On A Recce: Exploring New Terrain in the Waddington Range

Story and Photos By Ben Kunz rec·ce: (noun) a slang word for reconnaissance, reconnoitre Climbing the McNerthney Pillar was the primary objective for our trip to the Waddington Range, but when we returned down the Bravo Glacier route to Sunny Knob, the ensuing days continued to bring excellent weather. During our one and only rest day, we took turns man-handling the guidebook and staring at the walls, piecing together known climbs and potentially unclimbed crack systems on the incredible west faces of the spires of the Stilletto Group. We didn’t settle on any particular formation or climb, we just knew we were psyched to get up there and explore, and if the stars aligned, go for a first ascent. And what better way to seize the opportunity than to head out…

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Riding our Thumbs into the North Cascades

Photos and Story By Ben Kunz Well you’ve probably never heard of the Toyota MasterAce. It is the original name of the Toyota van distributed worldwide from 1982-1989. These vans have a bit of a cult following , much like Volkswagen vans.  And they are equally infamous for breaking down. Recently, on a climbing trip to Washington Pass, the North Cascades granite playground, it was my partner’s turn to drive. We planned to take his beloved Tawny, a 1986 Toyota van that has its quirks. So I suppose it wasn’t a huge surprise when we broke down near Rockport, WA. Without cell phone service it took considerable effort to find a phone and get AAA involved. While we waited I reflected on how comfortable our lives are compared to our…

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The Sprinter Experience: Living in a Van Down by the River…er Crag

Photos and Story By Ben Kunz When Daimler Benz merged with Chrysler way back in 1998, it wasn’t even a blip on my radar, nothing that I needed to worry or care about! But within a year, I started seeing the Sprinter Van, Mercedes gift to North American mid-sized cargo carriers. When I first saw this hardcore Euro-styled van, I did some research and quickly did the math on these genius homes on wheels.

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