• Neal Barenblat

Mt. Williamson, Sierras, California

Tyler and Kevin Armstrong are very unique mountaineers. I've had the privilege to accompany them now on three climbs. I met them at Denali basecamp to help them prep GoPros for their ascent, climbed alongside them in Peru with Trenton Pasic, and attempted Mt. Williamson - the second tallest mountain in the Sierras behind Mt. Whitney.

This photo is from that third trip. Sure, Kevin and Tyler were (and are) speedier than I am in the mountains, but I also purposely fell behind to capture some shots of them.

In this particular moment, we were headed back to our tent (it took maybe 7 hours to return) after hearing some terrifying thunder. We walked through deep, slushy snow to get back and glisaded down to save some time.

Maybe four minutes after returning to our tents, we experienced a torrential downpour with lightning, hail, and thunder, unrelenting for hours. My tent didn't hold up so well, as I kept moving my things and my self from one side to the other to avoid puddles on the floor.

Tyler has been a kid climber for a long time, already having accomplished six of the seven tallest summits in the world by the age of 12 (I believe). Only Everest remains. Knowing him personally, though, climbing is not his greatest talent. His most impressive feat to date is his personality. He is brave, intelligent, friendly and welcoming into his world. He will talk with you, listen when it's your turn, and keep a positive attitude through adversity. It's always a pleasure to climb with you, Tyler.

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