First up is one of the locations I haven't yet had the pleasure of seeing in person, though I've drooled over many a photo: the Cirque of the Unclimbables, in the Ragged Range near the border of Canada's Northwest and Yukon territories. Check it out:
|Cirque of the Unclimbables, with major peaks marked. (Photo courtesy of summitpost.org)
|Lotus Flower Tower (in background) and the Cirque of the Unclimbables (photo courtesy of travel-visit-places.com)
- This photo of a climber walking a narrow ridge in the Cirque of the Unclimbables helped inspire a certain scene in The Tainted City (along with even sharper knife-edge ridges like that of Colorado's Capitol Peak).
- George Bell's Cirque of the Unclimbables page
- Kluane Airways's Cirque of the Unclimbables access page
- Cirque trip report from a group of climbers who got to the Cirque the hard way (no plane!)
- Climber trip report with great pics: Bombing in the Cirque of the Unclimbables
And lest you think the Cirque is remote...some 15 miles NW of the Cirque of the Unclimbables lie the Vampire Spires. They are so difficult to reach, hardly anyone has climbed them. When climbers summit, it makes the news: check out this report from last month of a brand new 5.11 route on Mount Dracula, put up by an expedition funded by the Copp-Dash Inspire Award. Even pics of the Vampire Peaks are scarce. But just look at this one:
|Vampire Spire (photo from rockclimbing.com)
How awesome is that? And as a fan of fantasy & horror, how can you resist the allure of a climb named "Lair of the White Worm" on the Vampire Spire? Of course, I'd have to get a hell of a lot better at climbing before I could tackle a 5.11 A.2+ big wall route...but hey, I can dream.