Huge Thanks for the folks who made this trip possible! Patagonia, Powerbar, Tendon Ropes, Petzl, and Icicle Ridge Winery...none of this happens without you!
My fingers ache and my heart beats quick. The packing and cramming is over and psyche is erupting like a volcano. It's officially Patagonia time.
Tomorrow I board a jet plane, cross my fingers, and push towards El Chalten, Argentina. If everything goes smoothly (it certainly may not, but that's part of the fun, right?) I should arrive by mid day Wednesday. It's hard to believe the time to depart is finally here. The training, the working, and the dreaming have given way to the reality of a windswept collection of rimey spikes way down south.
For me, a trip of this magnitude does not fall together easily. In my climbing, as in my life, I have formed special relationships that see me through challenges big and small. None of us can make it alone, that's for sure. I wanted to not only thank all my supporters, but also to specifically point out what they do for me.
Patagonia: While my cams and biners may last a decade, my clothing surely does not. I came into this winter with tattered jackets and blown out layers. One of my largest concerns after Mike Schaefer invited me on this trip was my clothing. Great technical wear is a must, but it's really expensive! Patagonia calmed my anxiety and threw down the best jackets and pants I've ever worn.
Tendon Ropes: Like clothing, ropes don't last forever. I am proud to use Tendon Ropes not only on this trip, but on my daily jaunts to the crags and peaks around my home. A good cord is imperative, especially in a place like Patagonia where wind and coarse granite tears at your line constantly. I am bringing a 9.7 Master down with me, just one great rope in Tendon's line of stellar products.
Powerbar: Anyone who pushes themselves athletically appreciates a tasty and effective bar. As my climbs grow bigger and my training more intense, I have focused a lot of time on finding the best way to stay energized on the go. Laura Omeara, a friend, a Powerbar devotee, and an amazing triathlete (fifth lady overall at the 2010 Ironman Canada!) helped provide me with the best product to push me through long training runs and big routes in wild places.
Petzl: Without a doubt, Petzl creates incredible ice gear, slick low profile harnesses, and amazing hard wear. I love their equipment, but am even more thankful for their generosity in helping me on all my expeditions. They never hesitate to get me what I need and their enthusiasm is infectious.
Icicle Ridge Winery: My biggest supporters (and my employers), Icicle Ridge Winery has set the foundation for my lifestyle. Their flexibility has allowed me to live a climber's life. Not only do they go above and beyond to allow me a schedule that allows me to train and climb, they are friends I cherish and just thinking of them fills me with strength when the going gets tough. Love you guys!
Ok ya'll. It's off to the races. Stay tuned.