The Chief Speaks

I’d planned a margarita recipe post, but sometimes these gems arrive and you have to act. At the end of my Opener post, I mused about how some things never change. Indeed…it took him a week, but The Chief responded. Put down your coffee if don’t want to spit it onto your keyboard. Ladies and gentlemen, The Chief speaks:

That is funny as hell, hope you also post a photo or two of yourself with that greasy little “LA Waiter” ponytail you used to sport.

Upon getting lost trying to find the face, we bumbled further until gaining the upper rock wall, where recent storms -- we hadn't been following the weather, of course -- had blanketed all of the holds. We got lost again. Then benighted, and I got hypothermic. The Chief pulled me through, we topped out in a full-on blizzard, descended and promptly started hiking the opposite direction of the trailhead until some hikers turned us around.

Upon getting lost trying to find the face, we bumbled into the upper rock wall, where recent storms – we hadn't checked the weather, of course – had blanketed all of the holds. We got lost again. Then benighted. A major blizzard hit, and I got dangerously hypothermic. The Chief pulled me through, we topped out, descended and promptly started hiking the opposite direction of the trailhead until some hikers turned us around.

Ahh, gimme some time and I’ll send on my own recollections of the notorious “Sketchy Kelly” on that strange but awesome trip…I have vivid recollections of eerie, dream-like fumbling shenanigans high on the face in the dark, with only one working headlamp? My god we were eager.

I was especially proud of our immediate departure back to MT with no sleep after that soggy epic, fueled by whiskey and espresso, talking non-stop driving 80 as you struggled to catch some shuteye. Strange days indeed.

For some reason I am also reminded of a certain trip to Whitefish to my brother’s house where we crawled in the window, you were forced to ingest dangerous chemicals, promptly passed out like a hobo in a snowbank, only to suffer the indignity of my shithead brother positioning his pitbull’s butthole in your face as you dreamed of alpine glory…real classy, eh?

I love the photo of me by the pod, really shows what a swaggering, oily, self-indulgent hair-farmer i was back then…good god man, amazing I could even find the time to take a break from wheedling my old ass into some college girl’s bedroom (remember when i lived with [NAME REMOVED TO PROTECT THE INNOCENT] and her two 20 yr old roommates? Real impressive for a 28 year old unemployed drifter).

“Hey baby, damn you are fine, I’m a great listener, hey, any way I could stay at your place till I figure out my next cool scheme? I got this great idea of importing tiny rugs from India with fractal geometry designs on em, I’m gonna be rich, and if you play your cards right, you could be right there with me…burp”

Months go by….there I am, unemployed, wandering around in my boxers, checking the fridge, draining the last drops of cheap wine into my piehole at 9am, making the other college girls nervous as I lurk outside the shower (girlfriend is at class, of course), rifling through their dresser drawers looking for weed…really classy.

“What, what?” The Chief and the High-Speed Pod getting searched – again – at the border.

“What, what?” The Chief and the High-Speed Pod getting searched – again – at the border.

Ahh, those were the days. Sitting around, jobless, on a weekday, around 11am, day after day, watching the 33 degree stinking drizzle come down…truly an enlightened state aptly known as “waiting to die in Missoula…” and damn was it taking a while! good god, what a time warp. Remember my favorite Missoula expression: “Rip van Winkle Boulevard?” you know, the run-down shack where the best years of your life disappear into a murky useless haze, and you wake up one day with a long white beard, wondering where everyone went??

However, after a few months of lurking in the stinky drizzle, we would occasionally muster the sheer nervous energy to leave the college girl’s mattress on the floor, put the bong down, stop drinking for a few hours (at least until we tied into the 18 pack on the drive up the Parkway), and go north for some kind of “adventure.” I have some hilarious photos of cragging on seracs (real smart) with Bradlar and Keir, they are both wearing orange construction helmets and weird plaid shirts, Keir is using ski boots and absurd, horizontal point “spoon-style” crampons, hacking up the brittle glacier ice with a handful of half-driven screws below…

More on all that later. I almost forgot for a moment that I actually have a job these days….

ps What are you up to this weekend? I am flying to the front range tomorrow to hang out with my awesome, smokin-hot, quirky, brilliant-artist and hilarious girlfriend (yeah, so what if she’s 27, I don’t want to hear any crap from you) for Halloween. Man, things have been so amazing with her, haven’t been so interested in a woman in years, we just spent a blissful few days in Indian Creek, yeah it helps that she leads 5.12 cracks too, “Yeah baby, get that rope up there, daddy needs a toprope lap….” HIYAAAA

–email from The Chief

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~ by Kelly Cordes on October 29, 2009.

4 Responses to “The Chief Speaks”

  1. Ah the Chief. Too classic and just the way I remember him. Timeless. I can only think of the trouble the two of you got into on some of those trips.
    If you guys get it together and are on the front range let me know so I can meet up and say hello to the Chief and Mr. Cordes.

  2. I know, Jason, for sure — I seem to remember you being quite an interesting character on Rip van Winkle Boulevard yourself! Dang, not sure if we’re gonna connect this weekend. But maybe you and I can grab coffee next week.

  3. Oh Jeez, you guys are cracking me up! Missoula did have some good training for sitting in the rain! We got a few things done, and learned a lot. I’m just glad you survived the sketchy Kelly times. Glad the rest of us did too! The post-ice climbing ritual of JoJos at whatever nearest Town Pump were great- entire meals of nothing but grease, carbos, and ranch dressing. Now what’s for the 20-year old college girl not to luv.

  4. The Vulgarians and Stonemasters would be proud. Nothing like climbing on the margins to remember to keep life real. Pretty sure there weren’t many premium margaritas going down in those days. Keep the stories coming- it is great to see what crawls out when you turn over the rocks.

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