(Istanbul airport: confronting a daze with a tiny cup)
Nik and I are en route to Kyrgyzstan, and it’s Big Walls or Bust!! $600 dollars later in excess baggage fees, we meet up in JFK airport within the hour and then it’s Istanbul to Bishkek. On these trips with major logistics, is the mantra ‘one thing at time’ or ‘one thing after the other’?
Pre-Kyrgyzstan, I want to thank the many people who have shown their support or shared stories with me in preparation for this expedition. Your enthusiasm deepen the connection of this trip to the spirit of adventure. I’m so grateful to be able have adventures, to confront unknowns and give my effort. Why Kyrgyzstan? Well, my answer is made up of a bit of the Sir Hillary ‘because its there.’ The rocks look surreal so I must go see for myself. And also, the objective is a logical step–a place that will certainly challenge me and yet I feel like I have been preparing for through out my illustrious climbing and traveling career.
I’ve never been to Central Asia, let alone climbed any big rocks outside of the States and Canada. So while more seasoned adventures tell me it’s straightforward and “not Pakistan,” the adventure feels big and real.
Wish us luck and thank you friends and family for the support and good wishes. Eric Decaria, I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to share all the beta you accumulated of the area. Thanks for hooking us up with gear we are missing (like an aid rack!) and telling Nik to wear a helmet. Many thanks to Christian and the people of Outdoor Research for sponsoring Nik and I, thus easing the financial burden of flying half way around the world. Osprey–we look like seasoned and styled world travelers with your shuttle bags. La Sportiva–we will try our best to stick to the walls. CocoHydro–I’m already drinking the “chronic powder” on the plane and can’t even remember the names of that other electrolyte stuff I used to drink. Kep, your balls are certainly with us. Metolius, Sterling Ropes, Black Diamond, Petzel, we’ll put the gear to test.
Finally, thanks Nik for going on an adventure with me. Your motivation to climb comes from a pure and perrenial source. I hope your joking about not bringing a helmet (sarcasm is hard to read in a text and now that I’m sitting across from him I don’t really want to know the answer). Oh and thanks big sis for your amazing world traveling advice to “hide the homo.” And Lizzy, my stronger kins….love.