BeWild with Colin Haley: From Shuksan to Cerro Torre

Want an inside look at life as a full-time alpinist? Join us April 10 at 7pm as Colin Haley gives you the highs and lows of his last season in Patagonia, and a look back his early years in the North Cascades.
Lace Thornberg Lace Thornberg
March 26, 2015

Trying to plan event with an alpinist is like trying to pin a tail on a kite already in the air. You’re generally limited to catching up with them in quick email bursts whenever the weather has turned foul, then you can expect radio silence during any fair weather stretches.

Working with the exploratory young climber Colin Haley has been no exception, but he’s been ever-so-great about checking in about his upcoming talk whenever possible … even though the weather in El Chalten wasn’t half bad this year and he hasn’t exactly been resting on his laurels since returning to North America. Here are some snippets from out last planning chat:

LT: Where are you using the internet at this moment?

CH: “I'm up in the Canadian Rockies, doing a bit of late-season waterfall climbing, and hopefully some alpine climbing as well if the weather cooperates. My girlfriend, her climbing partner, my climbing partner and I are all crashing at the house of a friend of a friend in Canmore... Needless to say there are a lot of ice screws, crampons and drying gloves scattered everywhere, and we're doing our best to be gracious house guests! It doesn't help that we came prepared for everything from waterfall climbing to alpine climbing to ski touring to sport climbing in Skaha.”

LT: What’s on the docket for you tomorrow? And then …?

CH: “To be honest, we're not sure yet. The Canadian Rockies are a particularly finicky range when it comes to predicting weather and conditions. We're still working on a plan for tomorrow and the days following, and will probably wait for the afternoon update in the weather forecast to finalize any plans. When I take off from the Rockies, it might be for sport-climbing in Skaha (outside Penticton), or rock climbing in Squamish, or back to Seattle. In three weeks, I'm leaving for a 6-week expedition to Nepal.”

 LT: With all the places to climb in the world, why do you keep returning to the North Cascades?

CH: “Mostly because it's home, but also because the North Cascades get more snow than anywhere else! This winter that is obviously not true, but normally it is.”

Information about Colin's Talk

With Shuksan to Cerro Torre as the title of his talk, you might be wondering if he’ll spend more time covering climbs in the North Cascades, or more time taking the audience up routes in Patagonia. According to Colin, his story will be partly about North Cascades and his development as a climber, with the main focus being on his past season in Patagonia, which, he says, “was the most successful climbing trip of my life.”

For more insight into the life of an alpinist and the remarkable wild places they come to know intimately, we hope to see you on Friday, April 10, when Mountaineers Books and North Cascades Institute host Colin Haley at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center at 7pm. Arrive early to enjoy snacks and beverages from the Fremont Brewing Company.

And, if you'd like to volunteer for this BeWild event, or future events in the series, please see this post for more information. 

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