The brothers climbed the face. At 4478 meters they stood, triumphant and utterly spent. And yet, there was probably some quiet, persistent voice whispering an unpleasant reminder in the back of their minds: Nice job. Now get down there and ride back home.
Hauling 30-plus pounds of equipment up the 1000m face of Mt. Asgard, Filmmaker Alastair Lee foregoes light-and-fast style in order to produce a film that is visually outstanding and leaves the audience with sweat-drenched palms and a hankering to seek out epic of their own.
Recently, we at Alpinist picked the brains of the speediest climbers to learn more about speed climbing and how it fits into our grade-crazy community. "I think we may have [speed climbed] before we called it that... We were in college, and we wanted to get in as much climbing as we could before classes on Monday."
Since the Piolet d'Or's rebirth, multiple awards have become standard, and it seems likely that on April 15 there could be several given out. Each of the teams exhibited good style in a committing environment. The Piolet d'Or's festivities will run from the weekend April 9-10 through April 16 with evening events open to the public. In an age when guided ascents and commercial fiascos on Everest seem to dominate the mainstream media's view of climbing, honoring the alpinists mentioned above could be a chance to show off the climbing community's values to the general public.
Winter in the Himalaya is difficult for many reasons. Temperatures at base camp can plummet to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and much lower farther up. Because of the cold, climbing at night is virtually impossible, and the days are short. The winds are much stronger and more persistent because of the jet stream, which blows almost constantly from December through the end of March. Tents are constantly being destroyed or blown away. The wind also strips away the snow, exposing rock and hard ice, making easier slopes more technical and time-consuming. Lower barometric pressure leads to less oxygen in the air. The combination of these factors makes for an exhausting, and generally miserable experience.
Recently, we at Alpinist picked the brains of the speediest climbers to learn more about speed climbing and how it fits into our grade-crazy community. "I think it is nice to be able to climb a peak in several hours instead of several days. You don't have to suffer so much."
In the early 1990's Lowe struggled through a divorce, a failed business and deep remorse for neglecting his two-year-old daughter. Needing an escape from this emotional crisis, he made a solo pilgrimage to the Eiger's Nordwand. When one of the world's greatest climbers makes a solo winter attempt on the most legendary north face in the world, an extraordinary story is inevitable.