Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Now and the Near Future

It really has been too long since I last posted on this blog. So cliche in the blogging world, I know. Rather than try and catch up on all that I didn't share about the last several months I'll focus on the present and near-future.

Most exciting is the news that myself, Pat Goodman, and Will Meinen recently received two generous grants to help fund our trip to the Charakusa Valley in Pakistan. I feel really honored to receive the Copp-Dash Inspire Award and the Shipton-Tilman Award for Gore-Tex. I'll be returning for a second time to attempt the unclimbed Southwest Pillar of K7 West. We leave in mid-june and will be in Pakistan for nearly 7 weeks. Needless to say, the psyche is really high right now and we are in full "get-ready" mode.

The Gore-Tex Shipton-Tilman Award!

Pat Goodman (top) and Will Meinen

I just returned from an awesome trip top Red Rocks in Nevada to climb with Pat. Despite having traveled all over the place to rock climb, I had never been to this land of immaculate sandstone. The goal was to cover a lot of ground, getting in as much mileage as possible and refining our systems for moving fast. Red Rocks is great for this. The routes can be long and draining and the approaches are usually around an hour.

Red Rocks with the Rainbow Wall in the back right

A little time-lapse I did in Red Rocks

It was a great training week being constantly on the go. We didn't tackle anything really hard choosing instead to cover a lot of ground. We did get to hit some absolute classics including Epinephrine, Dogma on Mt. Wilson, and the Original Route on the Rainbow Wall. All these are routes I've wanted to do ever since I started climbing. One of the first climbing books I owned was 50 Favorites by Mark Kroese. I remember the chapter on the Rainbow Wall and always had it in my mind to someday do it. Pat and I hiked up there after previously stashing our gear at the base and got the whole route free. The Ro-Sham-bo gave Pat the 2 5.12 pitches and me the .11d pitches. I was psyched to have a no-falls day on such an amazing wall!

Hiking up the slabs to the Rainbow Wall

On the summit of the Rainbow Wall! Cool to be able to top out these features in Red Rocks.;

Now I'm back in Vermont with just over a month to wrap up my training (more on that to come soon!) and get ready for Pakistan in June!

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