Nicknamed by his friends as “Sketchy Kelly,” —climber, writer, and margarita aficionado— Kelly Cordes, made a name for himself in his early years of climbing for chasing risky and reckless climbing pursuits.

There were so many cases where I probably should have died in the first couple of years of climbing. And it really was just because I was just so excited … I just loved it so much.

– Kelly Cordes

Over the years —paired with his college experience in boxing— Kelly learned to harness skills from those initial envelope-pushing escapades, and has since established first ascents throughout Alaska, Pakistan, and Peru. Kelly also contributes to Alpinist and authored the book, The Tower: A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre.

Listen in to hear about his entry to climbing, some of his lesser proud decisions, and of course, how to make the greatest margarita ever.


Related: The Inherent Risks of Climbing