The Pleasure and Pain of a Climbing Life

The ups and downs of a life devoted to climbing is always interesting to me. For Kelly Cordes, that life took him to places all over the world like the Trango Tower.

Beneath us, over a mile of air dropped to the glacier. I loved feeling so small.

The roller coaster of his life is incredible. At one point he had injuries and damage to his body so bad he could hardly walk.

Was I still willing to accept the risks I once took? Did I still have the drive?

My birthday arrived two weeks after my surgery. I celebrated alone with a hike. I began walking at dusk, when the last flickering light cast soft hues upon the golden leaves of autumn. Soon I noticed my smile, one that seemed to have left me an eternity ago. The moon was nearly full, guiding me without my headlamp. After an hour, I reached an alpine lake at 10,000 feet in a glacier-carved gorge, surrounded by walls, spires and memories. How long had it been since I could walk even half this far?

Just amazing, I think I'll have to read his book.

The Pleasure and Pain of the Climbing Life

Climbing in Pakistan