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.
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With the recent Thanksgiving holiday and the impending winter holidays, the time for reflection on the prior year is upon us. I’ve been wanting to write this for a few weeks now but have had mixed emotions since this has been simultaneously the most memorable and volatile year of my life. This year I bagged my dream job, met a wonderful woman, and finally graduated school before I turned 30, probably the most significant thing I will do with my life. Sadly, this year we also lost our friends Ben and Gil to their passion while in Peru. I miss them and think about them often, although I am even more saddened to say I never got to know Gil as well I could have. This year I also was diagnosed with bladder cancer. On my 30th birthday. I was rather shocked and disappointed.
This post is an update about the forthcoming Pullharder.org marathon. As you may, or may not, know this year’s race will be held in memory of our friends Ben Horne and Gil Weiss. In this post I am including two things, first is a video of with images sampled from the internet as a tribute to Ben and Gil; Second, is all the pertinent information that you will need for this race. More »
We are very sad to report that we lost two very good friends and amazing climbing partners. Yesterday morning Ben Horne and Gil Weiss’ bodies were found by the search team. They were putting up a first ascent of a new route on the South face of Palcaraju Oeste in Peru. We would like to say thank you to everyone who helped in the search effort in the many ways they could. We are proud to be part of such an unbelievable community.
Camping out in Alabama Hills, LeeAnne and I were planning on heading back to the Whitney region in the next day or two but had no idea what we wanted to do. I was going through guides and the mountain project app on my phone looking for inspiration, and eventually came across a comment by Ben on the Star Trekkin’ page. From there I re-read his TR on star trekkin’ and with new motivation, by the morning it was decided we’d give the Star Trekkin’ – Mithral link-up car to car a shot. It had been a while since my last C2C day, I was overdue for another anyway. More »