The following post was lost in cyberspace. I wrote it on a small phone on the side of Kinabalu at our Easy Camp.
I’m currently in Colorado at the 5Point Film Festival. Located in Carbondale, the festival honors those inspired adventurers who have turned their own individual desire into a determined mission to help others. My dear wife Jenni and I are here to present the Khumbu Climbing School and working with Dr Geoff Tabin at the Himalayan Cataract Project. I’ll snap a few images and post them here.
Tropical Big Walls
It has been two weeks since I left Montana Jenni and the boys. The snow
on the last day is a far cry from the rain we are experiencing today.
Then again we are 39 degrees closer to the equator. Goes with out saying
rain is our constant companion. Not a day passes with out showers. Not
the type that involve soap and warm water rather the variety that soaks
us through and through. Staying dry is a challenge.
Mt Kinabalu is the highest peak in south east Asia and as such is a
destination for hikers and adventure seekers. The standard route is 8.5
km of trail winding up the steep southern escarpment. We have passed
through several levels of forest, all dictated by altitude. The lower
cloud forest is home to colorful singing birds and a canopy of hardwood
trees. Our camp at the head of Easy Valley is at 3857 metres is just at
the edge of the alpine zone. Similar to the northern latitudes the plant
life is stunted by wind with robust leaves and hardy flowers.
Our climbing goal is a 2000 meter granite wall first ascended by a
Spanish team 10 years ago. Progress has been good so far – we’ve climbed
seven very steep pitches. Today is a rest day before we camp on the wall
with portaledges (aluminium cots clipped to the cliff allowing a nights
rest. We’ll start in the morning and make the best of it. Funny thing is
we are here in the “dry” season. Which begs the question of what the
“rainy” season must be like. Hard to imagine more moisture.
This morning Alex Honnold and I hiked to the summit of the Low’s Peak.
It was refreshing to encounter a bunch of hikers getting out for some
exercise and fresh air. It was nice to share the views with them.
Our team of Mark Synnott, Kevin Thaw, Renan Ozturk, Alex and Jimmy Chin
is having tons of fun. Check out http://www.http.borneobigwall.blogspot.com for
some action updates.
Over the past year I have been putting the WS 4 watch through the paces.
From the Himalaya, to the Rocky Mountains and to Malaysian Borneo the
instrument has been a reliable companion. Glad to have the WS 4 along.
Till the next dispatch have fun, be happy and take time to get outdoors
and get the good tidings nature has to offer.
Your intrepid explorer, Conrad