Six surgeries in 13 months is a lot, and a lot of recovery and painkillers, and Kelly Cordes will tell you he was a little whacked even before that.An alpine, ice and rock climber, Kelly broke his ankle and pulverized his tib-fib ice climbing. He tore his knee. He destroyed his shoulder. But the worst insult was yet to come.“Leave it to me,” he says,
“Hi Jeff, you don’t know me but my name is Wade Fairley. I’m an adventure photographer and I’ve secured some funding to climb a peak in Irian Jaya. Just to give you an idea, we want to climb a 2,000-foot limestone wall on Ngga Pulu, a sub-summit of Carstenz Pyramid."
The scorched desert expanse surrounding Las Vegas smears together into one terrible brown color as Chris Sharma, Dalia Ojeda, Miguel and I whiz along at 90 miles per hour in an old Jeep Grand Cherokee. The American West, this celebrated frontier, as tame as it has become with commercialism and super highways, is still the last good place I know of for real adventure.
During a hot summer day, while climbing with my friend Dan, I took off my shirt. Sorry, it happens. The muzzle-loading firearm that is my pallid skin shot a round of the sun's white-hot reflection at everyone within range. There was an instant massacre of eyeballs and appetites.
Where are all the dirtbags? I'm not talking about these imposter dirtbags, the new-age lurkers taking up all the parking spots at Camp 4, Indian Creek and Miguel's Pizza with their pimped-out, Direct TV-receiving Sprinter vans that look like college dorm rooms on 26s.