Mike Lewis / July 12
As a guide, I'm often asked what I carry on my harness. In addition to standard climbing hardware, plus prussic cords, a Tibloc, and a Micro-Traxion for glacier travel, I carry a knife. Once my clients see the knife, they often reference Joe Simpson's classic mountaineering epic, Touching the Void. Unlike the moment of decision in the book when Simon cuts the rope to free himself while letting Simpson fall into a crevasse, I carry a knife for other reasons: these include to cut tat, add cordage to existing anchors, and cut the free ends from a stuck rope. 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