Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The North Face and the Trango Towers Passion Expedition

Let's see, do I take this one or that one? Cedar Wright in PakistanPassion. You've either got it or you don't, period. It's not offered in night school, there isn't an MBA course on it and you sure aren't going to pick it up working around passionate people because believe it or not, it isn't contagious like the flu.

Some say The North Face lost it's passion sometime in the early 90's but I've recently been following the Trango Passion expedition sponsored by The North Face and it's clear that their passion for climbing mountains and supporting those that push the limits still exists within. Pointing fingers is far easier than getting out there yourself. Let's face it, we're all a bunch of armchair QB's.

That said, I agree with what The Piton "pointed" out today via the HighSnobiety.com - someone's gotta cut that crap outta the R&D filter. Pass the pink slip, puhleeeze.

Anyway, back to my point, and there is one, comes this post from Cedar Wright (sponsored North Face climber) who with Renan OZturk is in Pakistan climbing in the Boltoro region.
I wish that this dispatch was filled with inspiring tales of success, summits, and glory. But unfortunately, as in all aspects of life...sometimes it's all glory...and sometimes it's all beat down. In this case we're talking 100 percent Grade-A beat down to the ground.

The Trango Towers group - PakistanYup, the last couple of weeks have been a real humbling face-slapping, butt-kicking suffer-fest for Renan and I and the last two days have been the icing on our humble pie. After a week and a half of stormy unstable weather, we jumped on the first clear window in an attempt to reach the two summits of Cat Ear Spire. With little information on the line, we were instantly off route, but forged on, hoping that somehow we could force our way to the summit. I have never climbed at altitude before, and without any acclimatization, found myself nauseous, head achy, and gasping for air. But I sucked it up, quite literally, and we pushed on. One cold shiver bevy later, we managed to push nearly two thirds up the face before the route became too loose and dangerous for the sensible minded. So we bailed, which was a small epic in and of itself, with stuck ropes, and the possibility of being forever plastered to the face of the Cat Ears being the main worries. The exclamation point on the whole experience was a grapefruit sized rock whizzing past my head followed by several others which I dodged like I was in a surreal video game.
After their climb-a-thon in the Ruth Gorge in June, Wright and OZturk are meeting their match - Mother Nature.

Some of the gear from The North Face that is helping these guys survive the beat down are:

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