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Opinion: Rethinking Risk

In an era in which athletes are willing to take increasingly greater risks in front of the camera, is it ethical for brands to promote and benefit from this willingness? Clif Bar says no for its company. Is this an insult to the athletes, or are they onto something? Professional climber, free-soloist, BASE jumper, and…

Myanmar Climb: Coda – Dispatch #12

After 8 brutally cold and windy days attempting to climb Hkakabo Razi on the Myanmar/Tibet border, the team finally called it quits and is happy to be safely back down enjoying the comforts of basecamp. Here, @renan_ozturk carefully navigates the exposed snow ridge back to high camp above the clouds. Renan, along with @coryrichards and…

Full moon reflections from 11.7. The clouds swirled and danced around the glowing rock in the sky, but never fully revealed it. #MyanmarClimb @camp4collective @thenorthface @natgeo A photo posted by taylorfreesolo (@taylorfreesolo) on Nov 11, 2014 at 11:05pm PST   Mountaineering is indubitably an unhealthy, sometimes even deadly, disease. Like malaria, once you get it,…

Read all the Myanmar Climb dispatches. Trust. More than any other sport on the planet, climbing is founded on trust. There are two reasons for this: first, consequences are life or death; second, you’re always tied to your partner. If your tennis partner blows the volley, who cares. If the tight end misses the quarterback’s…

EDITOR’S NOTE: To read Hilaree O’Neill’s first-person account of the same period of time described below, read the November 11 entry on The North Face’s expedition blog. Another one from #MyanmarClimb. Me approaching the ridge to high camp. Thanks @hilareeoneill for the photo. Still decompressing and recovering but on our way down and warmer thicker…

Photo by @renan_ozturk @camp4collective // #onassignment for the #MyanmarClimb. In the morning we set out to climb from Camp II to Camp III, an exploration into the unknown more than we expected. We ended up taking a wrong turn, which cost us 3 hours of route finding in unprotected snow and loose rock. Plan C…

Long journeys tend to have a few moments that stand out. Often they are the most miserable points. The points when the thoughts of a warm bed and calling it quits start creeping into the back of your head. Day 74 proved to be one of those moments for Amy and me as we work…

Basecamp Dispatches #3: The team is sending and slept last night at Camp II. It started dumping snow today but they are climbing along the west ridge, and spirits are high. Here in BC, I tried to spend more time with our Rawang cooks even though it’s hard to communicate without words. They make fried…

Yesterday morning, the team awoke pre-dawn to gather Juniper and assemble a small Puja ceremony. A few hours later, they embarked – crossing up and over the ridge behind these prayer flags and on to Camp 1 (15,888 ft). #MyanmarClimb A photo posted by taylorfreesolo (@taylorfreesolo) on Nov 11, 2014 at 6:38pm PDT Read all the…

I wasn’t sure if it was relief to get through the jungle, or rather a new sense of intimidation and fear to see the convoluted ridge route leading up to the summit of Hkakabo Razi. The last two days the team has emerged from the palm leaves jungle, through the pine forest, and now into…