Date of Birth:
November 1, 1972
What is your primary means of adventure, AKA what gets you most psyched?
Alpine Climbing and Ski Mountaineering
Invent your dream adventure by combining five places, disciplines, pitches, peaks, environments, etc. and stacking them together into a combination. Why did you pick each part?
It would start by taking the first (imaginary) telepherique to climb Birdbrain Boulevard (Colorado), then linking it to the Super Couloir (Chamomix), followed by Shaken Not Stirred (Alaska) and then the Ragni Route (Cerro Torre) with a super cold powder ski descent back to Chamonix for a few drinks with friends. Dare to dream, this would be the ultra modern moderate alpine climb.
Describe 5 climbs, trips, or moments that have defined you as a mountain athlete:
- First ascent of Holtana in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica 2000. An El Cap sized big wall in the most remote location on the planet – such a big adventure.
- First ascent of Imperfect Apparition with Jack Tackle on Mt. Huntington’s Phantom Wall 2005. Such brilliant style on a hard wall with a massive reputation.
- Attempting to solo the West face of Nuptse, Nepal. The act of getting on the wall and putting all the demons behind me was immense. 2010
- Getting flown in to Latok III to perform a rescue of a dying climber near the summit. Getting dropped of at the base and trying to piece it all together. 2009
- Ice Window Route, Mt Kenya in a day, 2013. Such a spectacular route with such a great partner, it pays to always see if things are possible.
Describe your most memorable night in the mountains:
In 2007 a few of us tried to climb K2 in one push. There were about 7 of us, and everything was going very smoothly, there was a bunch of fresh snow but we worked like a great, well oiled machine. We climbed for about 20 hours from base camp to reach the shoulder at 7,900 meters where we realized that too much snow blocked our way and it was best to bivy for a few hours before continuing up to the bottleneck. A night without a tent is a daunting prospect, but as we got settled in just below the crest of the shoulder I handed my stove to someone so I could shovel out a flatish platform. I watched as the stove went directly through his arms, and fell out of our headlamps sight down the south east aspect of the mountain. We all sat there, waiting for a few hours, dividing the water from one stove way too many ways for it to be satisfying. Watching the clouds roll directly overhead, tucked into my down suit hood trying to keep spindrift out I realized that you had better love the art of suffering as much as the ease of the great moments on big mountains.
What has scared or intimidated you as a mountain athlete?
Injury. Not a small injury like when I broke a hip or the some ligament damage, but real injury, life changing catastrophic injury. The amount of rock fall, the number of seracs I have climbed under and the near misses make me all the more focused to be stronger and smarter in the mountains.
What would your adventure partners be most surprised to learn about you from before the time when they met you?
I was a vegetarian for a long time, almost 7 years as a teenager. I am a big fan of good meats (and veggies) these days.
What are your top 5 alltime favorite pieces of CAMP equipment?
Why are you a CAMP athlete?
CAMP is dedicated to make athlete-driven product that function exactly as we want them to. The 130 year history of the company, and continued family ownership made me so proud when I first visited Premana – the Italian village where CAMP’s blobal headquarters are located. I immediately understood the dedication and more importantly, the care the Codega family put into every product. I have been a CAMP athlete for 10 years, and could not have imagined when I started how lucky I would still consider myself today!
It meant a lot to me when I climbed:
- The First Ascent of Holtana, Queen Maud Land, Antarctica 2001 – there is no place like it on the planet, the feeling of isolation and adventure could not be higher.
- First Ascent of Imperfect Apparition, Phantom Wall, Mt. Huntington, Alaska 2005 – Jack Tackle and I were recognized by Rock and Ice Magazine’s 25th Anniversary edition as one of the best 100 routes in the past 25 years.
- Ice Window, Mt Kenya’ southwest face, Kenya, 2013 – a dream come true to climb such an iconic wall.
- Bridalveil Falls, Telluride, Colorado – it was always a benchmark ice climb for me. I still remember the water running through the tube on the second pitch.
- Polar Circus, Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada – Such an iconic waterfall ice route that helped seal my love for alpine climbing.
The adventure, route or race I had to train the hardest for was:
Attempt to climb K2’s south face alpine style, with only one partner. We knew that it was going to be a ton of mixed climbing and very uncomfortable nights which ultimately take their tool on your body.
The adventure, route or race that wrecked me the most was:
The Latok rescue attempt in 2009. I had just finished a K2 expedition and was flown in to the mountain to try and rescue a Spanish climber that had just made a first ascent and was injured up high on Latok III. I worked hard to try and coordinate and then get high on the mountain, but in the end a snowstorm put an end to the attempt. It was hard physically but more mentally. I walked away with permanent physical damage but feeling I wished I could have done more.
I most want an all-expenses paid trip to:
The Garhwal, India. It is a range that holds some of the greatest alpine climbing objectives, with a perfect combination of steep mixed big wall climbing and altitude that is high but manageable! Dare to dream…..
My short list of climbing or adventure goals this year:
- Alpine climb in the Canadian Rockies
- Get my rock climbing fitness back up
- Alpine climb in Nepal