The Cleanest Line

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Janet Bergman on the relatively casual approach to the Grand Capucin (the big spire in the middle), from the Torino Hut. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Postcards from Chamonix: Sleep Finale

By Kelly Cordes   |   Jul 20, 2011 July 20, 2011

Ahhh, sleep. Sweet sleep. I drifted off to the soothing sounds of a jackhammer. They’re doing construction at the Torino Hut. 24-7 construction. I’ve long thought of loading my music player with tracks of peaceful sounds like waves gently crashing, the pitter-patter of rain, or birds chirping on a… Read More

The happy newlyweds (that’s Max on the left, Zoe on the right) outside the Hotel. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Postcard from Chamonix: Wedding Gifts

By Kelly Cordes   |   Jul 13, 2011 July 13, 2011

“Just follow the scent of love and eternal commitment!” JT said. We were lost already. Or maybe not. “Yeah, c’mon! There’s booze!” Brittany chimed in. Zoe looked beautiful. And Maxime, what a handsome devil, fancy suit and all. And the ceremony? Short and sweet. (Ceremonies in France – at least… Read More

Chip Chace exiting the top-station of the Aiguille du Midi. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Postcard from Chamonix: Totally Casual

By Kelly Cordes   |   Jul 8, 2011 July 8, 2011

“Hot damn, how cool,” I said, flipping my mullet to the side. “Totally casual day in the mountains? Yeah, I’m in. Rock on.” The forecast was for marginal weather, so I met Chip at a very civilized hour – quite civilized, in fact (everyone says “quite”). Time for coffee, breakfast,… Read More

Walker Ferguson coming up the final pitch of the Frison-Roche route on the south face of the Brévent. Photo: Kelly Cordes

Postcard from Chamonix: Access

By Kelly Cordes   |   Jun 29, 2011 June 29, 2011

I’m in Chamonix, France, for a couple of weeks. Weather started bad on the Mont Blanc massif, so we drove through the tunnel and climbed sunny rock in Italy. An 800-foot roadside dome with 40 routes, all bolted. The bolts weren’t too close, nor were they beside cracks. The routes… Read More

Jason Kruk climbing the mental crux of the route, M7-ish choss. Photo: Hayden Kennedy

Getting Satisfaction on the North Face of North Twin

By Hayden Kennedy   |   Jun 22, 2011 June 22, 2011

Today’s post comes to us from Hayden Kennedy about a climb he recently attempted with Jason Kruk. Anyone who’s paying attention these days is blown away by the progression. The talented youth just keep getting after it, and it’s not just in cragging and bouldering. The serious… Read More

From left: Covers of the 1998, 2006, 2007 AAJs.

Cover Story

By Kelly Cordes   |   Jun 2, 2011 June 2, 2011

What makes a good cover? Well, as with most things, that depends. What do you want? Sex appeal? Eye candy? Or are you hoping to convey something more? The story behind the image means something. To me it does, anyway. Since 2000 I’ve been one of the editors of… Read More

Kelly gearing up for his first climb since fall. Photo: Cordes Collection

Big Boy and the Pink Tape Route

By Kelly Cordes   |   May 12, 2011 May 12, 2011

Over the years and all of these injuries, I’ve learned some things about success and failure. I’ve learned that there is one way, indisputable and proven through the ages, to ensure success. You lower your expectations. And so on my first day back climbing two weeks ago, I scanned… Read More

Five Stars for 5-Point Film Festival

Five Stars for 5-Point Film Festival

By Kelly Cordes   |   May 6, 2011 May 6, 2011

Confession: I don’t usually like film festivals. I like the idea, much like I enjoy seeing live music – at least when it’s good, because then it’s great. Sure, you can listen to a Rolling Stones album, but seeing them live leaves you speechless. Not a great comparison, since at… Read More

Good vs. Honesty in the Mortenson Debate

Good vs. Honesty in the Mortenson Debate

By Kelly Cordes   |   Apr 21, 2011 April 21, 2011

I’ve long had this idealistic notion that the ends don’t justify any means. It’s why I’m a stickler for truthful reporting of climbs. The half-truths, clever omissions and misrepresentations we sometimes see – and I learn about too often in my work – are just different forms… Read More

Picture Story: Competency

Picture Story: Competency

By Kelly Cordes   |   Apr 15, 2011 April 15, 2011

A photographic exposition, in which the photographer herein pontificates on the significance of sufficient competency in the face of ample conditions . . . -Ed The joys of competency and individuality – The Chief and I seemed to have the latter down pat, anyway. I suppose… Read More

Picture Story: Conditions

Picture Story: Conditions

By Kelly Cordes   |   Apr 14, 2011 April 14, 2011

Another in our occasional series of posts for the more visually oriented. This one goes out to all those lucky enough to charge off the couch and into the unknown without looking back or thinking twice . . . or doing much thinking at all, for that matter. – Ed… Read More

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