Kelly Cordes

Climber, writer, and self-proclaimed margarita specialist Kelly Cordes has established new alpine routes around the world, from Alaska to Peru, and Patagonia to Pakistan. He was an editor for the American Alpine Journal from 2000-2012, and his book, The Tower, won the 2015 nonfiction outdoor literature categories of the Banff Mountain Book Awards and the National Outdoor Book Awards. He also co-authored Tommy Caldwell’s 2017 bestselling autobiography, The Push. Kelly lives in Estes Park, Colorado.

The Stories We Tell

As an undersized kid who wanted to be a cowboy, Kelly Cordes never dreamed that the mountains would define his life. But he stumbled upon an obsession that delivered unimaginable joys alongside seemingly endless flops, both of which still frame his attempts to navigate his little world. His personal experiences in climbing and in life intersected with a larger journey as he sought to uncover the truth in his award-winning book The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre.

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