Alpinism

I have been fascinated with mountains from a young age. I first encountered big mountains as a five year old on a family camping trip to the Canadian Rockies. By the time my family took a few road trips to Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, I was hooked. While the blog section of the site will house most of my current happenings, here’s where you can find highlights, trip reports and pictures from some of my previous climbs from the Western US to the Alps, Himalaya and beyond.

Progression

This section puts my climbing history into a rough timeline showing when I gained important skills and took trips critical to my development.

Approaching the North Face of Longs Peak at 14

Colorado

I have to begin with the place where it all started…Longs Peak. I’m more than a little biased towards Rocky Mountain National Park, but those who’ve been there will understand…it’s spectacular! In addition to quite a few climbs in RMNP, I’ve done some other peaks in the Front Range, Elk Mountains and San Juan Range.

The Diamond of Longs Peak in alpenglow

The High Sierra

The Range of Light has been my home range for the past eight years. Spectacular clean granite, towering domes, glistening alpine lakes, and blue skies…if you don’t like hiking and climbing in the Sierra, it’ll be hard to fall in love with the mountains.

Hiking through Sam Mack Meadow after a traverse of the Palisades

Tien Shan

Following paleoclimate fieldwork in Mongolia during summer 2011, I headed to Kazakhstan to join an international expedition to Khan Tengri (7010m, 23,000 ft) in the central Tien Shan. Meaning “Lord of the Spirits” or “Lord of the Skies”, Khan Tengri is known for its strikingly beautiful pyramid, challenging climbing, and unpredictable weather.

Khan Tengri from base camp

Himalaya

I’d been itching to do a bigger trip for a while, but I’d always assumed it would be a while before I headed to the world’s biggest mountains…but sometimes life hands you an opportunity. In autumn 2010, was invited to join an expedition to 20,761 ft Saribung in remote Upper Mustang in Nepal for a the video series “Ski the Himalayas.” After being turned away from Mustang due to logistical complications, we climbed 20,157 ft Thorung Peak in the Annapurna Region.

Kathmandu’s Durbar Square during Dasain, the most important Hindu and Buddhist festival in Nepal

Alps

There’s a reason it’s called alpinism. In 2009, after teaching a course on geology and climate in Switzerland, Italy and France, I headed to Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Massif to see the birthplace of mountain climbing. I also briefly went to Zermatt for a quixotic attempt on the Matterhorn.

The Aiguille du Midi and Mont Blanc at sunset

Teton Range

I’ve been lucky enough to do a few classics in the Teton Range in between teaching a field course in geology and environmental science. This is truly the iconic American West.

Belaying high on the Owen-Spalding, Grand Teton

Shasta

I figured the High Sierra deserved its own section, as it will always have a special place in my heart, but there is so much more to the California. I still have so much to explore (Trinity Alps, you’re next).

Sunrise from Casaval Ridge, Mount Shasta

2 thoughts on “Alpinism

  1. Dad

    I copied this poem some years ago. It is displayed at one of the visitor centers in Grand Teton National Park. I don’t know who the author is, but if anybody does, please share that information. When I read it, of course, I thought of you, Hari. Perhaps, it best answers the question, “Why does the mountaineer climb the mountain?”

    The Alpinist

    The Alpinist is attracted to high peaks.
    Compelled by the opportunity to grow in the face of adversity and by the uncertainty of success.
    For some the reward lies in the fulfillment of childhood dreams.
    For others who venture into these wild places, the power of the mountains stirs the imagination.

    Reply

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