29 Comments

My wife had rotator cuff surgery a few years ago. She has a very high pain threshold but she was in terrible agony. At least you're still here, Tom.

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Oy, rotator cuff surgeries really suck! I’ll do my damnedest to never take the knife on the shoulder again. Hope she’s better now; years later, I’m pretty functional.

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Thanks, Tom. She's mostly ok, but it still gives her twinges every so often. Glad you're pretty functional.

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Did you ever lead Mountaineer climbs? I’m kind of wondering if we met before… I did basic climbing course through Tacoma mountaineers in 2016

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I joke that I had my own private Mountaineers group, because two of my closest climbing buddies were very involved in Mountaineers. But not me: I listened to them peenge about the rules and restrictions and I knew I wanted none of that. Luckily, they taught me a lot.

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May 12Liked by Tom Pendergast

Nice description and video - good stills too. 7,000 ' of ascent and descent is a serious days work! I'm curious why you didn't select a route leading down to a nice bowl and just glissade down it using an ice axe as a brake?

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There was no glissading from the top, but we did plenty in the mid-reaches of the mountain. It was a serious day’s work, for sure.

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May 12Liked by Tom Pendergast

Yes, I can believe it. We practised and used that traditional body rappel many times - its a handy technique with no gear.

But as a serious spelunker and climber, I used to wear a harness and carry a whaletail, rack, or figure of eight descender on any climb - ( for those who haven't seen one these are alloy metal devices used to slow down the slippage when going down a rope. Well worth their weight in gold!

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Definitely rued the lack of gear that day, but we started out not thinking we’d make the summit or come anywhere near needing it. I still don’t know a proper rappelling technique and probably will not learn it now. We’d harness up for the big glacier climbs, but luckily never had to use the safety stuff we practiced.

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May 12Liked by Tom Pendergast

Wow, Tom - this was painful, but also very educational to this flatlander. Aching for your shoulders! I have a bad rotator cuff so can commiserate…

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Yeah, I think all of us of a certain age struggle with our shoulders, don’t we?

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The video was incredible. Thanks for sharing, Tom.

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Thanks buddy … almost didn’t need the article, did I?

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Ha! No, you needed both. I read and watched, and it was a different experience for both, but on the whole it was very found footage like. All it's missing is a Yeti sighting.

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I should go around and photograph all the Yeti wood carvings and silhouettes and stuff that are all over the PNW. It’s really silly.

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That would make for an awesome photo documentary with some of your commentary. You'd have at least one happy reader. 🤣

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May 12Liked by Tom Pendergast

Great piece. And I can empathize. As someone who has dislocated both shoulders multiple times, once you significantly injure a shoulder it’s never the same.

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Luckily it’s not like we need to use our arms much 😜

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damn! that's intense. I tore my left ACL and since then that leg has never really been the same. The knee is mostly fine, but it's cause some downstream impacts on my ankles, which also had surgery. the wheels are coming off the bus, i guess haha

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Get ready pal, it's a slow-motion train wreck from here on out. Luckily, I find I don't mind the pain as much as I age.

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"I had never done this before so I made it up...." 🫣

AWESOME post, Tom - and your video is incredible. Mind how you go though, right?!

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May 13Liked by Tom Pendergast

Enjoyable read Mr. Pendergas.. yeah, there is no glassading off the top of that mountain.. unless you are trying to set a record on a decent.. Jumping off with a squirrel flying suit would be cool..

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If you do this, could you please record it on camera?

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I wouldn’t put it past him! In my circle of climbing buddies, Alex is the one who his least troubled by fear or caution

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Our bodies sure do bear the brunt of our great stories, don’t they?

Recently, I had the honor of meeting a very sweet older man who did everything everyone else did except slower. Nothing stopped him, he was just not as fast. He walked with a cane and a heavy limp. He had kindness and miles in his eyes. I talked about my kids and their busy schedules with sports. His eyes lit up in a knowing way as he said that he used to do all those things. He said he did them hard, to the fullest.

It wasn’t remorse that he shared or anything like that. It was a knowing and a wisdom, maybe even a question that he was asking him himself of whether or not he would do it all again.

I think he would do it all again. I think his eyes told me he would do it all over again.

Thanks for sharing your stories, Tom. ☺️

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Thanks a lot Jessica. I hope I’m like that old man … if I ever get old.

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I have no doubt you’ll get there with more bucketfuls of stories to tell!

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I used to rock climb ages ago, and I'm short, so I would usually have to jump for holds that other people could just reach. There was a really big one that was far away, but I decided I would jump, grab it with one hand and hold on as hard as I could. I thought my grip would fail. It didn't. My shoulder did. Ow! Ow! Ow!

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Amy, I’m getting such an appreciation for what an adventuresome person you are from these last couple comments! Jumping for holds sounds really hard. I always avoided rock climbing because I’m a big and I guess heavy guy and it just seemed like a bad match for my body. But it sure looks fun.

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