…It will give me the confidence to do the first free solo of the legendary Twark Might route F**k the Entire Universe, Who Are Losers but Don’t Know It (VIII WI7 A5+ 5.15c M22X, 1000m)
Until today, I thought the Russians, exemplified by Odintsov’s “Russian Big Walls Project”, were completely unstoppable. Even though Rocky did eventually beat Ivan Drago in the fourth installment of that regrettable series of films, I think we all sort of knew that in reality, the giant Russian would have kicked Stallone’s ass. So, why did my belief in the unstoppable Russians end today? Let’s read a few sentences from a recent trip report posted on mountain.ru.
“Mike Robertson (45) of Wareham, Dorset, the deep-water soloist, photographer and recent Banff award-winning author of Deep Water was arrested on Monday whilst climbing the Eiffel Tower in Paris. “Mike was protesting against Total’s – the French oil company, based in Paris – continued involvement in Burma…”
“The sky was stunningly blue and clear and there was no wind; you only get a few days like this each summer on Antarctica’s highest mountains. Where we expected to encounter snow between the bands of rock we found hard, clear “water ice” similar to that on the frozen waterfalls we had climbed in Europe and North America. As its name would suggest, such ice is formed directly from water, usually running water. It is not the compacted snow or hard blue glacial ice that is almost everywhere else in Antarctica.”
I’m recently a Wyoming Girl, but having spent a few years in the unshorn-leg-hair land of Oregon, this still feels like it hits close to home. The following is excerpted from a larger piece that appeared in the Northwest Mountaineering Journal about last December’s well publicized–or completely over-hyped–series of fatalities on Mt. Hood.