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Super sad to hear about the passing of young Canadian alpinist Marc-Andre Leclerc. He and his partner Ryan Johnson had been overdue since last week after climbing a route outside of Juneau Alaska.
Marc was a huge inspiration to me personally despite being such a young alpinist - he embodied the perfect blend of talent, psyche and humility. A true climber’s climber who had a deep love of adventuring in the mountains.
These pics are from when he passed @colinhaley1 and me on his approach up to Cerro Torre before a mind blowing solo of the Corkscrew the next day. In the second photo you can just make out the tiny black dot in the center of the frame - that’s Marc-Andre sending the gnar on a truly epic, Patagonia scale.
I couldn’t believe that he felt comfortable in such enormous mountains. But it seemed like he was just out having a good time.
My sincere condolences to family and loved ones. Marc was a gem.
The Dawn Wall!! Great time at the movie premier at SXSW. So stoked to see the whole amazing tale play out on the big screen. Super inspiring seeing all the hard work @tommycaldwell and @kjorgeson put into the climb over so many years. And such good film making by the guys at @senderfilms and @bigupclimbing. I’m all fired up to go climbing now! Get psyched for The Dawn Wall!
I just climbed Epinephrine in 39:50, which I think is the new speed record (someone correct me if they know of a faster time - all I care is that it beat @bradgobright’s time!) Epinephrine was the first route I ever climbed on sandstone, onsight solo way back in the day. Feels good to improve a bit. Lovely day out in Red Rock!!
@cedarwright’s film from @reelrock are now available on Vimeo to buy or rent. I finally watched Stumped for the first time and loved it! And the bonus features for both films are gold. Way to go @moinmountains for Stumped and @bradgobright for Safety Third. Definitely got me all psyched!
Link in profile.
In 2016 @thenorthface started measuring the carbon emissions of athlete expeditions - our Antarctica expedition this winter marks the first time that those emissions are all being offset through a tree planting project with The Conservation Fund. I personally have been offsetting my travel through @mossy.earth but I’m excited that The North Face as a brand is also trying to lower its impact on the world.
It’s easy to criticize offsets in various ways, but my basic feeling is that we shouldn’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Carbon offsets aren’t a perfect solution, but it’s always better to do something than to do nothing and then complain about how helpless we are to affect positive change in the world.
I’m glad that The North Face is offsetting all expeditions moving forward. Certainly a great first step.
@jimmy_chin photo of @conrad_anker up high on Ulvetanna from #tnfantarctica17.
I’m getting psyched for the Valley this spring. Been spending a lot of time training in the gym and working in various ways - I can’t wait to get back to big, inspiring walls. @bradgobright and Jim Reynolds broke the Nose speed record last season - might have to revisit the Nose a bit... and looking forward to finishing a free project with @sonnietrotter.
There’s nothing more inspiring than Yosemite!
@cedarwright has been posting all these ridiculously long stories about the things we climbed in Antarctica that are dramatic and slightly overstated. I prefer a simple caption for such a stark, simple place: two friends skiing home after a long, character building day out. @thenorthface @jimmy_chin pic. #tnfantarctica17
For everyone telling me to stick to climbing - here’s a climbing pic. And here’s something else to think about: sometimes standing up for your convictions can be harder than overcoming physical fear. Being at the Women’s March made me appreciate the uphill struggle that so many marginalized communities face. They are courageous in a way that I can’t imagine, the least I can do is support their struggle for equality. All humans have the same inherent dignity and rights. Sure, some signs at the rally might be offensive. Some might even be vulgar. But who cares?! Freedom of speech is one of the things that makes this country great but too many people have had to wait far too long to be heard. I, for one, was glad for the opportunity to go and listen.
Honored to be receiving the Underhill Award from the American Alpine Club this year. The dedication to the outdoors of both the staff at the AAC and the other awardees is truly inspiring. I’m excited to join Sally Jewell (!!), Ellen Lapham, John Roskelley, and Margo Hayes (@margojain) at this year’s annual dinner in Boston on February 24th. Come join the party - link in profile.
@americanalpine #aacdinner18 @thenorthface
Too much time climbing in gloves in Antarctica means that now I spend all my time in flight. My fingers are as weak as a little kitten. That’s the real trade off with going on amazing expeditions - it takes just as much time to become a good rock climber again. But it’s all part of the process - gives me a good reason to go sample all the classics in Red Rock again. @samuelcrossley photo. @thenorthface #tnfantarctica17
@cedarwright just sent me all his photos from Antarctica - they do a great job of showing more of the nitty gritty details.
Note the simul climbing, in the snow, in gloves, with a pack, on choss. And if you look closely enough you can see that I’m toproping in my ski boots.
Nothing says sending like gloves and ski boots. I had a moment on this route when I actually thought to myself “I bet no one has ever rock climbed this hard in ski boots before”. People probably have, but I hope I never have to again...
It’s been a great end to 2017 here in Bishop - I’ve been attempting to learn how to rock climb again after a month of easy gloved climbing in Antarctica.
This picture shows me finishing an epic traverse of the Eldorado Roof in Owens with the one and only Peter Croft heckling below. He happened to be in the roof when I climbed my first 5.13b there in 2006. I remember being so excited to meet THE Peter Croft. It felt great to be back in the roof with him a decade later (and feel a bit better at climbing). That’s one of the best parts of climbing - being able to meet your heroes at the crag and play on their routes. Photo: @jasoncurtisphotography
Outrageous hour long belay: @willstanhope
This is how @cedarwright looked after doing the first free ascent of Kintanna (500m? 5.10c?) on our last climbing day in Antarctica. He led the entire mountain in one long simul climbing block - all I had to do was hang on for the ride and top rope to glory. His hands were a bit worse for the wear tho. I mostly climbed in leather gloves.
Behind him is the summit of Ulvetanna, the peak that @jimmy_chin and @conrad_anker put a new route up. All in all a pretty amazing adventure in the Great White South. @thenorthface #tnfantarctica17
Up high on our first ascent of the East Pillar of Stetind, a route we named the Dark Tower (5.10d X). The last pitch was extremely loose face climbing - one of the scariest things I’ve ever led. Ulvetanna looms in the distance. Good times with @cedarwright. Thanks @pablo_durana for the epic drone shot. @thenorthface #tnfantarctica17
The whole team is safely back from Antarctica! What an amazing expedition with @conrad_anker, @sav.cummins, @jimmy_chin, @pfaff_anna, @cedarwright, and @pablo_durana (who took this sweet team photo). I’ll be posting a bunch more pics over the next week or two - lots to think about from the trip. I personally summitted 14 different peaks in two and a half weeks of climbing and our team put up something like 8 or 10 new routes. Crazy adventure! Great times with @thenorthface team. #tnfantarctica17