Up the Ennedi Towers

Doing anything, let alone rocking climbing, in the Ennedi Desert of Chad is not the type of 'adventure' even the most bold person I know of would consider. This is the kind of trip that involves driving for four days off road, zipping past nothing but sand. The kind of journey where there won't be a comfortable bed for days, no shower, nights with nothing but a tent between you and mother nature, and meals cooked on only the tiniest of camping burners. Oh and did I mention you would also have to fight off a few bandits?!? And when it's time to actually start climbing the amazing Towers of Ennedi (something of course no one on earth has ever done for good reason), you find out that it's like climbing hard sugar: nice and solid from afar, but start climbing and that puppy just crumbles beneath you! How's THAT for a good time?!?

Yet, as these amazing shots by photographer Jimmy Chin prove, this once-in-a-lifetime experience looks to be worth every single hardship. Chin, along with the Camp 4 Collective, spent days documenting the experience as North Face climbers worked their way up tower after tower.

For me, these images (along with this video) capture so much more than just really cool climbers. They highlight a part of the continent that few of us have or will ever see in our lifetimes. They showcase the beauty that can be found even in the harshest of lands (Chad being a bit of a challenge not only because of the desert land) and that adventure can literally be found in even the least expected parts of Africa.

(imagine climbing this arch from one end to the other!)

One of my main hopes is that more Africans get to see images like this and be inspired by them as they really demonstrate just all the amazing things our continent has to offer; adventures and experiences that take people out of their regular paradigm, opening even a small window of the endless possibilities and beauty that exist beyond their imagination. I feel like that is the first step that could lead to maybe the first African to climb these towers!

{Photos: Jimmy Chin}

1 comment:

Katie said...

I want to go!!!!! Think North Face will hire me too?