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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!!!!!!
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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 ha...
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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



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Canadian Tour

Pitch 1 on East Colombian Indirect 5.12+, Tom Egan Wall-- Snowpatch Spire Q.B leading up the Endless Struggle Pitch, Snowpatch SpireWhen you type in your Google search bar "genuine, good-spirited, ego-less hard mutherF#^&ing crankers," I am po...
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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...
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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/73...
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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 bef...