Do you know that feeling when you get back from a long vacation in which you disengaged from responsibilities of the working world? It’s a kind of euphoria. I’m fighting to stay in that state right now; having returned to work at the beginning of last week. Plus I’ve been given more responsibilities while I was away, which is great but challenging my ability to remain in that high. Still, if I close my eyes and concentrate I can still imagine myself being up early, sitting in an Adirondack chair, sipping coffee and watching the fog lift off the valley below as the sun rised.
While I was away a lot of stories about new routes came out and few other things struck me that I wanted to share:
Activity in the Waddington Range — I have a soft spot for northwestern North America (AK, YK, BC AB, WA, OR) and it’s vertical rock and glaciated terrain, so the news of these five climbers sounds nearly epic. First, Colin Haley — who never does anything small nor sits around for long — soloed Mount Waddington (13,186 ft./ 4,019 m.) and continued over several other peaks in British Colombia’s Coast Mountains. Click here for Colin’s take on his blog, Skagit Alpinism.
Separately, the new routes and attempts on The Blade (10,840 ft./ 3,304 m.), Combatant Mountain (12,327 ft./ 3 ,756 m.) and Mount Asperity (12,191 ft./ 3,716 m.) also caught my attention. For two weeks in August the four-man expedition dealt with route issues, such as frequent changes in the rock that effectively created dead ends. This made free routes difficult but the quest was epic. Click here for more.
New Route the Vampire Peaks — Pat Goodman, who is a thoughtful climber, climbed with Jeff Achey, Jeremy Collins and James Q. Martin in the Northwest Terrritories to put up a new route they named The Phreenix (VI 5.11, 18 pitches) on the Vampire Spire (5,225 ft./ 1,593 m.) For geographic reference, Vampire Spire is very close to the breathtaking yet forboding Cirque of the Unclimbables. You can check out more by clicking here.
Cerro Torre’s 2012 Season — The literature contemplating and comparing the controversies with Cerro Torre’s 2012 season has been in blogs and magazine articles; In fact, I’ve learned a lot since January, including more details of Cesare Maestri’s climb in 1970, where he finished the job of placing 400 or so bolts up Cerro Torre. Jason Kruk’s and Hayden Kennedy’s controversial climb “by fair means” where they knocked off about 100 of Maestri’s bolts, not to mention David Lama’s free climb that came days later, will now be the subject of a new book. According to the 2012 American Alpine Journal, writer Kelly Cordes “is writing a book about Cerro Torre and its 2012 de-bolting.” I’ll be pre-ording that one.
There was a lot of other news too, including climbs on K7 and Great Trango, but the America’s have enough for my imagination to run wild. These aren’t keeping me in the high completely, but they help.