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

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Fighting Forty (pt. 4) – Stumbling on Balance

Fighting Forty (pt. 4) – Stumbling on Balance

Jan 11, 2011 January 11, 2011

Part 4 in Kelly Cordes' series about perils and pleasures of aging gracefully while slaying stereotypes (the first three installments are here:1, 2, and 3). After a series of significant injuries – the most recent a severely torn shoulder – Kelly was forced to… Read More

AAC’s Young Gun Awards

AAC’s Young Gun Awards

Jan 5, 2011 January 5, 2011

Last week we posted about some major grant deadlines and mentioned that, contrary to popular notion, most of the grants go to trips other than cutting-edge adventures. In fact, the AAC just announced the latest recipients of their biannual “gateway grant” – the Mountain Fellowship… Read More

The Dog House

The Dog House

Nov 24, 2010 November 24, 2010

In most places, late fall and winter bring real ice. In places like Rocky Mountain National Park, however, the ice sublimates and we typically grovel-up snow-plastered rock. It’s an odd obsession. It also leaves lasting memories. Here, Zack Smith, a friend of Patagonia and a talented all-around… Read More

Media Review (and marg recipe): Eastern Rises

Media Review (and marg recipe): Eastern Rises

Nov 19, 2010 November 19, 2010

Last night I saw the best outdoor film I’ve seen in awhile. It’s about fly fishing. Huh? I’ve never fly fished and, honestly, I never really “got it.” I know there must be something there, though, because even if it makes as much sense to me as drinking margaritas… Read More

Kite Dreams on the Dawn Wall

Kite Dreams on the Dawn Wall

Nov 15, 2010 November 15, 2010

Out there and awesome. That’s what comes to mind when I think of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson on the Dawn Wall. If you aren’t a climbing geek who’s been following, they’re trying to free climb the steepest, blankest part of El Capitan. Read More

Dislocated

Dislocated

Oct 27, 2010 October 27, 2010

After the fifth lower I called “off,” grimaced, untied with one hand and walked cautiously to a flat rock. Dammit, I’m getting sick of this. Across the valley El Capitan rose straight skyward and I sat down, surrounded by dirt, pine and granite. Clouds moved, darkening, signing an incoming… Read More

Airy Ariana and the Cankle

Airy Ariana and the Cankle

Oct 11, 2010 October 11, 2010

Summer left for fall the week before, and my super long shot goal slipped away. So it goes, I told myself, I had an awesome summer and am still months-to-a-year ahead of rehab schedule. Besides, climbing means nothing. OK, OK, let me get this straight: so there’s this hunk… Read More

Granite China – Part Three

Granite China – Part Three

Sep 21, 2010 September 21, 2010

We’ve been reporting on Tommy Caldwell and crew’s trip to northern China’s Keketuohai National Geological Park, rumored to be a granite wonderland – but with challenging access (see parts one and two). Well, it turns out, both rumors proved true. But hopefully the… Read More

Granite China – Part Two

Granite China – Part Two

Sep 13, 2010 September 13, 2010

Details emerge in our second update on Granite China. Did the crew get to climb? Our inside informant (me) uncovered a few details. The reason for the previously spotty details is that, while there, our team had poor phone reception and couldn’t access the World Wide Web. Read More

Granite China

Granite China

Sep 10, 2010 September 10, 2010

The other day we got a voice message from the man himself, Tommy Caldwell, calling from China with an update on their rock scramblin’ explorations. It’s a great crew: Tommy and his wife, Becca; young phenom Hayden “Wu Tang!” Kennedy; master artist, climber… Read More

The Shackboy Labor Day Marg

The Shackboy Labor Day Marg

Sep 3, 2010 September 3, 2010

I love the characters in our world. They color things, make everything interesting, and so often dwell on the fringe. Maybe it was a compliment when my friend, The Chief, got lectured by his father: “When are you drifters gonna move out of the gray area and… Read More

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