climber

Category Archives: Trango Extraordinary Gear

First Cumbre in Patagonia!

Espera.

Waiting.

Guillaumet in center of photo

I just hoped to climb some granite splitters in this dreamland.

I am not the only one with this wish.

….and this is how it is now.

Waiting!!!

Clay Kennedy and I packed for our second session in the mountains.  A”window” had finally come.

Window has become a joke around these parts….8-20 hours of medium-okay pressure with cold temps and sometimes climbable winds (considering your aspect and tolerance!)

following near top of the Amy Coullior

Waiting in the notch, hiding from the winds

Guillaumet via any route sans congo-line became the objective.  HA!  A snow or ice route was the best option.
Rock climbing?  Not gonna happen for awhile!

We left ourselves open to the Amy or the Guillo, and decided a little later start would be just fine…minimize the waiting at the base or on route.

Luckily, snow conditions stayed great for our later than sunrise start and our plan worked perfectly.

With snow fresh we followed a mild set of boot packed tracks up Paso Guillaumet from our camp at Piedra Negra.  The Amy Coullior was free and clear of people.  Crazy…it wasn´t THAT late!

The bergshrund was a 3 foot step up, maybe 2 feet wide.
No problem!
We continued up the snow a little further up, until Clay reached a set of slings and a piton on the right, here we pulled out the rope and simul-climbed to the lip.
The snow ramp leading up to the notch was in dreamy alpine conditions, “one hitter, quitters!” as Clay called it.  A boulder problem exit over iced in blocks mantled us up onto the ridge.
From there, the wind was ever present.  Climbing on the east side was calm and warm.  Climbing on the west side was screaming barfy nuking winds.

From the notch, the route joins another route via mixed rock, snow and ice climbing on 5.9 or easier terrain.
Still no sign of people.
The cracks were snowy and climbing in mountain boots makes me feel like I have two left feet.  Clumsy and insecure.

I led a pitch to a false summit, first with crampons on, but because it is still a fairly unfamiliar style, I finally took them off and just jammed the snowy crack with my boots.
Thankfully, my belay was protected from the wind.  When Clay arrived, I headed off again, down climbing into another notch.
Here we ran into the first signs of life, a party of 5 from Ecuador and many other voices above and below.

Cumbre, Fitz Roy in the background!

I glanced down the notch to the east, 2 parties of 2 were rappelling.
Around the corner the party of 5 was crawling, fully spread out.

Another party of three was just beginning their descent as well.  Rainbow, Ann, and Jared from the states.  They had summited and cheering us on as we continued our ascent!  Clay, tired of waiting, blasted through the sketchy jumaring antics of the Ecuadorian party (one jumar, not tied into the end of the rope, nothing else attaching to the rope!!!!! YIKES!)

Clay skillfully weaved through the party, catching the leader at the base of the snow slope that leads to the summit.  These last two pitches faced west.  It was quite brutal.  I climbed the snow filled 5.8 layback crack in my mittens.
Upon meeting up with Clay, I passed and headed up the 40 degree snow slope (seems steeper).
We simul-climbed to the top!
Cumbre to ourselves!!!!!!!  Did a little boogie, soaked in the view of Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, some of the ice cap beyond it all!

A wonderful adventure, amazing views, and just happy to have realized a dream!

Climbing in Patagonia, what a DREAM!!!!!!

Pata-pnemonia

Fitz Roy in early morning from Niponino camp. 
Sunny.  Warm.  Breezy.

Chalten, Argentina.

Still coughing, been a week.  It is not awful but it is not desirable.

Jon Schaffer, Clay Kennedy and I hiked up to Niponino Thursday amidst hanging clouds and snow.  The mountains looked wintery–and they were.  We made pretty good time on the hike with our more than 40 pound packs, dodging the obscene amount of trekkers and only a minor route finding snafu or two along the way (5 and 1/2 hours).

The homestretch across the last rock strewn glacier, I took a digger in a slushy pot hole.  Minor wetness that dropped me onto my knees.  Five minutes later I took another digger, this one almost thigh deep.  Soaking.  I hurried over the last few boulders and plopped down at a sandy bench to change my socks and into my boots.  The boys scouted for a prime campsite.

We found a place to nestle the tent between to boulders and the three of us packed in.  It was warm enough, the winds subsided and the peaks finally revealed themselves.  Cerro Torre staring at us–caked in snow and ice.  Full winter conditions.  El Mocho was our plan, Todo y Nada was the route.  Sounded so good in theory.   Upon approaching the following morning the rock sandwiching the steep snow gully was a blanket of white.  The top of the gully was teased with spindrift.  The 300 feet or so of rounded granite was dripping with ice and water.  Dampening my soul.  We needed to surmount this ‘easy when dry’ obstacle to gain access to the gully.  My eyes widened as I looked up 1000 feet.  My knowledge about climbing drifted into the thin blue air.  Clay and I both hesitated.  Jon remained cool and composed as we discussed ‘bailing.’
Which we did.
The winter conditions had me doubting that I should even be in Patagonia.  I don’t want to be guided up El Mocho, or any other route.  My fears before coming here seem to be true.  Last season and the season prior were a little friendlier, warmer, and drier.
Perhaps this is not my place.  Perhaps just not yet.

Approaching, the Torre Valley.  Cerro Torre strutting her stuff.  

Woes of Failure.

Levitating up Levitation and Eagle Dance

Failure.  

ARG!

I suck with failure!!!


I find sometimes I am avoiding moments where failure is the most likely outcome.  

Following the crux on Cloud Tower

I don’t project rock climbs.  I on-sight.  If I don’t think I can on-sight it I shy the lead away.  

Its not even that I fear falling.  I don’t fully commit to friends, relationships, plans….because what if it doesn’t work out.  It is better to be illusive.  

HA!  I fear failure.  It isn’t really working out any more, this fear of failure thing.  

I turned to Justin Dubois this spring when I was having a little head epic in the Valley.  In one week last April I climbed three big walls in a day in Zion, climbed to Dolt Tower and had my first run up the Regular Route on Half Dome.  All-in-all, 10,000 feet of climbing in 6 days.  Yet, I was frustrated with my progress in mid- May.  My intended objective was pushed out of sight by partner miscommunication and sickness. 
I emailed Justin, “am I a sissy if I bail?”

He sent back something short…probably not knowing that I really needed advice, an outside voice.  

“No, crazy…settle down!”  

This fall again Justin’s words ring around the vast space between my ears.  

Settle down. 

Baxter and Andrew on top of Mt. Wilson–Red Rocks


Ironic as Justin drops me a note today, 
“I think I have your disease…I can’t seem to take a rest day!”

Yup.  It is a disease and it is catching up with me hardcore.  
I feel that I have been battling it, so quickly moving on to the next project…the next adventure that I might not be enjoying the present moment.  





Cory Jammin up the last pitch of Cloud Tower

The pain of my stubby right toe jammed into the one inch crack 600 feet off the deck.  

The grunting exhale that escapes my lips as I shove my left index finger in the space between the parallel sandstone.

The tingling sensation as my hand cranks, forearm burning, pulsing.  Breath labored.
Mind twirling, eyes darting.  ‘

Finding comfort in the uncomfortable.
Taking control or just taking.

Maybe falling.  
Hopefully sending.  
Whatever it may be, pushing because that is what we do it for. 


I backed off a lead today, because my shoulders hurt.  Because my right elbow aches.  Because my shoes are all blown out.  Because I was afraid of not sending.  

Afraid of Failing.
  
My ego hurts as does my body.  I had a great time in Vegas last week.  Trying hard, succeeding.  Clay suggests that I may be too hard on myself.  
It allows me success, but it hinders the smile.  
It fogs the sunset, slogs the movement, mutters the conversations between friends. 

………and this is how it is now.  
Clinging to a pin scar on the first crux of Rainbow Wall.  

Red Rock Routes
Resolution Arete 5.10–11 hours C-T-C
Cloud Tower 5.12a
Rainbow Wall 5.12 
Levitation 29 and Eagle Dance Link-up 7 hours C-T-C
Rock Warrior, Dream of Wild Turkeys and Prince of Darkness link-up
Some cragging at Brass Wall, Gallery, and others
Zion Routes
Moonlight Free Attempt 5.12d (did not complete)
Sheer Lunacy 3 1/2 hours on route
Force Boyle 5.11
Bits and Pieces 5.11
Monkey Finger 5.12
some cragging at Touchstone Base and Kung Fu Theater, and others

Canadian Tour

Pitch 1 on East Colombian Indirect 5.12+, Tom Egan Wall– Snowpatch Spire 
Q.B leading up the Endless Struggle Pitch, Snowpatch Spire

When you type in your Google search bar “genuine, good-spirited, ego-less hard mutherF#^&ing crankers,” I am positive the search will mention or show photos of a Canadian rock climber.

For years I have fallen for their niceness.

This trip sealed the deal.

Gratitude fills me to the brim!!!!

I basically had the raddest 3 week tour in the Bugaboos, Lake Louis, and Canmore.

After our first day’s first ascent, local hard man Chris Brazeau proceeded to shuffle me around the best new free lines in the Bugaboos.  Many of these climbs were old aid lines that Chris and his buddies, Jon Walsh, Jon Simms, Simon Meis, Cody Lank and others opened up with much effort over the last six or seven years.

Sendero Norte was the tour opener.  This 13 pitch route is stacked with pitch after pitch of 5.11 and 5.12 climbing.  Links to Jon Walsh’s blog with topos and a photo of the route line.
http://alpinestyle.ca/sites/default/files/Snowpatch%20topos060.pdf
http://alpinestyle.ca/sites/default/files/Bugs-Snowpatch%20e%20face%20best%20copy%20copy.pdf

Both Chris and I fell on the lower thin seam crux pitch and both had a fall or two on the upper roof crux pitch.  The rest of the route we both climbed clean.  Rappelling down I kept saying, “this was my favorite pitch, no wait THIS was…”  Sendero is one of the highest quality routes I have climbed!

Following the lower seam crux on Sendero Norte

Our next foray on the North Face of Snowpatch Spire had us climbing another new route….
one that will be fully ready for next season!

Dark Prince starts out with a spicy 5.10 corner to a facey run-out.  Pitch 3 continues up a left facing thin and technical seam/stem over a roof.  This is sustained and difficult 5.11 maybe 5.12 pitch.  I led up the next 200 foot pitch—and would recommended splitting this into two pitches.  Climb up a steep wall on your left with dual and pumpy splitter hand cracks, 5.11, bop right to climb under an off-width/dihedral roof to a nice cozy ledge.

This ledge can blast you off two directions.

Hell or High Water.  http://alpinestyle.ca/2012/10/15/recent_favorites  

The Dark Prince or Hell or High Water.  Both stellar lines.  Chris just sent the Dark Prince earlier this season…check out the Canadian Alpine Journal cover!
(You can see the top of Dark Prince in the right-hand corner of photo above).

Leading a 5.11 Pitch 7 on Sendero Norte

This day Chris choose to finish on Hell or High Water.
I followed it clean.

AHH!!! We didn’t make enough time in trip for me to give it a lead go…”never not enough!”

Chris is pretty sure it hasn’t been sent yet….next season, next season!!

Off-width after the bolt ladder or 5.11 slab 

Brazeau also wanted to add a few bolts –anchors and protection on Dark Prince.   As we climbed, he would occasionally rap back down to do a little work.  I entertained myself and everyone near the North Face with my very loud personal renditions of ‘Man in the Mirror’ and ‘Elderly Lady Behind the Counter in a Small Town’ and maybe a few other classics.  🙂

Next on the tour was the Cooper-Gran, on Bugaboo Spires East Face.   Not a new Chris route, but an old line that has been freed with a sketchy 5.11 slabby rivet bolt ladder mid-route.

Between summits on Bugaboo Spire

A quick summit handstand!

It didn’t seem to have been climbed since its first ascent……either way it had some fun heads-up climbing.

After 8 or so pitches, the route gains the popular 5.8 north ridge of Bugaboo Spire about 300 feet below the North Summit.  We simul-climbed this portion.

An epic storm began her grumble as we tagged the north summit.  With a quick handstand, we nibbled a little chocolate, I spread some of Andrew’s ashes and then we high-tailed down the Kain Route.

C.B Racking up on Bugaboo Spire

Mmm, what was next.  I believe we had a failed effort on something on the Minaret.  We climbed two soaking wet waterfall pitches while getting totally baked in the sun.

Odd day.

We contemplated (I tried to convince Chris to climb) the Beckey-Chouinard but heard rumours of a line-up 6 or 7 deep (he wasn’t totally opposed but has climbed it a few times already).

Q.B heading up a stellar 5.11+ Hands to fingers on East Colombian.

So we bailed and did a walk-about around the Spires through glaciers and snow on our way home.

The last new route of the tour was another Brazeau route.  Stellar stacked pitches called East Colombian Indirect.  This blasts off on the left side of the Tom Egan Wall.  Pitch one starts off heavy but sweet.  A 5.12 (lead bolted) traverse climbs into a lay back flake.  The pitch continues on dicey face moves around a corner and leads up to a small stance.  From there a steep and long hands to fingers second pitch dihedral keeps you fighting.  Pitch 3 is a finger roof pitch.  The crack widens as you gain the lip and continues as a 2 inch crack for a 60 more feet.

Balance and reach through a couple of face moves to gain more moderate terrain.  A short moderate pitch lands you on a sweet lounging ledge…. Hobo’s Haven.  We hung out here for minute…spread a few more of Andrew’s ashes (seemed a perfectly named place for him to rest…I chuckled with tears!).

I regained my composure and with the nicest of encouragements from Chris, started up the looming pitch, “The Endless Struggle.”  This is the last pitch of another wild route called The Power of Lard.  The old guidebook gives it a wicked difficult rating….realistically mid-5.12.

Chris on Pitch 3 of East Colombian

This is a high quality 120 foot overhanging hands to fingers pitch.  Probably one of the best I have ever stepped up to lead!

The crack arches left so one foot jams as the other smears the sheer wall.

Fight the pump through a short finger rail traverse right and a jug over the arete to the north side of Snowpatch Spire.

WOW!!!!

Another amazing climb, pitch after pitch of clean splitter granite.  

I can’t believe I have waited this long to visit the Bugaboos!!  An adventure there next summer is in order as there is much on my tick list…new routes abound and many more scrubbed up routes by the Canadians that need help sending (I need to get stronger stronger)!!!  
Oh Man!  

In addition I got to climb with some rad ladies in Canmore and Lake Louis.  90 Meter over hanging sport routes in Lake Louis with a backdrop that is surreal!!  Canmore much of the same, limestone amphitheather.  Radical! 

Michelle Kadatz and Andrea Eitle were among the few that were kind enough to tour me around, 
hook me up with other partners.  It was sweet to meet and hang with some rad ladies, giggling!!  

Taking the long way home.  Snowpatch Spires south face in the background

Again not quite long enough!  I need to make more time to climb in Canada!!

So beautiful.  Can’t wait for next summer!

Resilience

Base Camp.  Barnes wall right of sunlight.

Greenland was a bittersweet adventure!  I have been home for 8 days.  As I write, I realize that reflection occurs only now, simultaneous with the blinking of my eyes.  

Nestled in our craggy fjord, a Satellite message brought Colorado reality rushing in.  My favorite person-a man I loved dearly– perished in the Black Canyon. 


The mood abroad altered immediately.

My heart moaned, the echo lapped far across the shores in the deep blue water abyss.  The granite walls quivered, as did my soul.  

  
In this piddle of a blog, I find it difficult to give an accurate and passionate detail to our climbing adventure.  
My mind drifts off, contemplating the loss and my love for the outstanding Andrew Barnes.  

When rock climbing, whether it be soloing or establishing new routes on unfamiliar terrain, I feel enlightened with a certain ethereal clarity.  This feeling fulfills my being, is addictive, and gets me through another day, another week, another year.  




On Morning Luxury…looking south…Brazil do you see it?



The handful of long traditional routes we established in the Torsukatak Fjord may or may not be climbed again.
Man, I sure hope they are!!!
“Morning Luxury”–our second big ascent– is a glorious rock climb and an equally amazing summit!!  It flirts a south facing ridge for 8-200 foot pitches.  Stacked with dreamy finger stem-box corners, jaw dropping views, and an adventurous summit block wrestle.  All on high quality granite with a dash of burnt potato chip-like lichen.    

Over time, perhaps, the rock will recover from the minor abrasions of our traffic and it may appear we were never there at all.  


The rock, lichen, and vegetation is resilient.  


: the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
: an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change


AB and the Grand Canyon. 

I seek this quality for myself.

The death and hard lessons in this year, draw my gaze downward.  I need to remember there is also so much beauty. 

   
With Andrew, though, I don’t want the memories to fade… the vegetative re-growth in the fissures to mask his presence.  
I certainly do not want the world to appear that he was never here at all.  I fear with time these events playing out in all of us.     

These routes we established. The roots we established. 

They are life altering.  
Built from the ground up, first try without hesitation.  Without artificial means of support….intuitively.  With love, with passion and a little try hard.   

We were lucky to have found such compelling and natural lines.  To climb an 1800 foot granite wall first go is surreal.  Yet, we did it and three days later we ascended another in similar fashion.  My two lady friends and I…giggling the entire way–oh yeah and the token male, John Dickey.  (He joined us for all but the first one).  

Morning Luxury ascends the left ridge to summit. 


“Plenty for Everyone” that was our first climb in the Fjord, on an unclimbed wall we named Barnes Wall.  10 rope stretching pitches with a mixed bag of face wandering, waterfalls, loose rock, a #5 off-width dihedral, a finger crack over a roof, splitter hands, and finishing on ridge with a tiny box summit.  

I am lucky to have had such a natural and compelling man in my life as my best friend and love.  Someone who taught me how to compassionately love with no expectations.  To remind me that “nobody is better than anyone else.”  

A man who believed genuinely that there was always plenty for everyone!  
Live like Barnes!!!

Thank you for reading.     

  


  

Beauty

   

The Breakfast Spire.  Morning Luxury ascends middle ridge.

Barnes Wall.  Lizzy leading Pitch 5.

4 Quickies.  John Dickey leading the 1st pitch.  

Pause on Morning Luxury

Morning Luxury


A few high quality Grades.

My climbing partner for the last 2 weeks, Buster Jesik, put together this time break down of our recent adventure in Zion.  We linked Spaceshot, Touchstone and Moonlight.   A little video of our adventure also by Buster….http://vimeo.com/73749360

I added a little bit of narrative.

Start time – 6:10 am, Sunday, April 28th, 2013
Spaceshot Total Time – 3:27:09 (note: this was Buster’s first time up the route!)

2:08:16 – Buster’s lead block on Spaceshot (5 pitches – including our free solo of first 3 pitches) #1 and #2 Ballnutz made the C2 pitch a breeze!

1:18:53 – Q’s lead block to the top of Spaceshot  (3 pitches + solo to top)
1:53:15 – descent of Spaceshot, re-rack, and approach to Touchstone Wall – (EPIC*)  
*We fixed our full tag line to the Pitch 7 anchor and fixed our lead rope on Earth Orbit.  Rappelling the route wasn’t that bad, things were going swimmingly!  One tug- movement, two tugs- movement, three tugs–eh, three tugs–eh, shit!  I could barely see the tail ends sticking up from the knot and the sandstone groove the knot was jammed in.  Buster yarded on the other end while I flicked the rope.  Being almost 50 meters down and diagonally left, our efforts were futile.  I cursed as I put the jumars back on the rope.  I re-jugged the whole rope line, adjusted the knot below the lip and rappelled again.  We finally pulled free and clear.    The rappel back to the top of Pitch 5 was a strenuous leftward swing.  A wonderful learning experiment, not awful, but just as time consuming as the standard decent.  
Touchstone Wall –  2:20:35 –
1:10:47 – Buster’s lead block on Touchstone Wall (3.5 pitches) 
03:48 – transition on Touchstone Wall
1:06:50 – Q’s lead block to the top of Touchstone (4 pitches + solo to top) 
Touchstone Wall felt cruiser.  We passed one party of nice gentleman without a hitch.  Thank you gentleman!  
1:21:17 – descent of Touchstone, refuel and river crossing/approach to Moonlight 
Quinn on the upper pitches of Moonlight 
Buster soakin it up!

Moonlight Buttress – 3:19.56
2:09:27 – Buster’s lead block on Moonlight Buttress (5 pitches) 

1:10:29 – Q’s lead block on Moonlight Buttress (4 pitches) 
Moonlight also felt pretty good, I did not climb as quickly (our previous go I climbed the top 5 pitches in an hour.  I was one pitch less this go around and 10 minutes more– and so it goes).   
Start of Spaceshot to top of Moonlight – 12:23:02 
32:47 – summit dance and decent of angles landing trail
12:55:49 – Total car to car time from start of Spaceshot to valley floor 
36:46 – Wait for bus and approach to Monkeyfinger –
37:46 – Time spent climbing on Monkeyfinger – (climbed first 2 1/2 pitches**)
** In November I hit the ledge and ricochet past my belayer.  I was injured for a few weeks, so it was with hesitation I started our 4th wall of the day.
It was still light out and would be for at least another hour or so.   We soloed up to the base of the pillar and I led the 5.11 without a hitch.  “Line fixed!!” I yelled to Buster and glanced down to the base.  I saw a pool of red in the sand while Buster mumbled up, “I have another bloody nose and this one is worse.”  He had gotten one on Moonlight earlier in the day but just dealt.  I was unaware of his predicament until we both stood atop Moonlight and I noticed blood smeared on his face.    

Buster in predicament #2

This time, I waited and watched from my perch.  He fumbled his helmet off and I watched his glasses tumbled down a ledge a little further.  “We aren’t stopping on account of my bloody nose.”
I must admit I was still a little put off by this climb and this was solidifying my angst,   “alright dude.”  I turned around and started going up.  I placed my first piece and leaned over onto the aider, no problem.  I placed my second piece high, unclipped my aider from the anchor and leaned over onto it, bingo.  Just as I was reaching for a third piece, I was off.  Just as quickly I was standing upright back on the ledge.  My right leg took the brunt of the impact and there was a small twinge in my back.  I luckily had the exact right distance in my daisy land on the ledge but not to full impact.  
“That’s it dude!!  Three walls are plenty.  This is the second time I have hit this ledge, I am out!”  I called it.  I am a little disappointed but with the recent tragedies in my life I am glad we are both safe! 
With that we were off, back to the car and drinking a beer with the last inches of light.  

Lotus Flower Tower

Running to catch up with Craig, near Watson Lake, YUK.  

“Watson Lake! We will meet you somewhere near Watson Lake.  There is only one road right?”  I inquired with Craig over the phone.  This would be our last communication before whisking him off his bike in the middle of Northern Canada.  From there we were to catch a Beaver plane to Glacier Lake and the Cirque of the Unclimbables.  

The plan hatched a few winters ago.   I was offered a guiding gig in the Phoenix area, and took it.

My parents had moved to Phoenix sometime near the end of my undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota, so I had grown to enjoy Arizona.  My parents live in East Mesa, 5 miles from the Superstition Mountain Wilderness area, nice access to climbing and trail running.

Packing at the grocery in Watson Lake

Winters in Arizona are amazing…back to the story.

I posted on Facebook of my desire to rent a room in Phoenix for the winter, living with the parents was not an option.  Love you mom and dad.   🙂

Sure enough, my friend Craig and his lovely wife Rae responded.  I didn’t know Craig super well, we climbed together a few times winters ago.  We met via MountainProject.com, as I was looking for partners.  Since, we stayed loosely in touch.

Rae and Craig

Upon moving to their home in early December of 2010, Rae mentioned that Craig was not actually home.  Fortuneatly, they both had taken an “early, early, really early retirement.”  Rae decided to pursue her Ph.D and Craig played outside!

Craig, though, had been scheming a bike trip from Florida to Alaska and hoped to round up some peeps to climb the Lotus Flower Tower along the way.  Along the way!!!!
Therefore, Craig was in Seattle doing some contract work with his former employer Intel to help fund the adventure.
(Craig has done many bike tours throughout the U.S and is an amazing all around athlete, ex-gymnast etc.)

Rae passed all this information on during our first delicious dinner.

Wes enjoying the hot springs

“Well, has he found anyone to go up there with him?” I asked.
“Not yet,” she responded with a smile and a twinkle in her eye.

Two weeks later….just in time for the Holiday party they were hosting, Craig arrived home.  I hadn’t seen him in almost 3 years.  He exploded with open arms, a fantastic humor, and even haggled his new roommate to participate in a pull-up contest.

By March, Craig had decisively gotten the ball rolling.  He contacted Warren of Kluane Airways, had made our deposit…we were headed to the Cirque of the Unclimbables!!

End of April 2011, I departed for summer in my beloved Estes Park and Craig departed for Florida to begin his bike ride.

Sometime near the end of May, Craig made it to Colorado.  We did a slide show to promote his cross-country bike adventure and our Canadian one to come.  We also climbed a little…sadly too early for the Diamond.
I also joined Craig for a little bit of the bike on 287, finishing just north of Larimer, Wyoming.

Glacier Lake

July 14, 2011.  Driving through Northern Canada and tracking Craig….. trying to think like a guy who had been biking for months.
We stopped to soak at the Liard River Hot Springs, hoping to run into Craig.  We were a half day drive from Watson Lake…turns out we were just hours behind him from the hot springs.  We ran into him later that day, Craig was stopped at a little cafe eating a second breakfast…I spotted his bike along side the road.  We lightened his load as he continued the ride to Watson Lake.  From there we purchased food, loaded our packs, and headed all together down 300k of dirt road to Finlayson Lake.

One trip, shit ton of gear.

A 20 minute flight landed us to Warren’s place, Inconnu Lodge.  The following day a gorgeous 45 minute flight took us to Glacier Lake, passing by the Vampire Spires.  We landed and promptly began the 6 mile trudge up to Fairy Meadows, home of the Lotus Flower Tower!

We climbed, we laughed, we bouldered, we sport climbed new and old routes (some put up by a Korean team), and played may games of Trivial Pursuit.  After 3 weeks, 16 days of them rainy….we hiked out on the most bluebird day of them all.

Giovanni bouldering around camp.  

The Penguin.  Fabulous and picturesque!

Head wall, heading up!

Headwall!  Heading down!

View down the headwall to bivy site, Korean team taking over!

Camp

We returned to Watson Lake.  Craig hopped back on his back and continued to Alaska, Denali was his final destination.  I returned to Colorado the slow way, climbing Liberty Bell and others along the way home.  My lovely friend Giovanni returned to Colombia!  What a great trip with wonderful people!

Thanks Craig for dreaming big!

The Posse!!!  (aka the Estonians) Quinn, Wes, Giovanni, and Craig

The day we hiked out!  Beautiful!

The vision for the Trango athlete team is to find climbers who embody our brand’s values and support them in their climbing endeavors. We focus on the character of the climber, their passion for the sport, and their desire to contribute to the community.

Meet the Team

Featured Events

There are currently no upcoming events.

All Events

Partners

The American Alpine Club American Mountain Guides Association Access Fund Leave No Trace - lnt.org

Archives

Authors

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail
eGrips Tenaya Fast Rope Descender

© Trango - All Rights Reserved