49 Voices John Giraldo of Anchorage

first_imgThis week we’re hearing from John Giraldo of Anchorage. On most days John is working as a supervisor, but in his free time he’s an extreme alpinist.Download AudioJohn Giraldo (Photo by Kaysie Ellingson, Alaska Public Media)GIRALDO: I’m John Giraldo and I do a lot of climbing with as little work as possible in between.I love the adventure and the mental capacity that climbing requires. It’s a really neat marriage of physical and mental aspects.You get like all tunnel vision and you’re just like ‘where are you going to put your hand? Where are you going to put your foot? Where are you going to put your gear?’ Then you get to the belay and you can clip off and just look around and you’re like, ‘Woah! I’m in a crazy place. This is awesome.’Growing up as a subsistence farmer and gardener, we didn’t know about climbing shoes or ropes or anything like that. We were super poor but my dad found this really old REI ice ax from Value Village. With that ice ax I started going after some bigger objectives.I’ve done climbing in the Central Alaska ranges; that’s kinda where I started out. And then I went over to the Eastern Alaska Range a couple seasons ago and did the first ascent on a new route on Mt. Hayes which was a pretty massive undertaking.The Piolet d’Or, the golden ice ax is the translation, they nominate a bunch of ascents worldwide and they have a committee that selects out of those which one will get the golden ice ax of the year. It was a pretty big honor to get nominated. I didn’t even know. It’s not like you submit. Definitely the most difficult thing I have done so far. That was an adventure I’ll probably never forget. Of course the actual ice ax went to some crazy, mega alpinist doing some gnarly stuff but it was pretty cool to just be mentioned in the shortlist.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *