On the last day of 2017, at a trailhead deep in the Black Mountains, the temperature hovers right around 20 degrees. We have a big crew - 10 people bundled up in all the warm clothing they own. Armed with snacks, hand warmers, a thermos of tea, and a flask of bourbon, we're preparing to do a nine mile hike with over 6,000 feet of elevation change in temperatures that will only decrease as we climb higher.Read More
type 2 fun
“So that’s the summit up there,” Jon says, pointing past the top of the ice wall. “This can’t be right.”
While Mt. Shasta is a big, long climb, it is not supposed to be technical. We went the wrong way, and now our only option is to climb down what we just climbed up. I steel my mind. I hate going down. Whether it’s a steep trail or a wall of plastic holds at the climbing gym—going down is my least favorite part.
Breathe through it, I tell myself. Every time I kick in with my crampons, I’m sure that the loose terrain is going to give out below me. My ice axe feels like the only thing holding me to the mountain, and every time I lift it, my stomach muscles clench with fear.Read More
When I look up, Jon is crouched over his pack, staring at me.
“I’m okay." I sound pathetic.
His expression is so intense, and I can tell he doesn’t believe me. I look down at the snow.
“Look at me Marley.”
It is the most serious tone I have ever heard him use. I look up and meet his gaze.
I have known Jon Haas for the better part of a decade. He is one of my favorite people to do anything with: engage in a long, reflective conversation. Collapse into a debilitating giggle fit. Climb a massive mountain. During all our years of friendship I have seen Jon full of joy, frustrated, stressed out, celebratory, sleep-deprived, and stricken by heartbreak.
But I have never seen him like this.Read More
In the ten days that we’ve spent climbing together, Jon and I have learned a lot about each other—how we eat and sleep, how we deal with problems, how we relax, and how each of us approaches climbing a mountain. I love going up the steep stuff. It makes my legs and lungs work hard, and reminds me of the training I’ve done. It makes me feel strong. Jon, on the other hand, likes going down.Read More
I start out in front, well aware that Jon's pace is faster than mine. We hiked ten miles yesterday and I fought to keep up with him the whole time. While I've spent the past three months training for this trip - running hill repeats and stadium stairs, doing circuit workouts, and busting out more pull-ups and push-ups than I've ever done in my life - Jon hasn't trained at all. And he doesn't need to, of course. He's a Haas.Read More