June 17, 2014
I have been avoiding looking at the clock all evening, but I know it’s late. Szu-ting Yi and I are scrambling to tick off all the last minutes details that leaving the country for several months requires. For the last four years we have spent the summer and sometimes fall in Asia, so we know the drill. We make sure we have our passports with the appropriate visas, bank cards to access cash and everything else will fall into place. Right?Szu-ting and I live an unusual life. For half the year we travel around the Western US working together on writing, photography and filming projects as well as presenting adventure slide shows. We live in a converted van named Magic and try and climb as much as possible. The rest of the year is spent in Asia, leading trekking trips and teaching climbing classes and giving presentations. This year we start off in Beijing China, teaching a course on traditional climbing and giving a few adventure slide shows before heading to the Tibetan Plateau to lead several trekking trips in the Genyen Massif. Then it’s time for some personal expeditioning. In the Genyen Massif there is a striking unclimbed 18,000+ ft. granite tower called Hutsa that we have tried to climb three times. Hopefully, attempt number four will lead to the summit. Next we fly to Szu-ting’s home country of Taiwan to instruct several big wall and rescue classes at the incredibly scenic sea cliffs of Long Dong.
We end our fall season with an exploratory expedition to the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. We will travel by camel to Eej Khairkhan Uul or Mother Mountain and attempt a previously unknown big wall on the north side of the peak. We might not get any sleep tonight, but with 14 hours of flying tomorrow I am not worried!