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VIDEO: Two Friends Go For Their Dream Climb In Their Home Range

Author: Blake Herrington

May 16, 2016

I'm proud of this movie because it's not a staged pose-down or recreation. It didn't begin in a marketing meeting while trying to drum up a viral video idea. And it's not a snazzy film project in search of a subject for itself. It's just a day out for two good friends trying to pull off their dream climb in their home range. We had been planning on trying the climb for months, maybe years. But it was just while sitting over a pint at the brewery a day or two before we "went for it" that the idea to film the day really got set in stone.

Although the action takes place over just 24 hours, the foundation for a day like this required literal years of climbing in the range by Jens and myself. We were motivated and tenacious, but aren't good enough climbers to manage something like this in an area where we haven't both "paid our dues." We've both done new routes, first winter ascents, first free ascents, and had many bailures, accidents and close calls in these mountains. We've hiked in and out of the range during blizzards, lightning storms and picture-perfect summer evenings with friends. Being able to put together a day like this requires that just about everything go perfectly, and that we work together to use every trick, routefinding detail, descent shortcut and fast lead that our prior climbing together had led us toward. It will always be one of the most memorable climbing achievements of mine, and was made even more special by the fact that the venue for all these memories didn't require flying around the world. It's just a few miles from where I live and from where the climbing and film were dreamed up.

Blake Herrington

Blake Herrington learned to climb as a teenager while working for a small bakery in North Cascades National Park. His first trips into the mountains instilled in him a familiarity with untraveled alpine choss and a love for remote peaks. Now in his mid-20s, Blake has lived in Denver and Bellingham, before recently settling into the mountain town of Leavenworth, Wash. He has established over two-dozen new alpine routes or first free ascents from Alaska, to Colorado to Argentina. Blake is also a widely-published author, having contributed articles to Alpinist, Climbing and Rock & Ice. He has climbed sport and traditional pitches up to 5.13d, but considers diverse alpine routes the most engaging and inspiring sub-set of climbing. Despite savoring the alpine cooking of many climbing partners, he counts himself among the best camp chefs he’s had the opportunity to climb with.