It appears Keith would like to do as much mountaineering as he can. He wants to then leverage his climbs to help vets and troubled youth.
I feel everything here is an experiment. With this attitude, there are far fewer expectations. We can look at the situation from a fresh perspective.
I’m picking climbs that are plums: they are in different regions, are outstandingly beautiful places, climbs with esthetic lines up the peaks and terrain that would be easier on Keith at this stage of his climbing development.
We are not looking to climb the standard routes. Keith has been injured, but his spirit and fearlessness are still fully intact. I highlight fearlessness, because his tolerance of fear is pretty unique amongst our society. He is brave enough to immerse himself into situations with profound levels of pain. I suspect he is seeking significant physical trials, beauty and a platform to use to reach others needing a helping hand, even if the climb draws him into some serious hardship.
My goal, with these climbs, is to limit danger. Hardship, well, it allows… a certain level of meditation.
Spring 2013 Kiener’s Route, Longs Peak, Colorado
Winter 2013/14 El Altar, Ecuador: Start with the high peaks for a warm-up and acclimatization, in preparation for a traverse of all the peaks of El Altar. It hasn’t been completed (as of October 2012).
Far bigger than that, El Altar is a step into the kind of mountaineering, I feel, Keith has the DNA for: long routes, requiring sustained motivation and a steady focus on the details. It is a relatively short trip, with a big story.