Colorado Mountain Club Blog

Another day on the trail

Tag Archives: world summit series

The Other Side of Fear

Heading up the steep north slopes of Vulcan Iliniza Sur (17,267’) with Jorge Nunez. December 18th, 2012.

As I write this, I am one week out from leaving Denver and heading to Anchorage, Alaska. From there, weather permitting, I’m one more day away from landing on the Kahiltna Glacier and beginning my 13,000 foot ascent (~7000’ to ~20,000’) up the highest mountain in North America. Also as I write this, there are […]

Common Effort of Will and Strength

Mount Rainier (14,410’) High Altitude Mountaineering School Graduation Team at Camp Schurman, July 2012. Photo courtesy of Vern Bass.

Many a mountaineer has mentioned at one time or another that mountaineering is ‘the kind of thing that is fun to talk about when you’re done.’ That is to say, the act of mountaineering, itself, is sometimes the farthest thing from fun. Yet, we do it. Maybe it’s that somehow the suffering creates the reward. […]

When Nobody’s Watching

Starting up Green Mountain (8,150’) outside of Boulder, CO, March 1st, 2015. Photo Courtesy of Jim Berryhill.

  My knee has heeled to the point where I can begin climbing, again, in the variable conditions you get when you leave the safe confines of the gym. When preparing for an expedition, gym work is important as it lets you focus on specific areas of physical improvement within a controlled environment. However, it […]

Six Years in the Making

Me, rappelling into the notch on the east ridge of Mount Bancroft (13,250’) August 30, 2014. Photo courtesy of Jim Berryhill.

“Am I ready? I’m putting in the hours… into planning, into training, into mental preparation. But am I ready?” This is a necessary thought. Certainly, it can be destructive if you let it fester into self-doubt; but without this thought, I would argue that you are lacking a critical reflex of self-assessment. Frankly, it goes […]

Only Half Done

My wife, Kristina, repacking gear from pack to duffel in the parking lot of Mount Rainier (14,410’). July, 2012.

Another Quote from Aristotle: “Well begun is half done.” It’s been a busy two-to-three weeks for team Rocky Mountain Sourdoughs, as we prepare for Denali. The bulk of the team has been out on a few hut trips. I have yet to recover from my knee injury enough to join them. However, I have been […]

The Habit of Excellence

Rocky Mountain Sourdoughs (Denali team) member Jim Berryhill carrying a heavy pack on Mount Beristadt, October 25th, 2014.

Aristotle wrote, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” These words ring true to me, now more […]

On Setbacks

The view from just below Camp Hazard on the rock rib between the Wilson and Kautz Glaciers on Mount Rainier (14,410’). June 18th, 2013.

You may recall from a previous blog post that I’ve had some knee surgeries: three of them, to be exact. I first tore my right ACL in November of 2007, with surgery happening early the next year. That first repair failed six months later, and I had a second ACL reconstruction – or ACL “revision” […]

What’s in a Name?

Denali's summit, June 2013. Photo courtesy of Kelly Greaser

There is an unofficial competition on Denali for best team name. It is my understanding that innuendo usually trumps all else. That being said, given that we are representing the CMC, we thought it best to go another route – pay homage to some of the pioneers of Denali climbing. To that end, one of […]

The Myth of Solutions

Denali traverse plan

If you’ve been reading any of my previous posts, you know that my Denali team and I are preparing to take on the West Rib Cutoff route this coming June. The Cutoff takes the standard West Buttress route from an elevation of around 7500’ up to “14,000’ Camp” (coming into the photo from the left […]

The Line Between Disorder and Order

Members of the Denali team down climbing into the saddle between Apache Peak (13,441’) and Navajo Peak (13,409’): (from left to right) Chris Schuhmann, Sally Wier, Aaron Sallade, Jim Berryhill, Patrick Hutchinson, September 14, 2014. Photo courtesy of Jason Kolaczkowski.

A lot of things about climbing can be viewed as walking a “line between disorder and order.” Admittedly, quite a bit of what we do is a bit out on the edge. That being said, for me personally, climbing is about mitigating risk, not about seeking risk. I’ve written about training as a key component […]

Sharpening the Ax

Sunrise on the Avenue of the Volcanoes: (from left to right) Iliniza Sur, Ilinza Norte, and Corazon from the Northwest flank of Vulcan Cotopaxi (19,347’) Ecuador, December 25, 2012. Photo courtesy of Jason Kolaczkowski.

Every big climb starts with fitness. I’m as big into logistics and planning as any climber, probably more so; but in the end, your body must be able to execute the plan. You cannot see sunrises like the one I was fortunate enough to have as my Christmas present while on Cotopaxi if you can’t […]

How Your 95th Summit Can Be Your 1st


The first thing you hear is a loud grind and then a pop. It’s like the whole of your body vibrates with sound. And then you collapse. That’s what an ACL tear sounds like – at least to you. If you don’t do any damage to your meniscus, then it really doesn’t hurt that much; […]