror Stage 12b. Heh, heh. After all, we pointed out to this quiet little guy in the pilled fleece, there was already a rope on it; he might as well give it a shot. Protesting that he was "probably quite tired...", he dutifully pulled on a pair of shoes and sent the rig first try. A little while later, he did the same to Bleu du Ciel 12b, loosing his feet during the hideous sloper match at the crux and simply pulling up and locking off while he reached across for the next crimp edge in the sequence.
Now willing to let him be our friend, we engaged Frank in conversation. Turns out he had spent the day before climbing the Blanchard/Robinson on the North Face of Howse Peak, avoiding the A3 chimney and block via the ice in the gash out right (which he admitted was slow going and "very technical" [and which Peter Arbic, the only other person to go that way, reportedly characterizes as "Death" - ed.] and had been forced to sleep on the mountain that night, prior to descending and running up to meet us at the crag.