Alaska's Ruth Gorge
Two dear friends of mine, Forest Woodward and Graham Zimmerman--both remarkable and experiences athletes--, invited me on Forest's first trip to Alaska. To the Ruth Gorge. Where I'd had a very specific objective for years.
These two had done trips together all over. I'd never done a trip with either of them. But I love the company of both of them, and had a huge goal in the Ruth Gorge. Our only plan was to have fun. As the most experienced climber, Graham would head up the climbing. I, as the skier, would help handle the skiing. Oh yeah--and one of Alaska's most classic routes, Ham and Eggs, hasn't seen a ski descent since it's first ascent in 1975 by Jon Krakauer's team.
In 2013, while on a shared Denali team, Krakauer mentioned to me the potential feasibility of skiing this ice climbing line. I couldn't forget about it, but also understood how many variables would have to line up in order to allow safe passage. I didn't want to feel too much failure if things didn't line up, which is why a trip with GZ and FW was perfect: a good time was inevitable no matter what.
Unless I got terrible frostbite on my toes while attempting the descent.