• Mayan Smith-Gobat: What I've Learned
  • Josh Lowell: What I've Learned
  • Steve Hong: What I've Learned
  • Steve House: What I've Learned
  • Daniel Woods: What I've Learned
  • Steph Davis: What I've Learned
  • Nick Duttle: What I've Learned
  • Thomas Huber: What I've Learned
  • Art of Freedom: The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka
  • Alex Megos: The Hatchling
  • Ryan Vachon: Top Ice Climber and Climate Scientist
  • John Long: What I've Learned
  • Topropers Unite!
  • Steep Learning Curve: Alex Honnold On His Early Free-Soloing Days
  • Andy Kirkpatrick - Words Like Morphine
  • Margo Hayes and the Power of the Mind
  • Snapshot: Michaela Kiersch - The Chicago Hustle
  • Out of Nowhere - Nathaniel Coleman Jumps Onto the Podium
  • Jeff Lowe: What I've Learned
  • The Cheater - Learning to Climb for Myself, the Hard Way
  • John Bachar: What I've Learned
  • Art of the First Ascent: The Bold Climbs of Marcus Garcia
  • The Professional: Hilaree O'Neill
  • The Inventor: Alan Douglas
  • The Advocate: Nicholas Rothenbush
  • The Guide: Kris Erickson
  • The Craftsman: Jimmy Chin
  • Curious Case: Brette Harrington Breaks New Ground
  • Stefano Ghisolfi - One of The World's Best Makes Time For Fun
  • Dean Potter: What I've Learned
  • The Great Unknown - Graham Hunt
  • The Wizard - Dean Potter
  • Kai Lightner Reflects on Competitions, Bouldering and the Future
  • The Locomotive: Roy McMurtrey – 87 and Still Climbing
  • No Expectations: Joe Kinder Sends 6 5.14c's in Spain
  • Spotlight: Megan Mascarenas - The Logician
  • Alpine Warriors - History of Alpinists in Yugoslavia
  • Q&A: The Willpower of Mar Álvarez
  • Q&A: Ethan Pringle on Thor's Hammer (5.15a)
  • A Youth Wasted Climbing
  • Bouldering Bub - Isaac Caldiero
  • Spotlight: Alexander Ruchkin - Russian Locomotive
  • Alex Johnson - The Pro Life and Growing Up as a Climber
  • Rock Climbing Saved My Life: A Veteran’s Struggle with PTSD
  • The Beatnik of the Alps: A tale of FA's, Rescues, Love, and Suicide
  • Kev Shields – High Solace: Demons, Depression and Solo Climbing
  • Dean Potter On Laws, Modern America and Soloing Delicate Arch
  • Climbers We Lost in 2014
  • Spotlight: The Double Life of Chris Webb Parsons
  • What I've Learned: Sonnie Trotter
  • What I've Learned: Mark Udall
  • Heinz Mariacher: What I've Learned
  • The Sasha DiGiulian Profile
  • Chris Sharma: What I've Learned
  • The Seeker: Said Belhaj
  • Tommy Caldwell: What I've Learned
  • Reinhold Messner: What I've Learned
  • Sonnie Trotter's Favorite 5.10: Exasperator (5.10c)
  • Unbroken: The Alex Johnson Profile
  • Listening for the Echo: The Klem Loskot Profile
  • Climbers We Lost in 2013
  • Kilian Jornet Breaks Speed Record on Mont Blanc
  • Layton Kor Dies
  • Climbers We Lost in 2012
  • Life on Hold: The Ian Powell Story
  • Rope Jumping with Dan Osman
  • The Centurian: Ricardo Cassin
  • Mike Foley: Never Enough
  • Naomi Guy: What I've Learned
  • Hayden Kennedy: Superballistic
  • Dave Macleod: What I've Learned
  • Q&A: V15 Maestro Nacho Sanchez Unleashed
  • Francesca Metcalf: Meant to Compete
  • Maurice Herzog Dies
  • Mason Earle: Crack Ropegun
  • Kurt Albert: Free Wheel
  • Mayan Smith-Gobat: Climber for all Seasons
  • A Close Encounter With Dean Potter
  • Nik Berry: Obsessive Crusher
  • TNB: Tony Scott, Climber, Movie Maker, Lived and Died Large
  • Charlie Fowler - American Alpinist
  • Jimmie Dunn
  • The Upstart - Colin Haley
  • Who's Next?
  • Tom Patey: The Tiger of Yesterday
  • Todd Skinner: The Renegade
  • The Stonemasters Climb at Pirates Cove
  • Patxi Usobiaga: The Bionic Man
  • Michael Reardon
  • Max Turgeon and Louis-Philippe Ménard: Alpinists and Ice Climbers
  • Kurt Albert: The Climber Who Invented Redpointing
  • Josh Wharton: The Alpinist
  • John Rosholt: Climber and Gambler Disappears in Las Vegas
  • John Bachar's Last Interview
  • John Bachar Remembers Michael Reardon
  • John Bachar Remembered by Duane Raleigh
  • John Bachar by Henry Barber
  • John Bachar by Doug Robinson
  • John Bachar and the Bachar-Yerian First Ascent
  • Colin Kirkus: Climbing's Greatest Unknown
  • Alex Puccio
  • The Prophet
  • The Guy Whose Nuts Revolutionized Climbing: R.P.
  • Randy Leavitt
  • Galen Rowell: The Vertical World
  • Brian Kim Spotlight
  • Rob Raker
  • Ueli Steck - The Swiss Machine
  • Kemple and Lindner Almost Free El Nino
  • Crack Attack
  • Climbing World Mourns Todd Skinner
  • Ammon McKneely
  • A Tour of Magic and Mystery
  • Tanja Grmovsek
  • Rob Miller
  • Climber Hugh Herr Honored by Esquire Magazine
  • Climber Eric Brand Dies
  • Chuck Fryberger, Climber and Filmmaker
  • Chris Schulte Profile
  • Beth Rodden: What I've Learned
  • Joe Kinder
  • Hazel Findlay
  • To the BASE Layer
  • Pete Ward
  • Mad Max
  • Chris Boskoff
  • Bradford Washburn
  • Revenge of the Nerd
  • Chris Lindner
  • Tim Clifford: Escaping the Quantum Hole
  • Renan Ozturk
  • One-Track Mind
  • Traveling Light
  • Colette McInerney
  • The Banner Years
  • Pakistan: The Big and Free
  • Kris Hampton
  • Jules Cho
  • Extreme Eleven and Beyond
  • Bob Bates, 96, Takes His Final Journey
  • Jody Hansen
  • Home Girl
  • An Encounter with Fred
  • The Average Hero Sir Edmund Hillary, 88
  • More Than One Trick
  • Dave Graham
  • Red River Sugar Mama
  • Phillip Schaal
  • An Advanced Beginner
  • The Last Samurai:
  • Sonnie in Scotland
  • Offwidth Hombre
  • Moonlight Solo-Nata
  • Jasmin Caton
  • Crag Clown
  • Unlikely Candidate
  • Lone Star
  • The Calculator: Alex Kordick
  • Rise of the Machines
  • Dave Waggoner 1955-2009
  • Blood Spider
  • The Audacious Legacy of Tomaz Humar
  • The Original Desert Rat: Kyle Copeland | 51
  • J-Star
  • Italian Legend: Lino Lacedelli | 83
  • Committed: Matt McCormick
  • Cold Justice Paul Cormier
  • The Suffer King
  • The Need for Speed
  • Nick Martino Gives All
  • G-Money
  • Climbing Out of Academic Trouble
  • Charles Houston, 96
  • Bobby Model, 36
  • "Open Bivy" Willy
  • The Genius - Jeff Lowe
  • The Gamer
  • Shock Rock
  • Ryan Triplett | 31
  • John Bachar and the Cosmic Surfboard
  • Hand Crafted
  • Return of the Verm
  • Amped
  • Regime Change
  • Man vs. Snake
  • Living Legend
  • Layton Kor honored by AAC
  • Cold Justice
  • Cowboy Anguish
  • The Rock Jester
  • Mixed Rehab
  • Laura Fletcher
  • Bill Stall
  • Benjamin Strohmeier
  • Joe Six-Pack
  • Freedom Path
  • Manboy
  • Up and Down
  • The Duelist
  • A for Achiever
  • Paul A. Duval
  • Kelly S. Bell
  • Close But No Cigar
  • Video Spotlight
    Of Choss and Lions: Honnold, Wright and Birdwell in Kenya
    Of Choss and Lions: Honnold, Wright and Birdwell in Kenya
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer

    Mad Max


    WHEN MAXIME TURGEON AND LOUIS-PHILIPPE MŠNARD stepped onto the Ruth Glacier in the spring of 2005, no one in the climbing community had ever heard of them. But the two Alaska first-timers, far from Spotlight-159intimidated by the committing faces and treacherous weather, embarked on a climbing spree that culminated in an ascent touted as the best of the season: Spice Factory (AI 5 M7 5.10 R) on the north face of Mount Bradley.

    “I was pretty surprised,” says Turgeon. “Suddenly everyone wanted to write articles about us, Grivel offered me a sponsorship, and I found out that we were being considered for the Piolet d’Or.”

    Turgeon excels at ice climbing, though he has also been known to put up hard and runout rock routes throughout Québec and the Adirondacks. In Canada alone, the 26-year-old Montréal native, who graduated last year from the École de Technologie Supérieure with a degree in mechanical engineering, has pulled free winter ascents of Andromeda Strain (WI 4 5.9 A2) and Nightmare on Wolf Street (WI 6+ M7+) in the Rockies, and La Ruée vers l’Or (VI WI 6 M7+) and Le Mulot (WI 6+ R) in Québec. In Québec he also free-soloed La Pomme D’Or (V WI 5+), hiking the 26 mile approach. Recent ascents include The Real Big Drip (WI 7- M8) and Cryophobia (V WI5+ M8+) in January in the Canadian Rockies.

    Turgeon returned to Alaska in 2006, teaming up first with Will Mayo on a new route on the south face of Mount Foraker, completed in a 40-hour push (WI 5+ M6 A0); next was a new route on the south face of Denali, the Canadian Direct (Alaska grade 6 AI4 M6 5.9), with “L.P.” Ménard.

    More significant than the difficult ratings of his new routes is Turgeon’s refreshing style. He and Ménard arrived at the base of the south face of Denali without bolts, radio or detailed plans.

    “We had a picture of the face and a map of Denali and just spotted what looked like a good route and went for it,” he says.

    Most recently, Turgeon, again with Ménard, traveled to Pakistan for a two-month adventure in lost baggage, disastrous weather and open bivies. Nevertheless the duo attempted the futuristic North Face of Latok 1, reaching 17,400 feet, and the much-tried North Ridge, also to 17,400. Both times they turned back due to poor conditions.

    Late one night at a hip, dimly lit café in downtown Montréal, with a bone-chilling autumn wind and light snow blowing outside, Turgeon appeared dressed in a T-shirt, a light soft-shell jacket over his arm. Ordering his favorite local brew, he casually answered every question in a charming yet typically rough Québécois-French accent.

    I used to ski a lot. Then a couple of years ago I went to Whistler with some friends and skied a bunch of powder, after which it was impossible to go back to skiing on the ice of the East. So I picked up ice climbing instead.


    It’s almost impossible to be a pure professional climber, so I have to do something to earn a living. I like working for short periods and then climbing. L.P. works full time, and so has less time to climb … but he’s got a sweet apartment and drives a new Outback, if you know what I mean. I still live with my parents!


    L.P. really likes spicy food so at the grocery store we bought only the spiciest stuff and brought some hot peppers as well. Then it just sort of became a theme for the trip … every hard pitch was “spicy.”
    We hear you are into salsa dancing.

    What can I say, I like to dance! I was always shy, but my friend just recently convinced me to start taking salsa courses with him. It’s a great way to meet people.


    I wrote them a letter before my first trip to Alaska. They wrote back [with a polite “no thank you.”] After our ascent of Spice Factory, Jack Tackle and some other heavy hitters checked out our line from below and must have sent word to Mark [Twight, president of Grivel North America], because soon after I got back to Montréal there was a personal letter from Mark in French inviting me to come out and visit him in Salt Lake.


    For sure! Accidents can always happen; it is a fact in the mountains. Will and I had been climbing under a huge serac on Foraker and the whole thing collapsed just after we got off our route. Right after that we ran into Sue and Karen. On Denali too, L.P. and I had quite a few close calls descending after the south-face route. But none of this really changes how I think about climbing.


    I’m gonna spend the winter in the Canadian Rockies and then return to Montréal. L.P. and I are, of course, planning on returning to Pakistan. Originally in 2006 we wanted to attempt the North Face of K6 but were denied the permit, so we’re hoping it will work next time around.


    Stephen who?


    Oh, him. … I don’t know much about politics. I just love to climb.

    Reader's Commentary:

    Don't want to use Facebook, but still want to comment? We have you covered:

    Add Your Comments to this article: