In September 2008, Chad Kellogg and climbing partner Dylan Johnson stood atop 6250-meter Siguniang in Western China after completing the 10,000-foot-long SW Ridge. It was a mind-bending ascent through a massive big wall, a razor edge ridge and high altitude ice climbing. The two friends endured days without water and several sleepless nights. Dylan lost 30 pounds over the course of their ascent. If that sounds epic, it pales in comparison to what Kellogg went through to even return to the mountain that had filled his thoughts for years. During a prior trip, Chad was called home after his wife Lara died in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge. Four months later, he was diagnosed with cancer. Summits fade, routes disappear into alpinists’ memory, but occasionally mountains extend back into life on level ground. Sometimes we don’t just want to climb a mountain. We need to.

Direct download: The_Cowboy_and_the_Maiden.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:41 PM

  • This episode was by far one of the best. What an AMAZING story. So inspiring! I love the background story into the personal lives of the climbers, and this seems to be a recurring theme in the diaries. So often in climbing magazines it\\\'s just \\\"so & so climbed such & such\\\", which is interesting...but lacks the real human dimension that the diaries often add to climbing adventure tales. True, most people never went through the harrowing events that Chad experienced just before his epic summit, but everyone has that particular thing that compelled him/her to go through some sort of an ordeal (although, I must admit that in my case, it\\\'s usually just been curiosity combined with foolhardy gusto!) Keep it coming, Fitz. Love the music issues, too!

    posted by: Feather on 2009-05-11 15:29:00

  • Just found the dirtbag diaries a few days ago, I\\\'ve definitely been missing out. Big thanks to Fitz and Patagonia for this site keep the good work coming.

    posted by: Chris G on 2009-05-02 09:05:00

  • Fitz... wow, something about this particular show really got inside my soul. The things that happened to these guys... I was riveted. Chad, such power and will to continue inspite of the figurative and literal mountain in front of him was/is truly inspiring. Thanks for helping those guys share their amazing story and for the show in general. I really look forward to each show and tell every outdoors and life living person I know to listen.

    posted by: wunnspeed on 2009-05-06 15:13:00

  • Thanks, I\'m glad everyone dug that show. I felt very similar when I heard that story the first time. I\'m glad I was able to help them convey their stories. Thanks for spreading the word.

    posted by: the dirtbag on 2009-05-06 15:51:00

  • Just listened last night...great episode covering an epic of epic proportions. I also read the Newswire last fall, sadly the last one to date. Great work Fitz, and I\'d love to see more episodes that have stories as epic!

    posted by: Scott on 2009-04-26 11:52:00

  • Another amazing piece. Fitz, I am impressed that you decided to dig further after reading the original article and realizing that based on the weight loss of the climbers, there must be an epic story there. I also know Chad and knew Laura, so it was meaningful to hear how Chad has dealt with some really tough times. Chad is a phenomenal person and I wish him the best! Big thanks to patagonia (whom I have supported tirelessly through my outdoor wardrobe acquisitions) for continuing to support your efforts. If they weren\\\'t support the dirtbag diaries I fear these stories wouldn\\\'t be seeing the light of day. And, it is one reason I don\\\'t hesitate to buy their wares. Thanks Fitz. Keep up the good work.

    posted by: Quincy on 2009-05-01 11:50:00

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