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Pros Raise Funds to Support Layton Kor
Mikael Sribhadung takes a self portrait on his fundraiser climb of Mescalito. [Photo] Stewart M. Green
On May 12, Caldwell met Sribhadung in Yosemite, where the Swedish climber had been practicing his aid-climbing systems. A prolific climber in the 1980s and early '90s, Sribhadung is a noted Swedish alpinist.
"We decided to climb Mescalito because it was one of his lifetime goals and it would allow me to do a little free climbing on my free-climbing project," Caldwell said.
The next day they packed a full aid rack and food and water for six days, then climbed five pitches. The second day they climbed another five pitches up steep, leaning cracks which Caldwell called "exhilarating." Discovering that night that a spring storm was brewing, Caldwell and Sribhadung decided to push hard for a four-day ascent, even though most parties take a week to climb Mescalito.
On Day 3, they pressed hard through eight pitches, including the crux. On Day 4, with clouds building, Caldwell and Sribhadung pushed through the last 10 pitches to finish at dusk. They hiked down the next day as light rain filled the valley.
Kor climbing in Arizona. [Photo] Stewart M. Green
"During the climb I tried to imagine what it would have been like to climb these walls without all the technological advantages we have today," Caldwell said. "I am always overwhelmed with admiration for the climbers of the Golden Age."
Green and Davis plan on revamping the website to establish a trust for Kor. Big City Mountaineers in Denver have helped receive donations as proxy, but soon that donation platform will close.
Eric Horst also has hosted his bid winner, a man from Quebec, at the Gunks. The other winners and pros have scheduled days to climb over the summer. Davis's original Castleton winner is from Australia and has planned a trip to Utah in October for the climb.
Kor also has been out climbing, trying to keep his spirits high. According to Green, even though Kor is struggling with the physical and mental effects of kidney disease, "he does have a lot of climbs he still wants to do, and that keeps him motivated and happy."
Eric Horst spent a day at the Gunks with this climber from Quebec to raise money for Layton Kor. The pair climbed numerous classics, including Directissima (5.9, 120'), pictured here. [Photo] Eric Horst
Kor (left) and Scott Baxter spend a day cragging in Arizona. Even as Kor fights kidney disease, he continues to climb. [Photo] Stewart M. Green