JOSH SMITH CLIMB­ING HAFLIN PIL­LAR ( WI4– 5), DU­RANGO. FA: Un­known

Climbing - - CLINICS TRAINING -

Haflin Pil­lar is an ephemeral hid­den gem, hang­ing from a sand­stone lip two miles up a slip­pery trail through a re­cently burned hill­side. It forms and falls with­out warn­ing, so I’ve learned to take a con­fir­ma­tion stroll the day be­fore I in­tend to climb it. On this day, I re­cruited the then- 17- yearold Tyler Gor­don to in­tro­duce him to ice climb­ing and to be­lay while I pho­tographed. Al­ready a strong rock climber and a math whiz, he found the climb­ing en­joy­able, but rather prim­i­tive. Smart kid! This was our last climb to­gether, and I get misty- eyed re­call­ing our fine day out: In 2015, Tyler died in a ju­mar­ing ac­ci­dent on the Nose of El Cap shortly af­ter grad­u­at­ing from CU Boul­der magna cum laude in ap­plied math.

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