Climbing a New Route in Zion National Park

Zion climb

When time allowed, in certain situations, I was able to grab little vignettes of our climb together, says photographer James Q Martin of this shot of climber David Lama, a previous Adventurer of the Year, heading with Conrad Anker to the high point of a new route called Latent Core in Zion National Park.

Conrad Anker and David Lama had never climbed together.  They met in Zion to see if they would be compatible partners before going into the mountains together, Martin says, noting that a happenstance meeting in the park afforded him the opportunity to tag along.  I was lucky enough to document their new climb, Latent Core, which was completed over a four-day period.

Despite a string of bad weather and two solid days of rain, the climbers completed the ascent—and remained dry.  The wall seen above was so steep and covered in overhangs that Anker, Lama, and Martin never got wet.

We were all very compatible partners, almost like the odd couple, everybody bringing a different skill set to the table, says Martin, a photographer and filmmaker who specializes in adventure photography, storytelling, and conservation awareness projects.

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