Success on the Moose's Tooth
By Mark Smiley
Janelle and I were very excited to get back into the classic climbing circuit for the fourth year in a row, after an amazing winter overseas. We had spent 90 days in Europe, where Janelle competed in several countries with the best ski mountaineering racers in the world, while I made videos of the experience. The videos can be scene here (episodes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5). In May we flew back to the States, and had 13 non-traveling days to pack and prep for our expeditions to Alaska. This was definitely not enough time, but we made it work. Most of the time I feel like a professional packer, always lugging around at least two fifty pound duffel bags and a way-to-heavy carry on. Life is so rough =)
The first climb on our calendar for the year was the West Ridge of the Moose’s Tooth. This would be our second attempt. In 2010 we tried to climb it but got turned around largely due to Alaska sized intimidation, and horrible snow conditions.
A huge congratulations is in order for Feathered Friends athlete Kristin Gates after she completed her epic journey, traversing the Brooks Range in Alaska. She traveled solo, backpacking and rafting her way from the Yukon border to the Chukchi Sea. We can't wait to see more photos and hear more about this tremendous feat!
Be sure to check out Kristin's Eating Miles for Breakfast blog
Join us August 14th at 7:30pm for an evening of photo, video, and stories with Mark and Janelle Smiley on their endeavor to climb the Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.
2012 and 2013 have been loaded with massive classic climbs. Mark and Janelle will highlight their successes in photo and video from the stunning and seldom climbed South Face of Mt Waddington, cruelly-named Mt Fairweather, classic Alaskan climbing test pieces on Moose's Tooth and Mt Huntington, the uber classic Salathe Wall on El Capitan, and the iconic Mt Alberta.
What: Committed - a Multimedia Presentation by Mark & Janelle Smiley
Who: Mark and Janelle Smiley
Where: Feathered Friends - 119 Yale Ave N, Seattle 98109
When: August 14th, 2013
Cost: $5 at the door (includes a raffle ticket)
Extras: Raffle for goods from La Sportiva, Feathered Friends, and more! Liquid refreshments also on hand. Prints will be available for purchase.
Mt Waddington - South Face - V 5.7
Mt Alberta - Japanese Route - IV 5.6
Mt Huntington - West Face - V 5.9 A2
Moose's Tooth - West Ridge - V
Mt Fairweather - Carpe Ridge - 5.6 AI3
El Capitan - Salathe Wall - VI 5.10 A3
Check out the Smiley's Project - including their progress, videos, and more - online at smileysproject.com
Hope to see you there!
Most climbers (myself included) consider themselves a bit on the fringe. Like salmon, we swim against the flow knowing very well that the reward will be that much sweeter because we refrain from traveling along the path of least resistance. Whether we are plugging our way along an impossibly thin Cascadian finger crack or skinning up an far flung stretch of Alaskan powder, we are sure to earn it every step of the way. When we finally reach our summit, reveling in our own sweat and perhaps a little aftermath of fear, we just smile as the wave of accomplishment washes over us, knowing very well that nobody had to hold our hands to get us there.
It's been a long-standing goal of mine to get down to Joshua Tree. I imagined I would marvel at the 7,000+ climbing routes dispersed among a veritable sea of monzonite granite. The dry air, warm temps and sunny skies are just the thing to revitalize the soul after a long and gloomy Seattle winter. It didn't take much deliberation when choosing this season's location for our Feathered Friend's photo shoot.