August 16, 2009

The Fresh Air Traverse

Mount Whitney's East Face is perhaps the classic Alpine climbing route in the Sierra, featuring an otherworldly mix of moderate climbing and breathtaking exposure. I had wanted to climb the East Face from the moment I first summited Whitney—but at the time it seemed like a dream that would permanently remain unfulfilled. Last weekend, I got the chance to give it a try with help from Kurt Wedberg of Sierra Mountaineering International.

It was extraordinary. This also happens to be the first trip where I carried an HD video camera (actually two), so I'm working on a bottom-to-top video of the climb. While you're waiting for that, here's a taste of one of the climb's most famous segments...the 'Fresh Air' Traverse.

As you may be guessing, switching from SD to HD video has proven to be a total trip down the rabbit hole. Basically every downstream software/device/system I owned had to be replaced to cope with the file size, plus there's literally a graduate degree's worth of standards and compatibility info to learn. So, I'm beat and my operating budget for the rest of the year has been annihilated. But it's hard to argue with the end result.

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Andy Lewicky

ANDY LEWICKY is a Los Angeles-based writer and photographer who enjoys good books, jasmine tea, long walks in the rain, and climbing and skiing the big peaks of the California Sierra. email | follow



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