The Cleanest Line
Kelly Cordes

Kelly Cordes

Kelly specializes in margaritas and maximizing outdoor time. This minimalism influences his climbing, which includes new alpine-style routes in Alaska, Peru, Patagonia and Pakistan. Professionally, a stint at Pizza Hut (flexible hours, free leftovers) led to years of shack dwelling, which, somehow, led to a living climbing, writing and working for Patagonia’s field testing department. He is the author of The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre.

Articles

LOADING
ERROR
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

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

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

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

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

Patagonia Dating

Patagonia Dating

Jun 9, 2011 June 9, 2011

by Kelly Cordes The latest from our friend and frequent contributor, Mr. We have so many ways to connect, and so it brings me great pleasure to present a new idea. We at Patagonia believe that the best connections bring us personal peace and expand our horizons, challenging us as… Read More

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

Cover Story

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

Memorial Day Marg Recipe

Memorial Day Marg Recipe

May 27, 2011 May 27, 2011

I like the idea of dancing skeletons. They seem happy and free. I like dancing, too, though I don’t do it much, at least not in public (be grateful; I just do the same disco moves over and over again while sporting my whiteman’s overbite). But I love the… Read More

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

Big Boy and the Pink Tape Route

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

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

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

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

LOADING
ERROR