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Raphael Slawinski to attempt Everest NE Face First Ascent

© Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted Collection

Canadian alpinist Raphael Slawinski will attempt a first ascent on the North East Face of Everest this summer alongside two German teammates. The team aim to complete the route in pure alpine style.  

Raphael has over 20 years of lightweight alpinism under his belt, yet this will be his first ever attempt at a peak of 8000 metres - and he’s chosen to do it on Everest: "I wanted to experience it, but I also wanted to experience it on my own terms."

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Raphael Slawinski: One of Canada's most accomplished alpinists
© Chris Noble

For those who might not know much about him, Raphael is a humble 47 year-old full-time physics professor at the University of Calgary as well one of Canada’s most accomplished alpinists, with first ascents of many mixed routes in the Canadian Rockies, such as The God Delusion (175 m, M8+ WI5+) and Nachtmahr (85 m, M9 WI5).

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Raphael Slawinski
© Chris Noble

In 2013, he made the first ascent of K6 West (7040 m) via the North West Face (M6+ WI4+) in the Charkusa Glacier, Karakoram, Pakistan, with Ian Welsted.

Last year, Raphael was the Winner of the 2014 Piolet d’Or and was nominated by National Geographic as “Adventurer of the Year."

Visit his blog here.

Raphael is sponsored by: Arc'teryx, Black Diamond and Scarpa


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One of the most memorable days winter climbing I have ever had was with Raphael and Nick (Bullock) up on the Trophy Wall in Canada. We were doing the second ascent of Raphael's own route 'Exterminator' and I guess, by age alone, I was the 'young gun' - the reality however was very different... What actually occurred was that these two 'old blokes' hauled the 'young gun' up the route with a rope so tight that if you were to have plucked it it would have made a perfect high E on a guitar string. I was barely able to identify the hooks they used, let alone maintain cohesion between them. Altogether it would have been a demeaning experience, but for the fact that it was obviously quite funny (or at least it was several days after...). Good luck Raph!
27 Mar, 2015
Can't wait to see how he smashes Everest, Raph is Rad!
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