In September 2008, Chad Kellogg and climbing partner Dylan Johnson stood atop 6250-meter Siguniang in Western China after completing the 10,000-foot-long SW Ridge. It was a mind-bending ascent through a massive big wall, a razor edge ridge and high altitude ice climbing. The two friends endured days without water and several sleepless nights. Dylan lost 30 pounds over the course of their ascent. If that sounds epic, it pales in comparison to what Kellogg went through to even return to the mountain that had filled his thoughts for years. During a prior trip, Chad was called home after his wife Lara died in Alaska’s Ruth Gorge. Four months later, he was diagnosed with cancer. Summits fade, routes disappear into alpinists’ memory, but occasionally mountains extend back into life on level ground. Sometimes we don’t just want to climb a mountain. We need to.
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