Renan Ozturk: The Story Behind the Limited Edition 2012 AAJ
This year, artist and climber Renan Ozturk collaborated with The American Alpine Journal to create a limited-edition, hardbound AAJ. The result: a beautiful inset featuring a special print of the Garhwal Himalaya, inspired by Renan’s climb with partners Jimmy Chin and Conrad Anker on Meru’s “Shark Fin.”
Jimmy Chin: “The route was perversely stacked against alpinists, since the most technical climbing, which required the heaviest gear, was near the top. All alpine-style attempts on this line up the main face had failed at nearly the same spot, the base of the overhanging headwall that starts at roughly 5,900 meters.”
Renan Ozturk: “Our 2008 near-miss [on the Shark Fin] was the most trying expedition of our lives. We understood that if we returned it would be with the same team. But five months before our 2011 departure, on a ski-mountaineering shoot with Jimmy, I caught an edge and tumbled off a cliff in the Jackson, Wyoming side-country. My injuries included an open skull fracture, two fractured vertebra in my neck, as well as a severed vertebral artery. Jimmy responded fast and probably saved my life. Conrad arrived in the intensive care unit shortly after. Despite the odds, and to the horror of friends and family, I returned to Meru with the team. Having lost half the blood supply to my brain, I wasn’t sure how I would do at altitude. It would have been easy for Conrad and Jimmy to find a strong partner to replace me, but they stuck with me. I really wanted to go back to be part of Conrad’s two-decade dream and Jimmy and Conrad’s 10-year partnership. The expedition had moved beyond climbing a mountain; it became the epitome of loyalty and trust between friends, partners, and mentors.”
Want to read more about their climb? The 2012 AAJ has already been mailed to AAC members. If you’re not a member you can order one here. Or, join the AAC now and get the 2012 AAJ for free and shipped to your door immediately. To purchase a copy of the limited-edition book featuring Renan’s print, visit our online store.
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