Drew Thayer / January 29
When you climb in cold places, you quickly learn the value of a lightweight puffy jacket. The promise of a sunny morning can dissolve quickly in the alpine: the wall passes into shadow, belays get long and cold, and the wind picks up. An insulated jacket can make the difference between starting the next pitch excited or shivering. 5 out of 5 stars
[Ryan Jennings was a prolific ice climber, husband and father, and contributor to Alpinist. "Timed Just Right" is a story he wrote for Alpinist.com six months before his death. To learn more about him, read In Memoriam: Ryan Jennings, posted December 31, 2015--Ed.]
A gentle breeze drifts over my bright-yellow bivy bag, tickling evergreen boughs just overhead. We doze beneath magnificent trees, poised at the foot of North Maroon Peak (14,014') thousands of feet above Aspen, Colorado. A pyramid of choss just beginning to shed its winter blanket of white looms over us and now seems in condition for an alpine ascent.
It's April 12, 2015. An understanding of timing mixed with a dash of patience leads to success in the alpine. What can seem impossible, unsafe, illogical or downright stupid can at times be the exact opposite if your timing is right. We're here today because we believe the moment is right to climb a new route. [Photo] Ryan Jennings