One evening at the gym, Josh approached me excited about some crazy trip he wanted to go on. Apparently, all his usual climbing partners were otherwise engaged, and he realized that I, being a grad student, was infinitely available to drop everything, and disappear into the backcountry for over a week. On top of that, he knew I had recently finished my first 50 mile running race, so he assumed I was up to suffer. It didn’t hurt that I apparently have a reputation for smiling a lot: I smile constantly when I’m uncomfortable, and I’m always uncomfortable at the gym because there’s a crazy group of guys, running around in colorful spandex, groping each other. So, given my perceived ability to suffer with a smile, Josh was convinced I would be a good partner. I tentatively agreed to go, and Josh emailed me a writeup by Galen Rowell describing our climbing objective. “Netherworld”? Ok, I was in.