Tag Archives: Articles

The Climbing Life Pointillism on Castle Mountain. Stream-of-consciousness on Denali. Enlightenment and burger grease in Montana. Several ascents of Slawston Bridge. And the story of Tami Knight’s first mountain. Click here to get Alpinist Magazine Issue 35 – Summer 2011

Recently there has been a discussion about raising the permit fee to climb Denali and Foraker from the current $200 USD to up to $1200 USD with a somewhat final suggestion resting around the sum of $500 USD per climber. This decision sparked quite a lively debate on the forums, from the Alpinist Magazine website to Facebook and other forums. Suggestions thrown in were from differentiated taxation to ditching the tax all together as well as requiring certification in order to be able to practice mountaineering. I count myself lucky for having climbed Denali this year while my budget could still accommodate it. My take on this topic however is taking a rather broader view rather than Denali which I see as a symptom. Climbers are of different abilities and financial standing. ‘Technical’ climbers are seldom in excess of cash while CEOs in for a thrilling experience won’t even notice…

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1. It’s been snowing for days and I am going bonkers at the Ski Hill (NE Fork) camp (cca 2400 m alt.). Tent bound since the 13th of June I start doubting I’d be able to get on the “Cassin” on this trip and I’m getting sure my acclimatization is wearing out by the hour now… I’ve listened my music, I’ve read my books, I’ve weighted my options all the while the snow was incessantly falling… Then it’s 20th morning and the sun is shining and the skies are clear. Mark, back at KIA, mentioned something about a break in the weather for the weekend and I guess this must be it. I am weighting my options: go light – no tent, no sleeping bag just the stove, my Sirius down jacket and compressor pants and some bars and gels. Or plan for a three days ascent and go heavy:…

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– What am I doing here? – Inching my way up – what a stupid question! – No – what am I actually doing here,? Like in ‘what the hell’ am I doing here? Still a stupid question – like the classic ‘why do you climb’? Difference is that I have neither a clever remark like Mallory’s nor a soapy one. I don’t even have a moronic answer! – Because it is a stupid question! That’s why! – Then why am I asking it? Here I am, half way up a hundred and something meter wall, it’s pitch dark and I’m nothing than an insect, a firefly with the speck of light from my torch shining on the ice encrusted rock. I am tapping gingerly on anorexic seams of ice and I reach for blind spots – blind as in devoid of light and blind because of overhangs. I’m loving…

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De data asta am avut grija sa pun ceasul sa sune la 4:30 AM si nu PM, cum facusem cu 20 de zile inainte… Am si verificat de vreo doua ori. Vremea se anunta proasta insa speram ca diferentele mari de temperature din ultimul timp imi vor oferi macar beneficiul ghetii. In rest, au englezii o vorba: There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. 27 Februarie 2010 Ora 4:30 AM: suna alarma. N-am dormit prea bine noaptea de dinainte. M-am hotarit sa merg din nou in Costila pe moment, cu o seara inante, cind anulasem o tura in Fagaras, la Caltun. Am impachetat in graba si am baut, toata noaptea, 2L de apa. Justin nu parea prea incintat, mai ales dupa ce aflase prognoza meteo. Mi-am spus ca ajung acolo si iau deciziile la fata locului. Am mincat doua cutii de iaurt cu gem si o…

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29/30 January 2010 I’m at my mother’s house in Northern Transylania – I haven’t been home since Christmas and now, barely arrived from the train station, I’m getting my skis ready. I’m leaving in ’15… When I returned home from Asia, a year ago, I promised longer times at home – a promised I fell short off… In the evening, on the way back, the phone rings. Tomorrow it’s ice climbing – my partner tells me not to worry about a thing: ‘Just bring your axes and crampons. I’ll bring the rest. We are leaving at 7:30am. I’ll call you at 7:00.’ I’m dropping my skis off and I eat dinner. I’m actually talking with mom… true, about my skiing day, but I’m sharing…. I forget to ask though… Phone rings again. I’m off to the pub for a quick drink. 8 jack & coke and several hours later I’m…

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Simbata 1 august si duminica 2 august am incercat parcurgerea solitar a traseului lui Titus Gontea, Ultimatum. Un proiect ambitios, tinind cont ca din ce stiu este prima tentativa de repetare a traseului, s-a dovedit a fi mai mult decit pot eu sa fac in acest moment si am abandonat dupa parcurgerea unei lungimi si jumatate. Pentru mine traseul a fost cam mult – solitar, la vedere si pe o roca pe care nu am rulaj aproape deloc insa o experienta placuta. Fara ajutorul lui Justin si Vasile nu as fi reusit sa ajung la perete si le multumesc inca o data. La fel si lui Titus pentru beta si imi doresc sa aud cit de curind ca o echipa sau un temerar au reusit parcurgerea integrala, dintr-o singura intrare a unui traseu care este, inexplicabil si injust evitat.

Just read this today! Sad but true. We all know money talks and hypocrisy rules, yet it is still quite hard to digest. Of course ‘explanations’ and ‘justifications’ are plenty – we excel at them. We are actually the only species that uses ‘justifications’ and I am too tired and sick of it to argue against the ‘reasonable’ explanations. I’m just sad and disappointed; yet, it doesn’t really matter in the greater scheme of things. Paying clients do, though….

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