Kelly Cordes


Adhering to a life-long avoidance of full-time work, Kelly specializes in margaritas, maximizing outdoor time and climbing alpine-style routes. This minimalism influences his climbing, which includes the first ascent of the Azeem Ridge in “disaster style.” Professionally, a stint at Pizza Hut (flexible hours, free leftovers) led to years of shack dwelling, which, somehow, led to a living climbing and writing. Kelly Cordes lives and climbs in Estes Park, Colorado, though his love of the mountains has taken him on alpine adventures around the world. He was formerly the senior editor for the American Alpine Journal, and his first book, The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre.