Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Still getting out, every... single... day...

Erik leads on Pinnochio (M6), on of the best mixed routes on the Tacul.

A good ski-tour in heinous weather with Rob Smith. Rob and Colin were preparing for the Infinite Spur on their Alaska trip this May.

I heard Colin Haley was in town, and I got his contact info from Erik. He was busy, but we managed to get out for a day. Here we are starting a simul-solo of the Mallory-Porter on the Aguille du midi. We climbed 5000 vertical feet in a bit under 3 hours, 3000 ft of which were exposed and (sortof) technical nordwand. I learned alot from (annoyingly) picking his brain, but I think I learned the most from simply watching him climb. He moves with the casual looseness and economy of someone walking down the sidewalk, as he's pulling through full consequence mixed moves, all ropeless. That's the result of 15 years of high-volume in the high alpine. He has got to be one of the fastest and most confident solo climbers around, but he's also a pretty approachable dude. I'm thankful he was able to get out with me, and he answered some pretty weird questions. I'd start watching the newsfeeds for his solo trips if were you.

The Bossons Glacier

John Collis sidesteps through a rock crux on one of the more technical on-piste skis we did. There is a wonderful spine on the Grand Montets that holds powder longer than everything else.
Lots of "foot stuff" was goin down in our apartment.

Here john clears a dead toenail. I was overdriving my feet on a gripped solo on one particularly cold day. The result was two blackened nails. I had a toenail so swoolen that I was willing to consider Erik's glowing hot needle method, apparently popular with runners. The ketatin stuff that makes up your toenails will actually melt and boil. This means you can push a hot needle through, and then into your nailbed, at which point you'll feel it. The pressure was such that blood from my toenail squirted the ceiling of the bathroom. It definitely helped.


The glacial museum in the Mer De Glace.

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