Joel Charles leading on slick quartzite during a wintry ascent of the Medicine Bow Diamond. The "little diamond" rises along the crest of the Snowy Range thirty miles west of Laramie, Wyoming. The wall is at almost 12,000 feet and the rock is known for being extremely sharp--I've shredded too many ropes there---and chossy. (But compared to what they call rock in the Tetons, it's beauty.) Routes range in grade from 5.6 to 5.11. Of course those are summer ratings. In the snow, in the cold, in big boots, everything's just a wee bit more exciting.
Alpinist Renan Ozturk at over 18,000 feet on the north face of Hkakabo Razi, the highest peak in Southeast Asia. Hkakabo Razi has only been climbed once, by Japanese alpinist Takashi Ozaki. Ozaki made three attempts on the mountain before reaching the summit in the fall of 1996. (He did not bring an altimeter so the exact height of the peak is still unknown. Ozaki died on Everest in 2011.) Cinematographer Renan Ozturk, photographer Cory Richards, myself and two North Face athletes, Hilaree Nelson and Emily Harrington, attempted the West Ridge of Hkakabo Razi in 2014, but did not summit. Internecine team conflict combined with difficult gendarmes---like the one in this photo---kept us from reaching the summit.
Pack rafting inside the Kennicott Glacier in Wrangell St. Elias National Park in southeastern Alaska, the largest national park in the United States. All the glaciers in this park are rapidly melting due to human caused global warming. Find the story in the May issue of @smithsonianmagazine pages 36-49.
En route to first ascents in the desert of South Sinai. Camels were the only way to reach the base of Jebel Naja, a 1500 ft granite wall, where we put up two new multi-pitch climbs. Find the story in the May issue of @mensjournal pages 16-20. . . . Photo credit: Kyle Duba
Yours truly on the summit of 20,000-foot Nyambo Konka, in Eastern Tibet. JJ Cieslewicz, hardman from southern Utah, and I made the first ascent of the East Face of Nyambo this past spring. For the full story, check out the January/February 2018 issue of Outside magazine, on news stands now. #outsidemagazine
Alaskan photographer Nathaniel Wilder nearing the summit of Donoho Peak, 6696', in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve. In the background: the Stairway Icefall of the Root Glacier to the right, the Gates Glacier to the left. It's a one-day ascent from Kennecott if you're motivated and manage to avoid the bushwhacking.
This photo of a young Tibetan woman was taken at the Nagchu Horse Festival 100 miles northeast of Lhasa, Tibet. My wife, Sue Ibarra, and I were walking a portion of the ancient and forgotten 1000-mile Tea Horse Road, which once connected Ya'an, in Sichuan, to Lhasa, in Tibet. The Chinese traded tea, an essential ingredient in Tibetan life, for hearty Tibetan horses used to wage feudal wars.
Renan Ozturk trying to relax at 18,400 feet on the west ridge of Hkakabo Razi, the highest mountain in Burma. Coming up along the north face, Renan's feet had become what he called "turn-around cold," so we crossed over to the south face. That evening Renan, Cory Richards and I would bivy further along the ridge, shivering, not sleeping, through the entire night.