Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Peak Named for Sue Nott

A New Zealand–American team recently had a productive visit to the remote Cordillera Apolobamba in Bolivia, completing half a dozen first ascents on 5,000- to 5,700-meter peaks. The expedition was largely sponsored by the McNeill-Nott Award, an annual grant program established by Mountain Hardwear and run by the American Alpine Club, in honor of the late Karen McNeill and Sue Nott. In a nice touch, the climbers named one summit Punta Nott—it's the peak circled in red on the right in the photo.

This makes at least four routes or formations named for Nott, a remarkable climber from Colorado who died with McNeill while attempting the Infinite Spur on Mt. Foraker in 2006. In addition to Punta Nott, I'm aware of Snotty's Gully on Pharilapcha in Nepal, named by Britons Jon Bracey and Nick Bullock; the Sue Wall route on the Sioux Wall of Ben Nevis, named by the UK's Ian Parnell; and Dang Da 'Dren Pa on Shachun in China, named by Dave Anderson and Sarah Hueniken—the Tibetan words translate roughly as "to inspire, enthuse, and uplift," and the route was named in tribute to Todd Skinner, Karen McNeill, and Sue Nott.

That climbers would name routes on three continents after a friend is ample testimony to the memories she left us. I'm sure other routes have been named for Sue and Karen—if you know of more, please let us know.

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