Thursday, January 21, 2010

TAWOCHE 2k10 dispatches #5

“This is our decision to live fast and die young.
We've got the vision, now let's have some fun.
Yeah it's overwhelming, but what else can we do?
Get jobs in offices and wake up for the morning commute?”

As we told our sponsors before the climb, we’ve gone rogue like Sarah Palin. We are off the grid…

As we wake up battered and depleted, everything points us towards bailing. Only we are too hard headed to concede defeat, not realizing in fact that we are just too stupid to know when to call it. We haven’t had water in a day or so…but who needs hydration anyway? Talking with this degree of cottonmouth makes me sound like I am speaking in tongues…Renan looks at me with confused, puffy eyes. Are we really going up? I am as confused as him…the answer is a surprisingly emphatic ‘yes!’

I dodge rocks as Renan leads through some choss. He short fixes, I jug, dry heave, swing leads, dry heave more, and suck down hard candies like an addict locked in the throes of withdrawals. I can’t wait for the snow, for the water, but we still have hours to go before we get there…if we get there. But the unspoken common ground is that we are down to go up…

As are artists, we are locked in a constant struggle between what we want to capture, and the energy our bodies can afford to give. It’s an instinct to reach for the camera, but one that nearly always falls second to the tasks at hand. Often times, I criticize myself for not shooting more…for not nailing the perfect image…but then again, I am fighting just to move. As athletes, we are succeeding, but as creative individuals, we are flailing…it hurts.

There are multiple points in any given day, during any given hour, or on any given pitch, where I want more than anything to call it in. I want to yell up at Renan that I’ve had it. I can’t swallow, can’t talk…can barely breath, and all of it makes me want to descend. I know he feels the same because I can see it in his face. But our mouths stay shut, moving upwards steadily as a cohesive unit. No, it doesn’t make any sense…but we’ve never pretended to understand. Life is reduced to a consecutive series of familiar motions. Our arms begin to cramp due to lack of fluid. The glands in our mouths stop producing saliva. We are dried up…

All the variables in the equation equal out towards descent. But math was never my strong point…apparently Renan suffers from the same learning disabilities.

c & r


  1. Great vid guys! Amazing those views from the top, excellent footage too!

  2. Summit! Congrats guys. Get back home safe.

  3. Fantastic effort (both climbing-wise and art-wise). Thanks for sharing it.

    Dougald, Colorado MoJo

  4. Awesome climb, awesome footage. If you don't mind telling, what kind of camera are you using on these adventures?

  5. I've been enjoying these dispatches. Mountain Project has Climbing magazine updates on the homepage. Today it read "North Americans Bag New Line on Tawoche Jan 25" and I knew it was you guys. Congrats.

  6. your videos are a pleasure wo watch. evolutionary...

  7. Since Renan and Corey are out in the hinterlands, I can answer the camera question. They shot with the 5d mark ii for much of the approach and then on climb they shot with a Go Pro HD and a GH1. This is a really exciting time for ultra portable HD solutions. Looks beautiful!!!

  8. Great videos guys, I really like the music in all of the dispatches. Keep up the good work, this bring inspiration to a whole new level for me. Thanks.

  9. Thanks for following the adventure, more soon from the Khumbu Climbing Centre--uber sherpa training grounds...

    @owen cory had his 5d on the climb and I had the other pieces Cedar mentioned...

  10. Great story and video. Thanks for the adventure!

  11. Great stuff... and great music! Quasimoto - Boom Music was perfect for the wrap up of the adventure! Many props!

  12. Hi guys, I'm Yuriy from Ukraine. This spring we are going to make a new line on south wall of Tawoche and now are collecting any information. Do you have some more pictures of the wall?
    How long was your descent?