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Climbing-for-recording deal

Submitted by audiobuzz on 2006-01-15 | Last Modified on 2006-11-11

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World-renowned Devils Tower climbing guide Frank Sanders is making a trip to Madison to record a CD in a talent exchange with Audio for the Arts.

Sanders has been featured in and quoted by just about every outdoor publication known to humankind. But a fact largely unknown by the climbing crowd is that, in addition to his duties as host of Devils Tower Lodge and climbing school in Devils Tower, Wyoming, Frank plays piano. And, he is planning to record his first CD at Audio for the Arts at the end of this month.

This in itself may not be considered unusual. However, the deal the two parties have made is quite unique. In exchange for doing the recording and mixing of his first solo CD, Sanders has agreed to provide the folks at AFA a trip to the top of Devils Tower.

AFA co-owner Buzz Kemper has been up the tower twice: in 2001 (Durrance, 5.6) and in 2004 (El Cracko Diablo, 5.8). Kemper’s plan is to tackle his most difficult big climb ever: the Walt Bailey Memorial Route, 5.9.

In the meantime, co-owner Steve Gotcher, who has climbed (so far) only twice in his life, is going to attempt the summit via the Durrance Route, F5.6. AFA full-time engineer Sarah Jennings Evans, having considerably more sense than the two owners, is as yet undecided whether to agree to this at all.

Gotcher and Kemper have long believed in the value of trading talents, and this deal will surely be the most unusual one they’ve made (and the biggest commitment, requiring a bit of training before the actual climb).


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