The room went dark, a single spot light illuminated me, and I began to sweat with nervousness. It felt like 110 degrees due to the room being full of people that would surely rip into me for the potentially embarrassing slideshow. I took a deep breath, stumbled over my words, and attempted to express how traveling to Patagonia was one of the most influential experiences of my life.
Imagery of breath taking mountains and beautiful splitter cracks spoke for themselves. Granite jaws cut through the glacier and into the sky. The peaks towered over me and left me feeling small and insignificant in comparison to their enormousness. A photo with a thin red line marked a passage in which my partner Scott Bennnett and I successfully climbed a new traverse, The North Pillar Sit Start. Clocking in at 2000 vertical meters, the new route joined into Cerro Fitz Roy, and ended up being the longest route in Patagonia.
The short film Viva Patagonia illustrates the adventure that I experienced on a first ascent. Sinking my hands into laser cut fissures, sharing a sleeping bag to save weight, and rapping off of terrible anchors give you a sense of what it was like to experience Patagonia. I felt lucky to share my first real attempt at making a short film and documenting with photos in front of both strangers and close friends. The serrated skyline seen from El Chalten constantly finds presence in my memory. I can't help but think.. what am I going to climb next in Patagonia?
The video below is the footage he shared during the presentation of the first ascent of The North Pillar Sit Start. (A whole video series of his entire trip is further below.)
Yosemite Facelift is an annual event where The Yosemite Climbing Association organizes volunteers to clean up trash in Yosemite Valley and build trails at highly impacted climbing areas. Approximately 1,150 Yosemite Facelift volunteers collected approximately 5,000 pounds of litter and 15,000 pounds of concrete, asphalt, and other large trash, at the ninth annual Yosemite Facelift event in Yosemite National Park.
Here is the video series that Cheyne Lempe shot and edited of the trip he took to Patagonia to climb the longest route there.