It's interesting how the term "epic" has morphed. When I came up, to "epic" or be "epiccing" meant that things had gone horribly wrong. When someone shared a story with it was appropriate for the listener to, at the moment when the headlamp fell or the key #0 TCU rotated out of the crack or the party of gumbys dropped their haulbag on your bivy ledge, say "uuuuugh EPIC!" My younger climbing days were filled with epics from a 20 hour car to car ascent of Solar Slab that included leaving a rope behind in the descent gully and rappel anchors breaking to getting left behind by the SAR helicopter with a group of 3 other guys and a 230 lbs dead body that we had to thickneck out of the backcountry in the dark with no trail. These days people (kids) say "epic" instead of "awesome" which was what my generation said instead of "rad" which replaced "cool."
Try being CEO of "SOE" and having been sledded up to camp 19, and find it to be not stocked with the usual evening meal of lobsters and corn, nor was there a fresh stash of "owz" with nitrous, and that youll have to ascend another 300 feet to camp 20 as the supplies for 19 was botched in delivery and ended up at 20. EPIC mannnnn...Being CEo of SOE isnt an enviable position. The SLED Sherpas were all but thrashed by then so i had to chain them up in a column of 3 for that push to camp 20.It was slow going and my azz got really cold from the poor insulation of my sled seat- EPIC!!.
(Reminder: call for replacements seats via sat phone - Lazy boy or Hoover round contractors)
Epics....okay. Most of my epics have been on descents, I have a habit of pushing alpine routes a little too far, but, so far, not toooo far.
Four day descent from Latok 1 in 1978.
Descent from a winter attempt on the Emperor Face on Mt. Robson in the late 70's.
Eating nothing but monkey while waiting for the boat to pick us up on the Orinoco River in about 1980.
Falling down a flight of stairs, arm in arm with Greg Thomson, in Chengdu, China after too much Maotai in 1981.
Retreat down overhanging North Face of Mt. Wake with Jack Tackle in late 80's.
Retreat from Cerro Torre in a WICKED storm with Greg Crouch in early 90's.
Down climbing from Thunder Mountain after Mal Daly had broken both legs in a 200 ft. fall in 1999.
Retreating during a storm from a new route attempt on the North Pillar of Fitzroy with Thom Englebach in around 2007.
Getting two barbs from a treble hook buried in my thumb while meat fishing in the Wind Rivers in 2013.