Evolution Traverse


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Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 20, 2010 - 12:24pm PT
George Lowe and I along with 20 year old Ben Lepesant from Luxembourg just completed the Evolution Traverse in two days. Awesome alpine experience which we, luckily, had perfect weather for. George had his 66th birthday on the climb and I celebrated my 67th a few weeks earlier. To complete the climb in two days you need a good route finding nose and you have to solo 99% of the terrain much of it in the you can't fall category. We belayed three short pitches, did 5 raps and zero simul-climbing. It goes on and on ( nine peaks over 13,000 ft.) so a little endurance/conditioning is a good thing.

Big Wall climber
Las Vegas, Nv
Aug 20, 2010 - 12:25pm PT
wow that is rad, man the old guys are gettin out and making the young punks look light....


Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Aug 20, 2010 - 12:31pm PT
Alpine Raven

Mountain climber
Eugene, OR
Aug 20, 2010 - 12:54pm PT
Well done, Jim. That would've been fun to do with you guys. I remember from an earlier post that you were doing this. Any photos to post? Did you find a partner and get on the Hulk as well?


Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Aug 20, 2010 - 12:56pm PT
I turn 30 in a few months, and hearing stories like this inspires me so much and gives solace to the idea of aging. Your a remarkable human Mr. Donini. But wheres the Trip Report with Pics????

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 20, 2010 - 12:59pm PT
George and Ben took some photos which I will get later and post. Ben's 47 year old father did the first six peaks with us, they had done an El Cap route together the week before. Ben is starting the Muir Wall tomorrow- he's a great kid who posts as "Freerider."

Social climber
State of decay
Aug 20, 2010 - 01:00pm PT
That's a huge effort and commitment all the more remarkable in light of your advanced state of decay!
Congrats to all of you. Did that youngster have problems keeping up with you old duffers?

Toyota Tacoma
Aug 20, 2010 - 01:07pm PT
Yah, the weather holding is so key out there! I got booted off the ridge after Mendel last month, and around 12 days ago 2 friends made it all the way to Haeckel in 13 hours just to be snowed off- there were 4 inches accumulated on their tent when they made it back to Darwin Bench.

Nice job Jim, you are still crushing it.

Aug 20, 2010 - 01:10pm PT
Congrats, Jim! That is huge! Leavin us youngsters (and old timers) much to aspire to. Right on!

Trad climber
East Side, California
Aug 20, 2010 - 01:19pm PT
Amazing accomplishment Jim, for all of you. Makes me want to go do it too, I love the long Sierra ridge traverses, but I'm much too scared to solo 5.9 terrain.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Aug 20, 2010 - 01:23pm PT
Awesome. Like everyone else, I'd love to see a trip report.

Also, since I'm already 46 and expecting some new offspring in a matter of days, it gives me hope that others are still out there crushing it when my kids will be old enough to join me.

Old dudes rule.

Ideeho-dee-do-dah-day boom-chicka-boom-chicka-boom
Aug 20, 2010 - 01:40pm PT
I wish I was 65 or 66.

Aug 20, 2010 - 01:49pm PT
That's awesome!!! Big applause!

[To add a little to the challenge factor, Jim hauled me up the Hulk just a couple of days before.]

You were considering doing much of the Traverse in Vibram Five-Fingers--did you try that?

Gym climber
Aug 20, 2010 - 01:54pm PT
How can it be "trad" if you don't place pro?

Excellent. Jealous I am.

Aug 20, 2010 - 02:04pm PT
Wow. Just wow.
john hansen

Aug 20, 2010 - 02:12pm PT
Just out of curiosity, what kind of rack did you bring?

Maybe just slings and biners?

And a #3 blue camalot...?

Trad climber
A trailer park in the Sierras
Aug 20, 2010 - 03:11pm PT
One word: Badass.

I heard some tale of Michael Reardon doing the traverse in less than a day... in jeans no less. Fact or fiction?
Mighty Hiker

Vancouver, B.C.
Aug 20, 2010 - 03:18pm PT
Nice trip!

I take it that the team evolved an intelligent design for the adventure.
Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
Aug 20, 2010 - 04:08pm PT
Very inspiring! Two of the very best still at it.

Makes me reconsider my list of excuses for not attempting such feats.

Roger Breedlove

Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Aug 20, 2010 - 04:42pm PT
Me too, Rick. I am looking for a more robust list.

About died with, "..his 47 year old father..."
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