1. a return to a former position, status,etc.
2. a return or response, esp. recriminatory
3. To become fashionable again
I am just leaving the belay on Pitch 5 of Aurora (5.8, A4), a steep, difficult aid line on El Cap. It has been five years since I was last on El Cap, and the experience had left me crippled. The arduous hauling and long descent with the haulbag “pig” was the last straw for my hips, eroded by a career as an alpinist and mountain guide with a passion for running. Two years later, both hips were resurfaced with metal and now, hopefully, I am “good to go.” I am about to clean the pitch distinctly noted as “no fun” on the Supertopo. It takes me way too long to clean the pitch but both my partner and I are patient and we carry on.
[Kitty at belay station, before cleaning the "no fun" pitch. Photo: Kate Robertson]
Kate Robertson loves equipment, so naturally she was drawn to ice climbing and it was in Ouray last winter that I met her. I expressed a secret desire to see if I could return to unfinished goals and a life of adventure. I am afraid of losing my mental and physical “edge” if I have to live with “restricted activities” - I am just not ready to lower the bar. So plans were hatched.
Editor's note: Patagonia Alpine Climbing ambassador Kitty Calhoun began climbing in her home state of South Carolina at the age of eighteen, and started ice climbing in college. Kitty's climbing has taken her from Alaska to the Andes and the Himalaya. She led successful expedition to the West Pillar of Makalu and put up a new route on the West face of Middle Triple Peak in Alaska. Kitty has worked extensively with the Castleton Tower Preservation Initiative and "Chicks with Picks," a series of women's-only ice climbing clinics. She lives in Castle Valley, Utah when she is not out on the road. When asked what she would like people to know about her, she smiles and says, "I'm a mom and a storyteller."