On the 26th May 2014, part of the New Zealand Alpine Team headed to Denali National Park in Alaska for a five week expedition. The expedition has now ended with all team members safely back from Denali.
Sometimes its good to dream. For many years I dreamed of climbing Les Dru in Chamonix. Initially my dream was to climb the Bonatti Pillar. Turns our I had left my first visit to Chamonix to late, by the time I first arrived in Chamonix the pillar had fallen down. My dream crushed into millions of small stones at the base of the Dru’s North Face. However, the dream didn’t die. The Dru still stood and it had plenty of other routes to offer. Each visit to Chamonix I would take a walk up valley and stare at the Dru. Its steep North and West Faces leading to a double pointed summit.
There is something special in the bond shared between alpine climbing partners. When you’re alone on a mountain and being tested and pushed and forced to rely on each other, the emotional strain can break even the closest friendships. But there’s nothing more motivating than watching my climbing partners rise to a challenge, push their limits and take extra risk so we can succeed. When all the members of a team contribute and take their chances to reach a combined goal, it builds confidence and trust that can be drawn on at a later date.