I'm baaaaaaack in Spain - this time accompanied by a bit of rain. :( It's alright though because we are making it work and still climbing almost everyday. The purpose of my trip this time is to train for a expedition in Morocco that begins May 9. My climbing partner Hazel Findlay and I are preparing to climb a massive 2600ft limestone wall outside the tiny village of Taghia in the High Atlas Mountains. The trip is supported by our sponsor The North Face and will be filmed for a segment in this year's Reel Rock Film Tour, so keep an eye out for a showing near you this fall!
Massive walls in Taghia
Packing for Morocco! (notice the two zip locks full of Nature's Bakery bars on the left!!!)
We are preparing by simply climbing as much as we can, as many days in a row as our bodies can handle, and on varying styles and angles of rock. I am normally accustomed to going to an area and selecting one hard route to try until I succeed, but this time we are climbing easier routes, and lots of them. It's been a nice change from my usual routine and I'm really enjoying myself, despite the torrential rain that's been plaguing us the last few days!
Hazel climbing at Terradets
I also prepared back home in the US before I arrived in Spain to climb with Hazel. I went to Boulder, Colorado (my hometown) to train at Movement Climbing and Fitness with personal trainers/coaches Justen Sjong and Kris Peters. We did a variety of specific training to prepare me both physically and mentally for the stress of climbing such a massive wall.
Training with Kris Peters
I was also in Boulder to help out at the Khumbu Climber Center fundraiser, that was also held at Movement. The KCC is an instructional program for Nepali high altitude workers (i.e. Sherpa on Mt Everest). It teaches them safer climbing practices and skills that helps them make better decisions in the big mountains. They’re the people who spend the most time on the mountain, do the majority of the work, and thus put themselves in greater danger. It’s important that they have the necessary skills to make good decisions and be as safe as possible so they too can go home to their families at the end of every season. The KCC is now in its 10th year of operation and we’re constructing an entirely sustainable, earthquake sturdy building in the village of Phortse (at 12,800ft in the Khumbu Valley of the Himalaya Nepal) to both run the school out of and to house community development projects.
For more information about the KCC and the project here: http://www.alexlowe.org/kcs.shtml - and a HUGE thanks to Nature's Bakery for supplying loads of fig bars to the fundraiser attendees. Everyone was super stoked on them and there wasn't a single bar left over at the end of the night.
KCC Event: Nature's Bakery in da house!!!
Ok that's all for now! I'll update again next month from Morocco!!!!