Thursday, June 21, 2012

Autumn of 2003

Crossing the Chang Tang

The last week was nothing but a struggle for sheer survival. The daily distances had gone down to about 10 km/day and starved we stumbled towards or goal in the south. The wind and terrain did their best to stop us, but finally we saw the mountain range in the distance where we knew there should be a road.

After 46 days and 1050 km in road less country we reached the southern brink of the Chang Tang. We had lost a lot of weight (13 kg each), were mentally wasted from the uncertainty of making it or not and the frost bite had gone worse.

Anyway, we made it through one of harshest parts of the world and we were the first ever to do it with bicycles. Nadine was the first woman and there has only been one successful attempt before at all.
-Janne Corax (read the rest here)

On the playlist: The Oh Hello's - Lay Me Down
More: Corax: Adventures and Expiditions
More: Janne Corax & Nadine Saulnier: Into The Unknown - Too Tired
More: Martin Aserballe: Chang Tang 2005

Photos by Janne Corax

Monday, June 18, 2012

Teton Packbike

Along Cascade Creek

The crux ended up manifesting itself as a 500ft snow field. Climb it, and cash in on an easy cruise downhill to Driggs. Fail to... Well, who knows, but here I was up in Grand Teton National Park, off trail, alone.

Problem was, the snow was not the same Montana stuff I've been tromping in for the past 7 weeks. This was different. No easy kick steps. Slippery. Icy. Steep.

Funny thing happened though, my mind never engaged in it's usual argument between "Come on, push for it, you'll be fine" and, "You shouldn't be here Ohio boy, your gonna die." I don't think it was just that I knew I didn't have the right equipment (crampons). There was something else there. An intuition not to go further. After realizing how firm the snow field was, I just thought "It's cool. Today's not your day. No big deal."

And that was that. No hesitation. No debating. Not bummed. Actually felt uncharacteristically peaceful about the decision.

Backside of The Grand

Still do.

I know it has something to do with a certain little girl coming to visit for the summer. I pick her up in 10 days from SeaTac, and the last thing she needs is for her dada to be missing in the Tetons.

Stephane Brosse's death this past weekend was a stark reminder of how fast things can go wrong, even for the most experienced. I love being in the mountains, and on one hand, think there's little tragedy dying doing what one loves up there. But on the other, Stephane's kids will never see their dad again, and that's a hard one to swallow.

Me and Tula playing in the mountains. Summer 2010.

On the playlist: A.A. Bondy - Killed Myself When I Was Young
On the playlist: Elliot Brood - If I Get Old
Inspiration: POV Shorts II, Nate Tyler, Part 2

All photos and map design by Casey Greene.
The base map is the one the author used on the trip and was created by Beartooth Publishing. It's highly recommended you check their stuff out.