Mountain climbers have been famously called, “Conquistadors of the Useless.” They bear this moniker as a proof of motive. To those who climb the planet’s biggest peaks, this is a point of pride. What do we call a climber who flies thousands of miles to find a perfect 35-foot high rock?
In alpine climbing, patience is often a greater asset than fitness. The weather puts a damper on bouldering and the mountains in dangerous condition.
Part of the expedition develops the exceptional boulders at hand and explores the massive rocks up to the 16,000-foot elevation below Huascarán and Chopicalqui in the Cordillera Blanca range in the western Andes. Abbey Smith and Olivia Hsu climb some of the most aesthetic problems of their lives.