• Reinhold Messner: What I've Learned
  • Listening for the Echo: The Klem Loskot Profile
  • Layton Kor Dies
  • Climbers We Lost In 2012
  • Life on Hold: The Ian Powell Story
  • Rope Jumping with Dan Osman
  • Mike Foley: Never Enough
  • Hayden Kennedy: Superballistic
  • Naomi Guy: What I've Learned
  • Dave Macleod: What I've Learned
  • Thomas Bubendorfer: Eiger Legend Back in the Game
  • Q&A: V15 Maestro Nacho Sanchez Unleashed
  • Francesca Metcalf: Meant to Compete
  • Maurice Herzog Dies
  • Kurt Albert: Free Wheel
  • Mason Earle: Crack Ropegun
  • Mayan Smith-Gobat: Climber for all Seasons
  • John Long: What I've Learned
  • Nik Berry: Obsessive Crusher
  • TNB: Tony Scott, Climber, Movie Maker, Lived and Died Large
  • Who's Next?
  • Todd Skinner: The Renegade
  • Tom Patey: The Tiger of Yesterday
  • Patxi Usobiaga: The Bionic Man
  • Michael Reardon
  • Max Turgeon and Louis-Philippe Ménard: Alpinists and Ice Climbers
  • Kurt Albert: The Climber Who Invented Redpointing
  • Josh Wharton: The Alpinist
  • John Rosholt: Climber and Gambler Disappears in Las Vegas
  • The Stonemasters Climb at Pirates Cove
  • John Bachar's Last Interview
  • John Bachar Remembers Michael Reardon
  • John Bachar by Henry Barber
  • John Bachar Remembered by Duane Raleigh
  • John Bachar by Doug Robinson
  • John Bachar and the Bachar-Yerian First Ascent
  • Colin Kirkus: Climbing's Greatest Unknown
  • Alex Puccio
  • John Long: A Man for All Seasons
  • Galen Rowell: The Vertical World
  • The Prophet
  • The Guy Whose Nuts Revolutionized Climbing: R.P.
  • Randy Leavitt
  • Brian Kim Spotlight
  • Rob Raker
  • Ueli Steck
  • Kemple and Lindner Almost Free El Nino
  • Crack Attack
  • Climbing World Mourns Todd Skinner
  • Ammon McKneely
  • A Tour of Magic and Mystery
  • Tanja Grmovsek
  • Rob Miller
  • Climber Hugh Herr Honored by Esquire Magazine
  • Climber Eric Brand Dies
  • Chuck Fryberger, Climber and Filmmaker
  • Chris Schulte Profile
  • Beth Rodden
  • Joe Kinder
  • Hazel Findlay
  • To the BASE Layer
  • Pete Ward
  • Mad Max
  • Chris Boskoff
  • Bradford Washburn
  • Revenge of the Nerd
  • Chris Lindner
  • Renan Ozturk
  • One-Track Mind
  • Tim Clifford: Escaping the Quantum Hole
  • Traveling Light
  • Colette McInerney
  • The Banner Years
  • Pakistan: The Big and Free
  • MAD DASH
  • Kris Hampton
  • KEEPING THE FAITH
  • Jules Cho
  • Extreme Eleven and Beyond
  • Bob Bates, 96, Takes His Final Journey
  • Jody Hansen
  • Home Girl
  • An Encounter with Fred
  • The Average Hero Sir Edmund Hillary, 88
  • More Than One Trick
  • Dave Graham
  • Red River Sugar Mama
  • Phillip Schaal
  • An Advanced Beginner
  • The Last Samurai:
  • THE BERMANATOR
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  • Offwidth Hombre
  • Moonlight Solo-Nata
  • Jasmin Caton
  • Crag Clown
  • Unlikely Candidate
  • Lone Star
  • The Calculator: Alex Kordick
  • Rise of the Machines
  • Dave Waggoner 1955-2009
  • Blood Spider
  • The Original Desert Rat: Kyle Copeland | 51
  • J-Star
  • Italian Legend: Lino lacedelli | 83
  • Cold Justice Paul Cormier
  • The Suffer King
  • The Need for Speed
  • Nick Martino Gives All
  • G-Money
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  • Bobby Model, 36
  • "Open Bivy" Willy
  • To the Rescue
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  • John Bachar and the Cosmic Surfboard
  • Hand Crafted
  • Return of the Verm
  • Amped
  • Regime Change
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  • Living Legend
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  • Cold Justice
  • Cowboy Anguish
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  • Mixed Rehab
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  •  
    Video Spotlight
    Reinhold Messner part 3: Near dea...
    Reinhold Messner part 3: Near dea...

    Hayden Kennedy: Superballistic

    08-Jan-2013
    By

    Hayden Kennedy comes through a 5.12a chimney pitch, The Divine Bell, Keketuohai Park, China.Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk, ages 21 and 23, had chopped a bivy ledge at the base of the final headwall on the mammoth North Face of North Twin when the storm moved in. Still trying to climb amid snow, rain, spindrift and thin pro the next morning, Hayden had a thought: “Well, maybe we should start thinking about the descent.”

    The pair began rappelling, but found they had to “load up” the fractured limestone with three or four pieces per rap. His next conclusion was, “We don’t have enough to get down.”

    The mythic, looming 5,000-foot face is the hardest in the Canadian Rockies and the site of only three ascents: its FA in 1974 by George Lowe and Chris Jones, the North Pillar by Barry Blanchard and Dave Cheesmond in 1985, and the North Face variation by Steve House and Marko Prezelj in 2004.

    The two youths had arrived to a winter-locked face laced with big corniced mushrooms and delaminating ice. On day one Kruk styled what Kennedy called “maybe the most impressive lead I’ve ever seen. Bad rock, a limestone bulge, two bad Arrows, and a long way to a bad place to fall.”

    The pair made great progress, reaching the final headwall at two-thirds height before being thwarted by storm. Lacking enough gear to rap the face and concerned about avalanches, they recalled a ledge system at half height that might offer them an escape to the Northeast Ridge. They rapped to the ledge, then traversed nearly 10 horizontal pitches. Kennedy recalls the terrain as “really scary,” unprotected and with strange “tension traverses around cornices.” Reaching the relative safety of the ridgeline, the two climbed it until they could access the glacier, where they sat out a cold night, then followed a drainage down.

    Hayden came home to Carbondale, Colorado, calling his experience “soul-cleansing.”

    Son of Julie Kennedy and the leading alpinist Michael Kennedy, Hayden grew up taking long climbing trips to Yosemite, the Canadian Rockies, and overseas to Thailand and Australia. He has climbed as hard as Rifle’s most difficult route, The Crew (5.14c), but Castleton Tower in Castle Valley, Utah, with his father at 13 stoked him for a life of trad climbing: “That was the moment.”

    Graduating from high school in 2009 at age 19, Hayden decided to study at the “University of Yosemite,” and that season linked El Cap and Half Dome, climbed Mount Watkins in seven hours, and led Tuolumne’s Bachar Yerian (5.11c R). In the winter it was south to Argentina, where he and Jason Kruk spent seven hours trying to circumvent a rime mushroom atop the Supercanaleta on Fitz Roy, rappelled for 13 hours, and returned within two days to climb the route in 40 hours town to town.

    By the time this issue comes out, Hayden should be in Pakistan with Kelly Cordes and Kyle Dempster to climb in the Charakusa Valley. 

    Q&A

    What did you learn in Canada?
    It’s all about keeping the psyche, not letting in pain or negativity. Keep a positive attitude, keep going, keep laughing. Not thinking too far ahead, like, ‘What happens if the weather does move in?’ Trying to stay in the present moment and read situations as they come. I’m learning that more and more.

    When did you get so stoked on alpine climbing?
    When you sport climb, it’s awesome, but to me when you succeed in alpine climbing it’s really powerful, because you put in a lot more effort. When you fail, you really think about it, what went wrong—so many steps go into alpine climbing. The failure is really where you learn.

    What do you hope to do in Charakusa?
    [Carefully] Depends on conditions and permitting issues. … I would rather not say. I don’t like publicizing something before you go.

    It’s a dream trip. The area is so big and so beautiful. I fear that maybe because of the political situation Americans won’t always have the opportunity.

    What do your parents think about these alpine trips?
    I think they’re psyched that I’m traveling the world and doing something I love. Well, I know that my mom’s not that psyched I’m going to Pakistan.

    "When you sport climb, it’s awesome, but to me when you succeed in alpine climbing it’s really powerful, because you put in a lot more effort. When you fail, you really think about it, what went wrong—so many steps go into alpine climbing. The failure is really where you learn."They trust my decision-making. And they’ve been through this before [with my father’s trips]. She’s reliving, relearning that now. He’s seeing it from the other side. I bet he sometimes gets really scared because he actually knows. But I’ve gotten great support from my parents.

    What do you think is the greatest thing in current climbing?
    A lot of great things are happening, from sport climbing to alpine. It’s really inspiring to see Adam Ondra and what he’s doing. To see the younger community of climbers getting more into alpine climbing, a resurgence of trad and big-wall climbing. What Alex Honnold is doing is bad ass.

    What do you dislike?
    When people climb a route just to put it on an 8a card. That’s so weird to me. If it’s a good route, it’s a good route.

    The media of the alpine world is getting strange. This new push for these dispatches from the mountain. I just feel that it’s dangerous when you are trying to make these decisions. You might be sitting in basecamp thinking, ‘I don’t want to go up there.’ Maybe I’m wrong but with that camera and other pressures you might feel pressured to go up and ignore what you think.

    When my dad went alpine climbing, those guys could blast off into space, no one would hear about them. They could tell their story when they came back in slide shows and the written word, a book or magazine.

    Hardest aspects of these big trips?
    Learning to fail. You just have to be ready to get shut down. All this money, time, training and effort goes into these trips. But if that’s what happens, that’s what happens. It’s not the end of the world. It’s part of the deal.

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