Monday, February 16, 2009

Seriously Inspiring Friends!

Wow, a couple of my friends who are on The North Face team are spreading inspiration like pollen in Mississippi in spring right now! My good friend Diane Van Deren is as we speak out in the Yukon right now tackling the Yukon Arctic Ultra 430 mile race. No American woman has ever completed this race, and Diane won the 300 mile version of this race last year (special note- she won outright in that race, and only 1 other guy even reached the finish line!). Temperatures look relatively mild so far, and Diane is cruising! You can follow along with her pretty well here, and get updates on the race itself here.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, another friend and North Face teammate Simone Moro just completed the first ever winter ascent of Makalu in the Himalaya. Coincidentally I just finished reading a climbing book that chronicled a tragic failed winter attempt on Makalu some years ago, so this incredible summit that Simone completed is all the more meaningful for me now. Simone is an incredible guy, full of life, and clearly an amazing climber. You can see some great photos, video, and commentary on his blog (in Italian and English!).

While I've been training pretty hard ever since I found out I got into Hardrock 100, I'm kicking it into an even higher gear now with this new jolt of inspiration. Diane and Simone are incredible! Wow! Hopefully these stories will inspire you as well- go out there and explore!

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