I’ve been on the move for four hours. My first summit, strapped in winter snow, falls further behind me. I step off the ridge into a west facing couloir. Boot skiing and heel plunging morphs into log jumping and running.
Ten years after a brutal fall left him shattered, James Lucas achieved a life-long goal: a free ascent of Freerider on El Capitan in a single day. Jens Holsten reflects on his friend’s accomplishment, and on a life committed to climbing.
Last week, we published a NewsWire by Jens Holsten on the 1,250-foot alpine route he and Vern Nelson Jr. established in the Cascade Mountains in memory of alpinist Chad Kellogg. As a follow-up, Holsten agreed to republish his story Never Ending from Alpinist 47 on his travels with Kellogg in the Cascades and their last climb together in Patagonia.
Over seven days, Jens Holsten and Chad Kellogg made their way across the toothy ridgeline of the Northern and Southern Pickets in the Cascade Mountains. The ten-mile linkup would be one of the longest routes in the Lower 48–had they completed it.