If you haven’t yet heard of Mark and Janelle Smiley, than prepare to be amazed by this intrepid pair. Mark—a professional photographer, filmmaker, speaker, and mountain guide—and Janelle—a ski mountaineer, filmmaker, and photographer—have together undertaken the Smileys Project: the challenge of climbing every single route from the book, Fifty Classic Climbs of North America.

If successful, Mark and Janelle will be the first to complete this impeccable climbing endeavor, which requires ascension of over 150,000 vertical feet of rock and ice, spanning terrain from New Mexico to Alaska.


Related: 4 Steps for How to Transition to Alpinism


Over the past five years, the two have continued to tackle this journey together, with 44 of the 50 climbs already completed. Listen to this MTNmeister interview with the Smileys, to hear what it takes to pursue this momentous task as a couple.

There’s no amount of strategizing that you can do to avoid all conflict or hurdles. That’s impossible.


To learn more about the Smileys Project, visit their website.