Abruzzi was a duke. Cassin was a steel worker. Perry-Smith came from family money. Heckmair was a gardener. The climbing community has always spanned the gap between those with the independent wealth to travel and climb, and those who have forsaken everything else for the mountains. I cannot claim to be as destitute as Heckmair or as dedicated as Cassin, but I always felt some jealousy for my partners' racks of shiny new cams and wiregates. My gear came off the consignment rack of the local gear exchange. The AAC Benefit Dinner was the territory of the higher end leisure class and a strange window into a society many of us at the other end of the spectrum barely understand or know about.
It is more intuitive to pursue "the new" in remote and unexplored mountains, as opposed to a well-known range. "It is often difficult to be alone in the Alps," Barmasse writes, citing the proliferation of guided climbing, staffed huts and ski lifts that bring vacationers to nearly all peaks. Barmasse wanted to experience the "authentic alpinism" that he found in distant mountains to his own backyard range. He wanted to try to keep the spirit of adventure alive, even in familiar and well-trodden territory. "These ancient and maybe old fashioned mountains, if explored from a new perspective, could be a foundation for alpinism of the future."
First light revealed our next challenge; an eight-inch strip of ice transecting the rock band above. We packed up, and I started climbing. A few delicate tool placements and some dry tooling allowed access to the more moderate slope above. Shortly after Jeff began to simulclimb with me, I found myself at another intimidating challenge, another section of vertical, rotten "snice." I did my best to not pull the pitch down on myself and, fortunately, was able to place a cam halfway up.
"I still view my first Whitbred Round The World race in 1977 as my most memorable sailing achievement. I was going out into the unknown. We were out of touch the whole time. Radios didn't work and we had no GPS; I was navigating with a sexton. I just disappeared after the start, and arrived thirty days later in New Zealand."
"[T]here is a lot of common ground (between sailing and climbing)... When you're climbing, the general rhythm is that you have an anchor, a rest and then you scurry to the next spot to put your anchor in. And do it all over again. With sailing, you just stretch out the time scale by some years (and the expense by quite a number of zeros after the comma).
In 2010, Scottish skipper/ex-priest Bob Shepton "lured" Belgians Nicolas Favresse, Olivier Favresse, Sean Villanueva and American Ben Ditto to the coast of Greenland with photos of a virgin wall, whose location he refused to disclose until they hired him to take them there. The climbers put up several new big-wall routes, using Shepton's sailboat—Dodo's Delight—as their floating base camp.
A rope length away from the summit of Ala Izquierda in Bolivia, Isabel Suppe was pulled from her perch on the summit ridge and tumbled 400m. She and her partner spent the following two nights in the open, trying to crawl back to camp. Her partner died of hypothermia during the second night, and she was rescued the next day. One year later, Isabel hobbled to the base of Serkhe Khollu on crutches, and put up a new line on the southwest face of this 5546-meter peak.
Still gripping his axe, Eliot hung over the water. We pulled him back from being crushed. He didn't whine, whimper or scream out; there was no indication of his pain besides the funny way he rolled his next cigarette.