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The Gluttony of Alpine Climbing

30 Sep The Gluttony of Alpine Climbing

Here’s an fun post by Jewell Lund that appeared in the Outdoor Research BlogThe Gluttony of Alpine Climbing:

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“I want to climb in Alaska.” It was late June in Salt Lake City; we were on a sweaty slog through a scrub-oak hillside, aiming for a tiny limestone crag. Kyle was leaving for Pakistan the very next day, and I had just told him how excited I was for him on his upcoming adventure. “Jewell, what is your next adventure?  What do you want to do?” The pictures and stories from Kyle’s trips to Alaska had always enchanted me. As we reached the base of the choss pile, the summer heat overwhelming us, the stark Alaskan peaks imprinted themselves in my mind. “Alaska, huh? You should go.”

“We revisited the subject once ice climbing season was underway in Utah. The winter inversion that chokes the Salt Lake Valley with Beijing-like pollution also creates low-elevation cold temps, which formed ice flows this year that hadn’t been seen in more than 20 years. This was my third season of ice climbing, and I was a woman obsessed. Kyle observed my obsession, and recommended Deprivation on Mt. Hunter as an intro to alpine climbing. Wow, that’s a big ass mountain, I thought when I googled the route. I know there are much bigger mountains, but to me the North Buttress of Mt. Hunter looked huge even in 76kb internet thumbnails. I printed out pictures of the North Buttress and put them where I would see them often. Each time I saw the pictures, a jolt of intimidation would shock me. That intimidation motivated me through many a weight lifting session. This is what I’m training for, I told myself as I deadlifted, picturing Mt. Hunter and trying not to think about my friends having a good time at the pub. The weeks flew by as they always do before a trip, and suddenly we were boarding a plane for Anchorage.”

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