One of the reasons we identify with Drew Smith is his passion, passion for life, passion for photography and passion for climbing.
Drew has traveled all over the world searching out some genuinely incredible climbs. We caught up with him and asked him about his three favorite spots.
Positive Affect – Arco Iris Wall – Cochamo Valley, Chile
In 2013, Drew and a friend of his traveled south to the Cochamo Valley in Chile in the hopes of finding some incredible climbing. They ended up spending two months in the area, establishing a climbing route on the Arco Iris Wall.
After doing a bit of research, they spent three weeks on the wall establishing the route and taking the first ascent. Three weeks later, when they had finally reached the top, they realized there was a hiking trail on the backside of Arco Iris, so, unfortunately, they were not the first to summit the mountain.
The following weeks were spent cleaning the pitches to make the route free climbable. After getting all of that set and ready, the climb that had initially taken three weeks took a single day to free climb.
The Rostrum – Yosemite Valley, California
A year later, in 2014, Drew tackled a climb that he had dreamed of doing since the first time in Yosemite. He had first gone to Yosemite in 2011 as a new climber, and over time he returned to tick off the various climbs he wanted to do as he honed his skills.
The Rostrum is known as one of the challenging, classic free climbs in the Yosemite Valley, and despite it not being a big deal to many climbers, to Drew, this is why he keeps climbing.
Seriously Mysterious – Tajikistan
This third climb was on a trip to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan this past January and February. Drew and two of his climbing buddies rented a van in Kyrgyzstan to drive the Pamir Highway, the 2nd highest highway in the world, in search of new ice climbs. This was a trip of multiple first ascents, cold weather, crazy roads, car trouble, and incredible climbing.
The set-off with not a lot of information and the passion for finding new ice climbs. At one point, Drew said, “it’s like climbing a snow cone.” They drove roughly the distance between New York and LA, rarely going above 35 miles per hour, in a van the frequently broke down.
Though there were many incredible ascents, Drew’s final one stuck out as one of the best and most challenging climbs he has ever done.
Watch our film with Drew, A Young Man’s Road, to learn more about what drives Drew’s passions and keeps him traveling and seeking out new adventures.