Before I became an expeditionary mountaineer I had a certain disdain for difficult climbing objectives. They have their place, of course, and I nodded approvingly whenever I read of some thirteen-day spin-drifted, single-cramponed ascent of an untouched Alaskan face accomplished on a week’s food and fuel. I was glad they did it, and not me.
Read the original [pdf] or read the story behind the story here…
I set out on this expedition to Kyrgyzstan as the culmination of several years of obsession with mountaineering, both in practice and in ‘theory.’ I’d read a lot of mountaineering books in my mountaineering club’s library, sampled mountaineering’s subdisciplines in extensive breadth, if not depth, and finally hooked up with some other folks interested in taking on remote mountains.
I found that writing about the expedition helped me take it–and myself–less seriously. My teammates and I posted information before, during and immediately after the expedition at borkoldoy.harvardmountaineering.org. I wrote a somewhat formal treatement [pdf] of the expedition for the American Alpine Club, but by the time I wrote this more personal narrative for Harvard Mountaineering, I was ready to loosen up a bit more.