Hey guys. I've definetely been a stranger the past month. Of course, I have the typical excuses. Work, injuries, and a sad lack of climbing top the list. Sound grim? It's not really. I love my job, injuries are part of being an athlete, and taking a break from the vertical always reignites my passion ten fold. I am psyched right now! Below is a small update of the past month or two, including a couple more notes on my trip to Patagonia.
Love my job!
After establishing Rise of the Machines on Poincenot with Joel Kauffman and Mike Schaefer, I had the opportunity to try Exocet on Cerro Stanhardt and the Canadian Route on Fitz Roy. Both ascents ended in poor weather. On Exocet, the weather was just too hot to be climbing ice and Joel got soaked to the bone as a result. On Fitz Roy, Chad Kellog and I also got wet, this time from the more traditional culprit, rain. The day before my flight out of Argentina I scampered up Cerro Solo, alone, admist misty clouds, sun bursts, and snow squals.
Mike jamming on the FA of Rise of the Machines
Joel starting up the AMAZING Exocet Chimney...let the soaking begin!
Approaching Cerro Solo
A nice day in the mountains...on top of Cerro Solo
When I returned home to the States I noticed a lump in the palm of my hand. It seemed to be affecting the movement and limberness of my ring finger on my right hand. Turns out I have Dupuytren's Contracture. Although this is not a good condition for a climber to have, I am determined to work through it. As a result, I have been resting the past month as I learn how to deal with the setback. Ok, I did make the FWA of Dragontail's NE Buttress and made an attempt at the FWA of Colchuck's NE Buttress, but that was it. Alright, i did get out ice climbing a few days too...but really, for the most part I've been chilling! This past week I have eased back into the game, getting some pitches in at Castle Rock and swinging tools in the Rat Creek Valley. It feels good to be climbing again.
Curt Haire swinging tools up Rat Creek
Leading out on pitch 2 of the 500 foot ice route Curt and I climbed yesterday
After I publish this post, I am hopping in the truck, picking up Jessica Campbell from the airport (fresh back from India!), and heading south. We're not fully sure of our plans, but my gut says we'll be climbing splitters in Indian Creek for the next few weeks. We hope to see some familiar faces out there!