April 3rd, 2008
Chad is a raw revolution. Leaving out the personal development and self awareness the death of his wife and a bout with cancer have influenced, I’d still have to say he’s changing. Again. I used to call him “silent bob” but now “chadderbox” is more fitting.
Focused and goal-oriented, he’s always been an athlete. For instance, before becoming a climber he was a snowboarder; a step less-structured than his days on the Olympic luge team.
Today he is training for a return to China to attempt Siguniang; two years ago he and his team were shut down by iced walls and horrendous weather. Last year he was returning from a scouting trip when a local outfitter rode into base camp to tell him his wife had an accident. He ran the dozen or so miles–at altitude–out to the nearest phone.
Last year he and Joe Puryear were awarded the McNeil-Nott award; this year it’s the Lyman Spitzer, a step up in prestige for him and his partner Dylan Johnson. Neither are terribly substantial sums, but they offset expedition costs and, more notably, are a judicial nod from the American climbing community. For Chad, a general contractor and sometimes professional athlete, this recognition means he is more likely to pick up sponsorship thus enabling him to spend more time training.
To go out with him means you’ve got a built in altimeter, stop watch, pitch counter, and voice of reason. He is steadfast, determined, and a veritable machine. And he is planning again, but with new goals in mind.
Nerves as cold and hard as the steel on his crampons? Nah, but razor sharp focus like the pick on his ice tool? Absolutely.
Chadderbox is the Raw Revolution.
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