February 23, 2009

Dinner and an Eldo

On Saturday I went climbing in Eldorado Canyon with Dane, Rainbow, and Melanie. We hung out in the morning waiting for the previous night's 1-2 inches of snow to melt off the rock so we could climb. This happened quickly as it warmed up into the 50's. Eventually, Dane and I got on Long John Wall. We took turns leading 4 moderate, sustained, and very enjoyable pitches to the top. This is probably my most difficult trad climb to date, and I felt pretty good on it.

That night, I got to join Dane as his date at the annual American Alpine Club Dinner/Benefit in Golden. I thought it was great to be in a room full of old-school and new-school badasses, including the likes of Layton Kor, Johnny Copp, Conrad Anker, and Lynn Hill to name a few. Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the guest speaker, who I admittedly did not know much about prior to the event. Greg Mortenson, former dirt-bag climber and author of Three Cups of Tea, was the guest speaker. He spoke of his grassroots efforts to bring schools and education, particularly to females, in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The effort all began after a failed attempt on K2 when he returned, in very poor shape, to a local village. He was amazed at the kindness these people showed him in nursing him back to health and seems to have been trying to return the favor ever since. At any rate, I'm now going to read the book. It's a great story of how someone with very little financial means can take giant steps in making the world a better place.

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