In June this year our good friend Ben Silvestre, along with Pete Graham and Will Harris completed the first British ascent of The Infinite Spur, Mount Foraker (Sultana), Alaska.
We were absolutely honoured to sponsor the guys’ expedition and make sure they had some fire in their bellies while they braved the cold Alaskan wilderness.
Read on for Ben’s report of the expedition and some of Ben’s photos of Base Camp, The Infinite Spur and a few far from home bottles of Khoo’s Hot Sauce!
Ben Silvestre’s Report of Infinite Spur Ascent, May – June 2016
At the start of May, 2016, myself (Ben Silvestre), Pete Graham and Will Harris set off for a six week expedition to the Central Alaska Range. Our objective: The Infinite Spur on Mount Foraker.
The route would be far bigger, far more committing, and thus a much bigger test than anything we had climbed before.
We allowed ourselves a lot of time; to properly acclimatise, and prepare ourselves mentally for the difficulties ahead. Of course, a lot more goes into an expedition than just the weeks spent on the glacier. Months spent planning and training allow us to arrive there ready. And once there, the waiting game begins.
Climbing mountains is as much a game of luck as a game of skill, and this year turned out to be a poor year for weather. We spent a lot of days waiting out weather, desperate to get out climbing. During these periods of inactivity the mind wanders, and at various points we found ourselves questioning whether we really wanted to try and climb such a committing and potentially dangerous route. The key to not losing focus is to not spend too much time over thinking the route. Good books, good booze, and good food all help to distract the wandering mind.
When I asked my good friend Khoo to sponsor our expedition with his excellent hot sauces, it was in full knowledge that the spicy hits would serve as entertainment during tent bound days. As well as giving the fairly basic food we had available an extra edge, Khoo’s hotter sauces provided welcome spice challenges when we grew bored. Much to Wills amusement, Pete and I would take it in turns to have hits, the heat of the spice dulling the Alaskan cold.
Eventually we were given our chance, and having maintained high spirits and an enjoyment of our situation, we were still excited to try the route. It was harder, longer and colder than we might have imagined, but that all made for a life changing experience that none of us will ever forget. All in all the expedition was a huge success, with some great weeks spent in one of the worlds great wildernesses, a dream route climbed, and some great food to boot. Cheers Khoo!
Great work Ben, Pete and Will!
Congratulations on this massive achievement, from Khoo’s Hot Sauce!
For further information on the expedition checkout: