Half Dome Yosemite National Park Adam Roy

As if rock climbing wasn’t challenging enough, Mark and Janelle Smiley hope to break a record by climbing North America’s 50 classic routes.

El Capitan Yosemite National Park Adam Roy

INSPIRED BY THE book Fifty Classic Climbs of North America by Allen Steck, married couple Mark and Janelle Smiley have set the goal to become the first people to climb all 50 of the routes. The couple will be the first to try to climb more than 164,000 vertical feet of technical terrain.

Mark is a certified rock climbing guide and a certified alpine aspirant guide who is putting up first ascents on technical 20,000 foot (and higher) glaciated peaks. Janelle, a wilderness EMT and director of events and the ski school at Crested Butte Nordic Center in Colorado, is also an avid adventure athlete.

Their travels will take them more than 25,000 miles from Shiprock in New Mexico north through Yukon and Alaska. Among their climbs are seven routes around Banff National Park in Alberta, three climbs in Rocky Mountain National Park, and 12 climbs in and around Yosemite National Park. A two-man film crew will accompany the couple on ten of the 50 climbs.

Find out more about the Smileys’ 50 classic routes climbing goal in the video below:

Fifty Classic Climbs of North America from Mark Smiley on Vimeo.

Community Connection

Mark and Janelle might encounter some difficult ascents while trying to reach their goal. Here are 11 other dangerous mountains in the world for climbers and eight mountains that that mortals can summit.