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Press Release

Guardians of the Ice Speaker Series: Mount Alberta NEPA Launch + Speaker Event

Banded Peak Brewing and Guardians of the Ice Presents our 5th Installment in our 12 part Speaker Series
All Updates
Press Release
March 16, 2023

Five Legendary Alpinists and a Distinguished Climate Scientist Unite for an Epic Speaker Event.

Calgary, Alberta: On April 20, 2023, Banded Peak Brewing is proud to present the fifth in the Guardians of the Ice Series: Mount Alberta New England Pale Ale. In an unprecedented gathering of legendary alpinists and a distinguished climate scientist, this event will bring together five renowned climbers, Jim Elzinga, Barry Blanchard, Jon Walsh, Steve House, and Steve Swenson to share their remarkable stories of ascents of Mount Alberta’s North Face along with Dr. Graham McDowell, climate scientist and Project Leader for the Canadian Mountain Assessment.

The 1000-meter north face of Mt. Alberta is one of the most coveted alpine faces in the Canadian Rockies. Despite its prominence among alpinists and its beautifully intimidating final headwall, the compelling north face has resisted suitors for years. Our speakers each have an epic tale to tell about their adventures on this elusive face. This is an extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime gathering of these legendary characters as they share their stories of courage and determination in pursuit of climbing greatness.

Jim Elzinga has been an active and influential alpinist for over 40 years. He is the founder of Guardians of the Ice, with numerous first ascents in the Canadian Rockies, the Andes, and the Himalayas. Jim received the prestigious Edmund Hillary Award for his leadership of Everest Light, a first ascent that has never been duplicated. Steve House called him “the original Canadian hard man.”

Barry Blanchard is one of North America's top alpinists, noted for pushing the standards of highly technical, high-risk alpine climbing in the Canadian Rockies and the Himalayas. Barry’s guiding purpose: to climb the steepest and most complicated faces of the world’s great glaciated peaks. One of Patagonia’s first ambassadors and a member of the R&D team, Barry is the author of an award-winning autobiography, The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains.

Jon Walsh is known as one of Canada’s great alpine climbers. Jon’s alpine resume is uniquely impressive – with dozens of first ascents ranging from Patagonia, The Karakoram, and The Bugaboos. But it is his climbs in the Canadian Rockies, particularly his routes on the legendary peaks like Alberta, North Twin, and Robson, that stand out the most. Jon has picked up the torch from Jim and Barry and continues to push the extremes of first ascents.

Steve House, a multi-award-winning alpinist, has compiled an impressive list of first ascents and new routes around the world. He is the founder of Uphill Athlete, with the mission "to elevate and inspire all mountain athletes through education and celebration." Training for the New Alpinism, Steve’s book, co-authored with Scott Johnson, was compiled to answer the question: “What do you do for training? Steve has authored multiple books, including his award-winning autobiography, Beyond the Mountain.

Steve Swenson has been climbing for over 50 years, including 20 expeditions to South Asia and multiple first ascents in the Himalayas, including K2 and Everest, both without bottled oxygen. After a 35-year consulting engineering career in water and wastewater infrastructure, Swenson retired to become a full-time climber and alpinist. He is the author of Karakoram: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict, which was shortlisted for the Banff Mountain Literature Award.

Dr. Graham McDowell studies human vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in mountain areas. He has led projects in the Nepal Himalayas, Peruvian Andes, Rocky Mountains, Greenland, and Baffin Island, and is a two-time author with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is also a member of the American Alpine Club’s Climate Task Force and has served as a science advisor for Alpinist Magazine. He is currently the Project Leader for the Canadian Mountain Assessment, the first formal assessment of what we know, don’t know, and need to know about mountains in Canada. In his talk, Dr. McDowell will describe what we know about mountains in a changing climate, including the implications of climate change for mountain recreation.

“At Banded Peak Brewing, we are proud to present this unique gathering featuring these five alpinists alongside Dr Graham McDowell, as well as Erick Hollstedt, Lead Brewer, who will be providing insight into the fifth beer of the series, Mount Alberta NEPA and why it tastes so great! Join us for this inspiring evening - tickets are limited so don't miss out!” - Mallory Welechenko, Brand Experience Manager, Banded Peak Brewing

Mount Alberta is the fifth of twelve in the GOTI series. $2 from every four-pack sold will be donated to support Guardians of the Ice. By drinking the GOTI collection you are helping protect one of North America’s most important water resources. Orders can be placed online at, purchased at the Banded Peak Taproom, or at local liquor stores across Alberta.

  • Event: Banded Peak x Guardians of the Ice Speaker Series
  • When: April 20, 2023.
  • Doors open: at 6:30 pm. The event starts at 7 pm MST. 
  • Where: The Hemingway Room. 1204 20 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 3G2 
  • Tickets: $15 and includes entry, first Mount Alberta NEPA (473mL), and donation to Guardians of the Ice.

Note: All ticket holders must be 18 years of age or older, with a valid Government issued ID. No minors. 


For media inquiries, please contact: 

Mallory Welechenko, Brand Experience Manager, Banded Peak Brewing  


About Banded Peak Brewing: 

The best things happen during an adventure, friendships are born, and stories are made. Banded Peak was created out of the same ideals, adventurous beers for adventurous people. Brewed for planning, executing, and celebrating any adventure that life throws at you. Best enjoyed Après anything! #CraftedforAdventure  

Banded Peak Brewing is located at 519 34 Ave SE #119,Calgary.  

For more information follow:  

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About Guardians of the Ice:  

Instagram @guardiansoftheice  

Facebook @GuardiansOfTheIce