The Cleanest Line

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Parking lot Limbo. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Halloween Bloodbath (?)

By Kelly Cordes   |   Oct 28, 2011 October 28, 2011

“It’s gonna be a bloodbath!” The words rocked me back to my mullet years in the 80s, back in high school, central Pennsylvania. “Oh my,” Mean Gene would usually add. I’m talking about Mean Gene Okerlund, the rounded, balding, deadpan serious WWF announcer. As you… Read More

Hayden Kennedy in base camp, with K6 rising in the background. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Notes from Pakistan – Part 1

By Kelly Cordes   |   Oct 18, 2011 October 18, 2011

I just returned from seven weeks in Pakistan, where I took a few notes: • Getting from the States to Islamabad went smooth as silk. Best airline ever? Emirates. “Baller,” as Hayden put it. Side note: “Baller” is not, as I’d ignorantly… Read More

Colin Haley walking out from a false start, with the Fitz Roy massif behind. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Tango

By Kelly Cordes   |   Oct 7, 2011 October 7, 2011

Early winter in Estes Park, tourist season finally over and the town asleep, I stood in an empty backroom at a local bar. “Tango,” said Jay, “is the dance of passion. It’s a dramatic cat-and-mouse game – teasing back-and-forth, graceful, seductive.” It’s so fun being a beginner. My girlfriend… Read More

Scott DeCapio at the base of Mt. Hunter after a failed attempt at the French Route on the North Buttress. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Picture Story – Exhaustion

By Kelly Cordes   |   Sep 23, 2011 September 23, 2011

Welcome to the first day of Fall, and a fresh installment in our occasional series of posts for the more visually oriented. For a lot of folks, autumn is the time of the last great hurrah. No bugs, perfect weather, decent daylight. Whether it’s a alpine route or long days… Read More

He’s down there somewhere…. Photo: Justin Woods

Reputations

By Kelly Cordes   |   Sep 16, 2011 September 16, 2011

We traverse a rare and beautiful band of bullet rock, smooth with long reaches and thirty-foot runouts, the universe dropping away to the valley floor. We’re getting close. Justin continues along the line of weakness, toward the northwest ridge 500 feet below the summit of Mt. Siyeh, Glacier National Park,… Read More

Josh Wharton awaiting nightfall on Shingu Charpa, Pakistan. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Nights

By Kelly Cordes   |   Sep 9, 2011 September 9, 2011

The transition to darkness scares me. Fleeting rays of final light linger on the horizon. I stare down thousands of feet, where immense shadows from ice-capped towers overhead cast dark shapes into the valley below. I barely make out the specks of our tents at base camp. A fire starts. Read More

CFS staggering along, only 10 miles to go… Photo: Kelly Cordes

To Suffer Well

By Kelly Cordes   |   Sep 2, 2011 September 2, 2011

I think back a few weeks to when I found my friend Craig 52 miles into a grueling mountain run, wobbling on the trail like a baby deer. He held himself up with his trekking poles, grinned and told me he was fine. Uhhh, you don’t look fine, dude. Read More

Trad Guy Sporto Tips

Trad Guy Sporto Tips

By Kelly Cordes   |   Aug 26, 2011 August 26, 2011

I try to embrace all forms of climbing, and I can learn something from everything. Furthermore, the more things I’m willing to climb, the more fun I can have. Jack of all trades, master of none, baby. Wintertime? Don’t whine, ice climb. Only got a few hours? Clip some… Read More

Enduro Idiot

Enduro Idiot

By Kelly Cordes   |   Aug 17, 2011 August 17, 2011

“You guys are idiots,” Cousin Bob told us over the pay phone. “I’m coming to get you.” I don’t know which I do better, come up with stupid ideas or talk others into doing them. In my defense, I will say that my ideas seem a lot less stupid since… Read More

Spires rising in the Sky Pond cirque, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO. Photo: Kelly Cordes

I Know You

By Kelly Cordes   |   Aug 5, 2011 August 5, 2011

A breeze floats mountain air across my face and triggers of flood of chemicals to my brain. I feel something. Something familiar. I’ve been here before, at different times and in different places. Deep blue water ripples along the lake shore; stout green shrubs stand firm and stubborn against… Read More

Approaching one of the cliffs in Ten Sleep Canyon. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Notes from Ten Sleep

By Kelly Cordes   |   Jul 29, 2011 July 29, 2011

In contrast to the mountains of Chamonix, but in a similar vein of easy access, I recently headed north to a beautiful spot in Wyoming called Ten Sleep. I took a few notes: • The official name is Ten Sleep. I thought my illiterate friends who pronounce… Read More

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