March 25, 2009

Awaiting Freedom!

The end of the semester is fast approaching. With lots of work awaiting me, I am doing my best to forge my way through the thousands of pages of reading and a variety of special projects that await my attention prior to May 4th. I made the mistake of looking at Colin Haley's blog the other day to discover that the bugger somehow managed to finish his bachelor's in March, and is now alpine climbing and posting new photos from Chamonix a couple times a week! Here I am, scratching my way out of the depths of the interior Alaska winter, busting through work at the end of the first year of a challenging doctorate program while trying to stay in shape for 6 weeks of expedition climbing that is to occur during the summer months. Makes it hard for a guy to stay motivated. For now, the necessity of remaining in shape for the challenges of these summer trips is almost enough, but the time crunches I am under make scheduling workouts in pretty hard. To keep myself (and whoever else out there also needs to get excited) motivated, I am taking a few minutes out to post a couple motivating photos from the past. Enjoy, and get out and play if you are fortunate enough to have some free time.

Left: Here I am forging a different kind of study plan, climbing Aerial Boundaries (III WI 5+) in WI6 X conditions, Canadian Rockies, 2004.

Photo: Heike Schmitt

Below: One of the most enduring motivations, successfully bailing off a giant mountain (after being hit by a slough while transitioning from rappel to anchor). Our two attempts on Latok II (7200m) have got me psyched to head back to Pakistan someday in the not too distant future.

Photo: Ryan Hokanson

In any case, I am indeed motivated to head back into the mountains and look forward to facing some of the transformative challenges available in our natural world, practicing the art of alpine climbing. I am hoping to head out on two separate expeditions, one big mountain trip to Mount Logan/the St. Elias, and a return trip to the Arrigetch to attempt a couple unclimbed lines that we noticed last year while on a trip there.

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