“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with fear. I experience fear plenty—it’s all about how you deal with it.”

When Kelly Cordes moved to Montana in 1992, the mountains carved the shape of his life. He discovered his passion for long alpine routes, soloing and teaming up with climbers who shared his enthusiasm.

“It was something that people damn near whispered about,” says Kelly, who first heard of Mt. Siyeh in the early '90s. “It had this huge mystique and reputation about it.” Swaths of gray limestone he had never seen, besides in photos, lay dormant in his head, a thing of dreams in the realm of the impossible.




The north face of Mt. Siyeh: (1) Kanzler-Kennedy, 1979. (2) Gibisch-Hokanson, 2006. (3) Cordes-Woods, 2008. [Photo] Kelly Cordes