Sunday, November 27, 2011

Joe Puryear Image Sales to Benefit the Access Fund

On October 27, 2010, Joe Puryear died while climbing in Tibet. Just before he departed for his last adventure, Joe set up the website to feature his photography and make it available for others to purchase and enjoy.

These images are stunning and capture Joe's vision of the world. His enthusiasm and love for exploration are present in each photo and hopefully will inspire others to love and protect these open spaces.

I will be maintaining and updating this site with Joe's complete history of photos. This will be a work in progress. Forty percent of the proceeds from the sale of his photos will be donated to the Access Fund, an organization Joe deeply believed in.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like to see photos from a blog post that are not yet on the website.

Thank you,

Michelle Puryear

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Joe Puryear Images

I've created a new photography website for my images. Check it out at This will officially replace CascadeImages for displaying my images. While this is going to be a work in progress, right now you can check out many of my recent images from climbing trips to Nepal and some of my favorite Alaskan pics. All of the images are for sale and easily purchased in a variety of formats. The images are professionally printed by Bay Photo Lab. I hope you enjoy my work.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

2010 Labuche Kang Expedition

David and I are once again headed back to the Himalaya. For our latest adventure we will be exploring the remote Labuche Kang Massif in Tibet. The range centers around the highest peak Labuche Kang (7,367 meters, 24,170 feet), which has had once ascent via the West Ridge in 1987 by a Tibetan-Japanese expedition. Nearby are a few more 7,000-meter peaks and many peaks in the high 6,000-meters. Many of these peaks are unclimbed. This little-known range has had only three documented expeditions.

Our plan is to head into the south side of Labuche Kang (aka Lapche Kang, Lobuche Kang, Choksiam) and make our way to below the giant south faces of the massif, where likely no foreign expedition has ever explored.

We'll be posting regular updates on our Climb Tibet Blog:, so come back often and check on our progress.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Puryear Picks - Alpine Gear Reviews

Check out my new blog:'m going to start blogging reviews about my favorite climbing gear, clothing, and other accessories that I use in the mountains. You won't necessarily find reviews of the latest and greatest equipment. I'm more interested in the gear that has stood the test of time for me and has worked to successfully get me up big climbs. Check it out and let me know what you think. This will definitely by an evolving process and more content will be added regularly. Read here for my first review of the Petzl Meteor III helmet.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

2010 GORE-TEX® Brand Shipton-Tilman Grant

A humongous thanks goes out to W. L. Gore & Associates for awarding David Gottlieb and I a 2010 GORE-TEX® Brand Shipton-Tilman Grant for our upcoming climb in Tibet this fall. This is a true honor for us to receive this award and to be part of an amazing tradition that Gore has upheld for 20 years!

Thank you W. L. Gore & Associates!!!

From the Gore website:
The annual program was established by Gore in 1990 as a tribute to the spirit of adventure embodied by legendary explorers Eric Shipton (b. 1907) and Bill Tilman (b. 1897). Now in its 20th year, the program provides funds to be divided among expeditions that are most in harmony with Shipton and Tilman's philosophies.
Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman are arguably the greatest adventurers of this past century. They believed in traveling in small, compact teams, unburdened by porters and excessive bulk surviving on the bare minimum required to achieve their goal.
Applications are accepted from small, unencumbered teams of friends with daring and imaginative goals. The expedition team must plan to accomplish their feat in a self-propelled, environmentally sound and cost-effective way.
"Even after 20 years, we still find inspiring teams pursuing very ambitious goals. This year’s group includes young athletes in their twenties trying to make their mark along with seasoned teams trying to overcome past failures," said Yvonne Erickson, Gore Fabrics Marketing Leader. "Gore is fascinated by the achievements of the 2010 winners as well as what the next 20 years of the GORE-TEX® Brand Shipton-Tilman Grant program may hold."

Monday, March 29, 2010

First Peak Ascent, Takargo (6,771m), Rolwaling Himal, Nepal

In one of our biggest overall mountain climbing efforts ever, David and I completed the first peak ascent of Takargo (6,771 meters) in the Rolwaling Himal of Nepal via the east face.

The climb was completed in a 12-day effort, without a rest day, round trip from the small Sherpa village of Beding (3,700 meters), where we had spent most of the previous month ice climbing.  Due to the remote nature of the peak, most of the effort was spent on the approach and descent, with just 3 days spent on the mountain itself.  Poor snow conditions and rugged terrain plagued most of the approach, but once on the mountain, conditions turned positive with mostly good snow and excellent ice.

Read about the full ascent on our Climb Nepal Blog:

Takargo from the east:  (Photo: JP)

David on the summit ridge: (Photo: JP)

Discovering a new ice-climbing area in the Nepal Himalaya

In February, David Gottlieb and I discovered, explored, and climbed in what may be perhaps one of Asia's greatest ice climbing venues, the Rolwaling Valley of Nepal.  Over the course of the month we climbed over a dozen frozen waterfalls from 2 pitch WI 5 and 6's to a 700-meter WI 4 and everything in between.  The high concentration of ice located just a short distance from the main Sherpa village of Beding was astounding.  And there is much more to be explored, with at least 30 high quality lines and we speculate 50 or more under idea conditions.

Check out the full account of our climbing adventure on our Climb Nepal Blog:

The Nemari Area climbs including Nemari left (WI 5+, 4 pitches) and Nemari Right (WI 5, 5 pitches):

David Gottlieb leading in the 700m Beyul canyon (WI 4).

Monday, March 15, 2010

2010 Mugs Stump Award

I am super psyched to announce that I have received the 2010 Mugs Stump Award for an upcoming climb in Tibet this fall.  One of America's most prestigious climbing awards, this grant will go a long ways in helping David Gottlieb and I follow our alpine climbing and mountain exploration dreams.

I'd like to thank the following companies for granting the award as well as their continued support in keeping the program alive:
Black Diamond, Mountain Gear, Patagonia, Gor-Tex, and Alpinist.

From the Mugs Stump Award website:
More About the Mugs Stump Award
All of the alpine objectives awarded embody the spirit of the late Mugs Stump. Mugs Stump was best known for his first ascent of the Emperor Face on Mount Robson in the Canadian Rockies and a triptych of brilliant Alaskan climbs—the East Face of the Moose's Tooth, the Moonflower Buttress on Mount Hunter, and a one-day solo of Denali's Cassin Ridge. He sought out striking and highly technical objectives, preferably first ascents, in some of the most remote mountains of the world. Mugs saw climbing as a celebration of boldness, purity, and simplicity.
Applications are reviewed for how they further the legacy of Mugs Stump with climbs proposed in the spirit of adventure and exploration, and that emphasize light, fast, leave-no-trace climbing. Award applicants are evaluated on the strength of their objective, the strength of their team, and on an objective that raises the bar defining what is possible in alpinism today.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Smíchovský Alpine Festival 2009

Some exciting news: I've been invited by the Czech Republic to give a presentation at the Smíchovský Alpine Festival in Prague later this month. Other speakers include mountaineering greats Reinhold Messner and Boris Lorenčič as well as a host of other international alpinists. The festival runs the weekend of the November 20-22, and I'll be showing at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday night. Check out the Smíchovský Festival Alpinismu website for more details.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Desert Towers!

This fall I took another road trip to the desert southwest to climb more towers. This time it was 24 towers in 20 days. Another great tower session!

Check out the trip report on the SuperTopo website:

Monday, May 04, 2009

First Peak Ascent, Jobo Rinjang (6,778 meters), Khumbu Himal, Nepal

It is with great happiness that David and I report the first ascent of Jobo Rinjang (6,778 meters) via the direct south face, in the Khumbu Region of Nepal, climbing alpine style over 6 days (from April 20 to April 25), summiting on April 22nd.  Please visit our Climb Nepal blog for a full account:
The climb was considered as one of 52 grand first ascents, by the Les Piolets d'Or 2010.

Approaching the Lunag Massif, with Jobo Rinjang in the front:

David climbing up the lower slopes:

On the summit:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The American Alpine Club Spitzer Cutting Edge Award

It is with great excitement and appreciation that I would like to announce our receiving of the 2009 Spitzer Cutting Edge Award from the American Alpine Club for our climb on Jobo Rinjang. The award has been created to back American expeditions to the toughest alpine objectives in the world. From both David Gottlieb and I - our deepest gratitude goes out to the AAC. Thank you for helping us reach our climbing dreams!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2009 Kilimanjaro Climb

On February 13th, Lakpa Rita Sherpa and I successfully summitted Kilimanjaro (5,895 m), Africa's highest point. Lakpa completed his Seven Summits (climbing the highest peak on each continent) with this climb, becoming the first Sherpa to complete this great accomplishment. Lakpa is the main climbing ambassador for Sherpa Adventure Gear, and I was able to climb with Lakpa to photograph and document the trip.

Check out our Climb Africa blog for the complete trip details:

Press release about the climb:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

First Peak Ascent, Kang Nachugo (6,735 meters), Rolwaling Himal, Nepal

David Gottlieb and I have had great success on making the first ascent of Kang Nachugo (6,735 meters) in the Rolwaling Himal of Nepal. We made the ascent over 5 days, summitting on October 17. Please visit Climb Nepal blog for a full account:
The climb was considered as one of 57 "Ascensions de l'Année" or "Ascents of the Year", by the Les Piolets d'Or 2009.

An overview of our routes on Kang Nachugo:

Walking the tightrope between Nepal and Tibet on the West Ridge of Kang Nagchugo:

David climbing snow flutings on the ascent to the ridge crest:

David Gottlieb on the summit of Kang Nachugo:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

32 Towers in the Desert Southwest

This spring I was able to make a really fun desert Southwest tour. I visited Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. During the trip I climbed 32 desert towers and a half dozen other routes. Check out the full trip report on the SuperTopo website:


Thursday, November 01, 2007

First Peak Ascent, Peak 5,965 meters, Shaluli Shan Mountains, Kham, Tibet

Peter Inglis and I have made the first ascent of Peak  5,965 meters near Mt. Genyen, in the Shaluli Shan Mountians of the Tibetan region of Kham.  We made the ascent alpine style over 4 days, summiting on October 22, 2007.  For a complete account of our climb, check out my Climb China blog at

Peak 5965 from the south:

Peter in the initial couloir:

Joe on the summit:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

First Peak Ascent - Lara Shan - Qionglai Mountains, China

Backed by the American Alpine Club’s McNeill/Nott Award, Chad Kellogg and I were to make our second attempt on Mt.Siguniang (6,250 meters) this spring, the centerpiece of climbing in the Qionglai Shan. A family emergency kept us from attaining our ultimate goal. Chad’s wife Lara died tragically in the during our expedition. Chad immediately departed, hence our trip came to an untimely end.  However, we were able to make the first peak ascent of an unclimbed 5,700-meter peak that we called Lara Shan.  Jay Janousek joined us for the ascent, which we made alpine style over 5 days, summiting on April 18, 2007.
For a complete account of our climb, please visit my Climb China blog at

Lara Shan (left) and Mt. Siguniang (right):

Our route on the headwall portion of Lara Shan:

Joe on the summit:

Sunday, April 01, 2007

2007 McNeill-Nott Award

I am very excited to learn that I received the first ever McNeill-Nott Award from the American Alpine Club. The intended route was a new line on 20,505-foot Mt. Siguniang in Sichuan, China. Check out the trip report here. Also, for more information on the McNeill-Nott Award, check out the American Alpine Club website.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Alaska Climbing Guidebook

Alaska Climbing by Joseph Puryear

All the hard work has finally paid off. Here it is - a select full-color guide to 30 of the best climbing routes in the Central Alaska Range. Tons of information, history, and beta on climbing in North America's premier alpine-climbing destination. Includes 150 color photos from around the range, many with route overlays. Check out the latest in climbing topo design using color and intimate detail to differentiate snow, ice, rock, and mixed terrain in an easy to read format. Click here for more info and to read the great reviews!

Get your personally signed copy today!

Praise for Alaska Climbing:

"In its careful selection of routes, in depth detail and clear and precise advice Joe Puryear’s effort sets a new bar for Mountaineering guidebooks."
- Ian Parnell,
Planet Fear, Read the full review

"This guide is the first book to give really good details on the classic routes and just became essential reading for anyone planning a trip to the US’s most Northerly State."
- Andy Saxby,, Read the full review

"If the Alaska Range is on your list, this is your guide! Puryear's vast experience backed with SuperTopo lead the way."
- Mike Gauthier, Author, Mount Rainier, a climbing guide

"Don't leave home without it! Joe pulled together the legendary classic routes and put them all in one easy to read book. It's my new tick list for the Alaska Range.”
-Jared Ogden, Top Alpinist

“Rarely do guidebooks offer such extensive first-hand knowledge. Joe’s expertise clearly shows in the detailed route descriptions, photos and topos as well as the general information and strategies for climbing in North America’s alpine mecca.”
- Kelly Cordes, Senior Editor, American Alpine Journal

"The SuperTopo guidebook you are holding will motivate you and help select a climb. Use it as a tool to inspire and plan... May the following pages allow you to unleash your inner quest for adventure."
-from the foreword by Conrad Anker

Whether looking to climb Denali’s West Buttress or scale a wall in the Ruth Gorge, Alaska Climbing is the book to take you there. Author Joseph Puryear’s result of 15 years of Alaska Range climbing and research is the most detailed information ever for the region’s best climbs. Included are routes for all abilities from moderate snow climbs to the difficult testpieces of the range. Each climb gets detailed photo-diagrams, in-depth strategy, camping info, retreat beta, and first ascent history. Detailed color topos and maps bring these climbs to life.

● Complete route profiles for 30 mega-classic snow, ice, mixed, and rock climbs
● First ever published topos for many climbs including Mt. Foraker’s Infinite Spur, Mt. Huntington’s Harvard Route, and Peak 11,300
● Inside knowledge on how to travel in Alaska, where to stay, and what to bring
● Critical information on how to stay alive in the Alaska Range
● Over 150 recent color photos from the area’s top mountaineering photographers
● Suggestions for other area climbs and proposals for new climbs

Check my website for purchasing info and to get a personally signed copy:

Also check out SuperTopo for a bunch for info about the book and Alaska:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Two First Peak Ascents - Mt. Daugou and The Angry Wife, Qionglai Mountains, China

In 2005 I was on a very successful expedition to the Qionglai Mountains of Western Sichuan, China where we made the first ascent of two unclimbed rock spires in the region.
More info can be found on

The Angry Wife (5,020 meters), Raindog Arête (5.10c, 550 meters)
First Ascent: October 11, 2005 - Chad Kellogg, Joe Puryear, Stoney Richards

Mt. Daugou (5,465 meters), Salvage Op. (5.10d, 650 meters)
First Ascent: October 13, 2005 - Chad Kellogg, Joe Puryear, Stoney Richards