Team Los Gitanos
About Team Los Gitanos
During the spring of 2014, a team of international alpinists traveled to the remote Revelations Mountains in Alaska. Jerome Sullivan, Lise Billon, Jeremy Stagnetto and Pedro Angel Galan Diaz were attempting a first ascent of the Pyramid Peak (8572ft). Sullivan and Billon first learned of the unclimbed Pyramid Peak from a chance encounter with Revelations climber Clint Helander. On previous expeditions with climbing partner Jason Stuckey, Helander twice attempted to climb Pyramid Peak. Already having many first ascents in the range, Helander shared information with Sullivan and Billon about the climb. Sullivan’s interest was instantly piqued by the “steep and imposing west face.”
Their expedition started in the town of Talkeetna, 130 miles away from where they would eventually make base camp. Few climbers travel to the Revelations due to bad weather, distance and cost. Undeterred, the four climbers set out on March 17th and stayed in the Revelations until April 2nd. They immediately set their sights on Pyramid Peak. However, finding a route proved difficult and they had to give up after only climbing 200 meters.
Instead the group turned their attention to a close by unnamed peak. Sullivan reflected on the route that would become “The Iliad”, “It took us 20 hours camp to camp to climb the striking ice smear that runs down the east face. The climb was straightforward alpine ice with two amazing crux pitches of thin ice.” In honor of a friend who passed away last year they named the peak Mt. Boucansaud.
With their spirits improved once again they attempted Pyramid Peak. This time they attempted the right side of the west face. Sullivan writes, “We bivied three times on the wall, usually not climbing too early due to cold temperatures. The route had various hard mixed pitches, vertical snow (little ice), and a few easy snow pitches, adding up to 18 steep pitches and three hundred meters of ridgeline to go to the summit. Protection along the route was quite scarce, and many of the pitches are run-out. The crux pitches were an overhanging chimney with snow plugs and a sketchy traverse to reach a hanging dihedral. The rest of the climbing was often in the M5-M6 range. We descended the northwest face in 9 rappels to reach a big couloir that led us back to the glacier. It was the first ascent of the peak and the most technical route of the range.” The team named this route “The Odyssey.”
Montbell supported the team’s ascents by providing Team Los Gitanos with U.L. Down Pants, EX Light Down Jackets, Permafrost Down Parkas and Down Hugger 800 EXP.
In November, Sullivan and Billon will be joined by climbers Antoine Moineville and Martin Elias for a new expedition in Patagonia. “Team Changa” will be attempting to climb Cerro Riso Patron. Montbell is supporting the team’s efforts by providing Torrent Flier Jackets, Alpine Ridge Pants, Thermawrap Jackets and Trekking Packs.
Here is what Sullivan had to say about the Down Hugger EXP, "The sleeping bag was the best sleeping bag I have ever slept in! On the wall Lisa and I shared a sleeping bag. The long down hugger is so big that we both fit inside perfectly. The spiral system makes it that when we were both in the sleeping bag we actually had room! Half the weight and twice the warmth. This technique may be the future of fast and light alpine style ascents!"