Risking Everything to Become a “Real” Climber

·1 min read

This article originally appeared on Climbing

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In autumn 2008, I arrived in New Hampshire's White Mountains at midnight, driving fast. I'd grown up in New England--hiking here had been my first exposure to mountains. The wind whipped against the dark trees; the fog and dampness and the memories of being a child here rushed in, my nostrils filling with that humidity. I'd come back east after graduating from Colorado College, in Colorado Springs. A few of the older climbers out west, legends like Jimmie Dunn and Bryan Becker, had all hung out at the crags around the Springs. At places like Turkey Rocks, I'd overhear their stories of guiding out of North Conway's International Mountain Equipment in the 1970s, of runout 5.11, of sandbagged routes, of scary ice, of evenings hanging in swami belts on Whitehorse or Cathedral Ledge.

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