Saturday, November 19, 2011


The 4 Annual Ice night at the city rock climbing gym in Colorado Springs it was a great event.
This was my 3rd year going to the event, and every year it getting better and better Lots of climbing gear demos from Petzl, BD, Cassim and Evolve make this event pretty fun.
This year I had the opportunity to give a slide show about my last and most recent expedition to Kyrgyzstan. After the Slide show it was time for the competition The route was super fun, about 20 competitors from all over the country. In the end the podium was 3rd place Andres Marin, 2 place Marc Beverly and the winner of this year was Gordon MacArthur. unfortunately it was a DQ on the comp Sam Elias how did the best of all got a DQ because a touch a wrong hole :) Other than that we all had a great times and I'm totally looking forward for next year.

Thanks to all who did the event happen and for all the spectators!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Finally, we are back in the USA after an incredible expedition to Kyrgyzstan. We got to climb two unclimbed peaks as the first American team to reach the Torugart - Too Range. Everything was awesome, the climbing, the people, and the entire experience. I want to thank my partner Phillipe for his great energy. Also, thanks to Mugs Stump and the Mugs Stump Grant for helping us make this expedition possible. Huge thanks to Bluewater, Millet, Petzl, 5.10, Gu, and all our friends and family, you all rock.

Heading to the Denver International Airport, we are super psyched.

In DIA with loads of luggage; camping, climbing (ice & rock) gear, lots of warm clothes and tons of freeze-dried and gu food. All this makes for hefty bags.

It took us two and a half days to arrive in Kyrgyzstan. Once we got there, the real adventure began.

At the market in Bishkek preparing for our expedition, we needed thirty days of food and fuel. Market missions are really cool, colorful, and culturally interactive. They set us up for the mountain experiences to come. It is important to remember everything necessary because there will be no chances to restock.

Road break on the journey from Bishkek to Naryn, five hours of crazy driving.

Dude, which way? With this nuts-o driver!

With our new plans (due to the change of price from our logistical agency) we decided to go to a different mountain range. En-route to the Torugart -Too range we had to stop in Tash Arbat. This is a small yurt village in the mountains. We needed to get beta about the range from a gentleman named Rumenburg and devise a good plan.

Discussing our plans and logistics with the local people. It would take us traveling with four horses in three days to reach base camp.

Free time to hang out and make new friends before leaving the next day.

Time to load up the horses and begin the next part of our adventure.

Horse riding was a unique part of the journey, the landscape was amazing. It was challenging riding in steep and loose terrain.
After our third day of horses, we saw our first views of the range and wild horses, really beautiful country.

Base camp at 3,000 meters. Good spot on dry ground next to a a clear creek.

After a couple days at base camp and a reconisence mission three hours up the valley, we chose this local for our advance base camp, just under 4,000 meters.

Our first objective. The unclimbed (4,800 meter) peak behind me. This mountain is the divide between China and Kyrgyzstan

The climbing started with 500 meters of steep snow, low-angle ice, and mixed climbing that will be taking us to the summit ridge.

The ridge was interesting and a bit sketchy with loose rock and fairly unprotected. This is a photo from the summit which we named in honor of our dear friend Bean Bowers. The celebration of his life was taking place on this day. We miss you brother.

We came down from our first successful mission and got hung up in nine days of poor weather.
When it cleared, and with a good weather window report from Bryan Gilmore (our forecaster from the US) we had a go at our main objective, shown in this photo, the central face of Mustyr Massif.
Our goal was to connect the three faces which are stacked on top of each other. One of the cruxes on the route came quickly in this steep and loose rock section. The protection was marginal. We had to stay focused.

Another crux pitch, an unprotected traverse which Phillipe put a great lead on. The follow was also quite sketch.

Then we hit the ice higher up on the mountain. This allowed us to move a bit quicker.

More ice sections. We are getting higher and higher.
Staying psyched up high!

After 1,300 meters of pure technical climbing we are at the summit. This is only half way, our descent was very complex. We had to cross avalanche terrain and got caught in two slides, which definitely shed light on how much we appreciate our fragile lives.

Advance base camp was hectic and stormy, we found lower ground at base camp. In this image we are unburying base camp.
We waited out the storm. Bryan informed us we had a decent window, followed by a weather system. The next storm cycle came sooner than we had wished, it began to get nasty and we had to descend deciding not to take any more risky chances, since we already got so lucky.

Twenty-three days in these radical mountains, successful and full of lessons, our friends and their horses met us for the return journey.

Reversed the horse ride, reflecting on our experiences and stoked to be alive.

Thanks for all the support! I highly recommend exploring Kyrgyzstan to anyone willing to try something outrageously different. Overall, we had excellent experiences with the people and the mountains.