Liminal Line Blog

liminal: of, or relating to, the state in-between 


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    Seeing the Whole Mountain
    December 8, 2017
    Close your eyes and think about the mountains of the world that hold a place in your heart and mind. Did you see people? Did you see the people that call those mountains home? Or, were you like me and...
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    And Then There Were Two
    July 8, 2017
    Dear Kaz and Irenna, Today you are ten months old. This week the last of winter’s snow left our garden and the final crocus patch bloomed and closed just in time to escape your attempts to eat its purple petals. I...
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    My Next 40 Years
    October 5, 2016
    Dear Kaz and Irenna, Today I turn 40. That's old, or young, depending on whom you ask. But I don’t care about what anyone else thinks about the relative age of 40. I only care about turning 40 in respect...
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    Harald, Maude, and the Himba: A letter to the twins
    May 16, 2016
    Dear Harold and Maude, I know, I’d promised new names. We will get there—we still have five weeks to come up with them. Five weeks until you launch yourselves into the outside world. Five weeks until I hold you in...
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    Coming soon: 20 tiny toes and 2 big hearts
    February 8, 2016
    Dear Harold and Maude, Those aren't your names—don’t worry. I promise we will have better ones picked out by the time you make your debut in June. You’ve been living and growing in my belly for 18 weeks, I just...
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    Graduating a Class of 28 Disruptive Conservationists...and Yourself
    September 3, 2015
    How do you graduate a group of 22 African and six American participants that has been through a 12-day training in leadership, conservation planning, and environmental stewardship? You don’t. They graduate themselves. And it looks like this:https://vimeo.com/138187480In July, The...
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    Blurry Photo Route Choices: And other choices in merging climbing, science, and conservation in Mozambique
    July 17, 2015
    Exactly one month ago I tightened the last bolt in the last hold on the first-ever climbing boulder in Mozambique—and then climbed on it with over 1,000 Mozambican school children. Tonight, over dinner in Central Mozambique, I made a promise...
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    Open-Sourcing the Brain Power of Future Leaders in Conservation
    July 1, 2015
    Sharing the Lost Mountain in June at the launch of Biofund Mozambique In seven days I will be back in Mozambique. Me, my five-person team from Additive Adventure, and 35 emerging leaders in the field of disruptive conservation. Disruptive? You bet....
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    Stepping up to a Name: An Emerging Take on Community Engagement
    June 3, 2015
    Ethiopia was a lark. In 2006 I was over-caffeinated and restless in Colorado and volunteered myself to go to the Horn of Africa with a group of people I just met. I went. I stayed. I wrote two...
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    African Student Call for Applications Now Open For Lost Mountain Symposium
    February 24, 2015
    African Student Call For Applications now OPEN It's my pleasure to announce that the Additive Adventure 2015 Lost Mountain Next Gen Symposium is now accepting applications for 20 African undergraduate and graduate students to join us this July in...
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    The Power of Next Gen
    November 22, 2014
    This week we made it official: The Additive Adventure 2015 Lost Mountain Next Gen Symposium will be held in Mozambique from July 10th- 21st, 2015. That’s a 8-word title for a single event that has the power to impact everyone...
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    The Road is Kind, New Lost Mountain Music Video
    August 20, 2014
    This music video is in honor and support of the Lost Mountain Positive Tracks Next Gen Initiative: youth philanthropy through physical action in the outdoors. Featuring our Positive Tracks Ambassadors Charlie Harrison (19) and Grant Bemis (23). We released it...
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    Big Wall Science
    July 16, 2014
    In a former life I was a full-time climbing guide. That means I would normally know better than to introduce people to climbing for the first time on vegetated granite slabs interspersed with dirt and bush-choked chimneys. But the...
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    Team of Rock Climbers, Biologists, and Conservation Workers Wrap Successful Expedition to Mozambique’s Second Highest Mountain
    June 5, 2014
    The Lost Mountain Team, Mt Namuli, Mozambique PRESS RELEASE: Gurue, Mozambique –June 4, 2014 –An international team of rock climbers, entomologists, and herpetologists gathered on the summit of Mt. Namuli, Zambezia, Mozambique on May 27th at the culmination of the...
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    Old Man Ray- Song and Video Produced in the Field on Mt Mulanje, Malawi
    May 18, 2014
    "The trick to growing old, is a healthy dose of obsession mixed with a lot of physical activity." - At 81 years old, Entomologist at heart, Ray Murphy is one of the characters and dreamers with us here in...
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    Ready, Set, Go: The Lost Mountain Takes Off
    May 1, 2014
    Prep time in Mozambique, Photo by Erik Eisele Four days from today, I meet my international team of scientists, conservation workers, climbers, filmmakers, students, and volunteers at the airport in Blantyre, Malawi. We’re heading to Mozambique; we’re heading to the...
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    One Month Out– Exactly: New Team Members, New Plane Tickets, and Vice Grips
    April 5, 2014
    It’s 8:22 am in New Hampshire and 2:22 pm in Malawi on April 5th. In one month from now, on May 5th at 2:00 PM, we will be landing in Blantyre, Malawi. Exactly. All week I’ve been meaning to...
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    Questioned, Additive Adventure and Conservation
    March 13, 2014
    Majka Burhardt on Semazen, Geyikbayiri Turkey. Photo by Anne Skidmore This February, I gave a speech at University of Vermont. There is nothing like standing up in front of a group of intelligent, keen, and questioning undergraduate and graduate students...
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    Lost Mountain Return Date Set for May 10th, 2014
    November 27, 2013
    I am excited to share that we've set our new date for The Lost Mountain: May 10th 2014.
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    Civil Unrest in Mozambique, Lost Mountain Postponed to May 2014
    November 6, 2013
    It’s November 6th. I should be travelling overland from Malawi to Mozambique.
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    Going Camping: AKA, Climbing a Granite Big Wall, Discovering New Species for Science, and Starting a New Conservation Area.
    October 21, 2013
    Blog Post in Conjunction with:  In seven days I will fly across the Atlantic, over the Sahara, toward Mozambique, and to the Lost Mountain. It has taken three years to get here—ie to be about to gothere. Right now I am...
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    Lost Mountain, Kickstarted
    October 2, 2013
    Before pressing launch on our Lost Mountain Kickstarter on July 30th, I thought Kickstarter was a thing-- a means to an end. One month later, I know it is more-- it's a community nexus and a place for passion...
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    Would You Join the Lost Mountain?
    August 5, 2013
    Three years ago I saw a photo of a rock face in Mozambique. It became an astonishing force in my life. 36 months, a 3-week reconnaissance trip, and one very special frog later I'm heading to that rock face...
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    Honey Without the Moon
    July 7, 2013
    Majka approaching Pillaren, Lofoten Islands Norway It’s 45-degrees. The wind is at 42 mph-- a certifiable gale force. The rain is going up as much as down. I’m on my honeymoon. And it’s exactly the way it should be. A tropical...
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    Saying Yes: Collaboration and Innovation With Climbing and Cervial Cancer Prevention
    June 4, 2013
    In December of last year I received an email from August. August is the executive director of Grounds For Health— a non-profit preventing cervical cancer in coffee growing communities. Within a month we were plotting a way to bring my...
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    Cheering Like You Mean It
    May 14, 2013
    Gebre Gebremariam, mid-way through the course This year I partnered with the Himalayan Cataract Project and imagine1day and produced Ethiopia’s first ever running trail race. Here’s what happened: --179 runners competed in Ethiopia's first ever trail race. --871 successful sight-restoring surgeries were performed. --1 new library was...
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    Change the Conversation: Interviews with Accelerate Ethiopia
    February 25, 2013
    On March 2nd over 150 runners will compete in Ethiopia's first ever trail race-- a half marathon in the country's northern mountain highlands. The race is a culmination of a week of shared contribution to the eye health and educational strength of Ethiopia...
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    That's My Life: Interviews with Accelerate Ethiopia
    February 23, 2013
    Interviews with Accelerate Ethiopia On March 2nd over 150 runners will compete in Ethiopia's first ever trail race-- a half marathon in the country's northern mountain highlands. The race is a culmination of a week of shared contribution to the...
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    Accelerate Ethiopia: The Beginning
    February 21, 2013
    This week, eleven committed runners will join elite athletes Scott Jurek, Gebre Gebremariam and Yemane Tsegay, along with 150 up and coming Ethiopian runners for the first ever trail race in the cradle of humanity, culminating a week of...
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    The 6 Degrees Of Ethiopian Bacon
    February 12, 2013
    Last week I stood up on a stage by myself in a giant room and told strangers I liked when things were difficult. I was giving a speech at an event with Wright State University and Five Rivers Metro...
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    Winter Call (Summer Ski Apology)
    December 11, 2012
    Dad (Kris Burhardt) and Majka Day 1 outside of El Bolson Argentina I am not a hoarder. Or at least not of material things. But I might have to confess to being a recent hoarder of snow. And for that,...
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    Armenia Bound
    October 21, 2012
    In conjunction with Patagonia's The Cleanest Line and Kate Rutherford Any climbing trip starts with a conversation. Kate and mine went something like this. Kate: “What’s your fall look like?” Majka: “October’s wide open.” Both of us: “Want to go somewhere good?” The basalt columns of Armenia....
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    The Original Risk Taker
    September 5, 2012
    It’s 11:00 in New Hampshire, which means it’s 10:00 in Minneapolis, which means my grandmother’s funeral has just begun. I’m not there. I’m here. I wrote her obituary and it ran in today’s Star and Tribune. It wasn’t the...
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    Drafting Dad
    August 16, 2012
    Dad, aka Kris Burhardt, out in front One day, I will beat my dad at something. I’m 35. He is 70. It hasn’t happened yet. I thought I had his number when I had him out to New Hampshire to...
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    8 Lessons Learned During the Non-Climbing Days on a Climbing Trip in Europe
    June 28, 2012
    Photo by Peter Doucette When you’ve waited 35 years to go to Italy, the wine, pasta, meat and cheese will be just as good as you imagined. When you’ve waited 35 yeas to go to Italy, you will likely have overestimated...
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    Global Dialog Via the Culture of Coffee
    May 30, 2012
    Coffee in Addis Ababa, Photo by Travis Horn Coffee can erase a famine. Agree? Disagree? Wonder just how literally I mean for that statement to be? How about this one: Coffee can create greater global understanding. If you’re reading this, you’re involved with...
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    I Can’t Go to Ethiopia This Year, Can You Instead?
    May 15, 2012
    This October, a powerful, engaged, and curious team is heading to Ethiopia to both change the world, and change how they interact in that world. Usually, I’d be joining them. But this year I need you to take my...
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    Alaskan Lessons of Honest Skiing
    May 3, 2012
    Peter Doucette heads up to get a down. Photo by Majka Burhardt Fourteen years is thirteen too many to go between visits to Alaska. I sensed that every year that passed during my recent Alaska pause, but I knew it when I...
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    Post Post
    April 15, 2012
    Kate Rutherford and Majka Burhardt, Red Rocks 2012 It’s always hard to write about rock climbing when you are ripping powder in a new bowl, or to write about skiing when you are latticing hand jams up granite. This year,...
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    The Bird and The Bear
    March 6, 2012
    Ptarmigan There are dog people, and there are poodle people. I am a poodle person. But for the past year, I’ve been a poodle person without a poodle. That was a problem. Said problem manifested in scenes similar to this...
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    West to East
    February 21, 2012
    The View of Mt. Washington 87 steps from my front door I’m practicing owning up to my origins. Colorado used to just roll off my tongue. New Hampshire? It’s clunky, it’s two words, and it takes explaining. Contrary to what many...
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    Adventure When and Where it Matters- The Lost Mountain Series
    January 1, 2012
    Mt. Namuli, Mozambique By Majka Burhardt and Sarah Garlick A month ago we left Mozambique and Malawi. Less than a year from now we will be back. How much time does it take to gain perspective? Our goal for this initial trip...
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    Home on the African Road
    December 5, 2011
    Mt. Namuli In Conjunction with Engelhorn Sports I feel bad for my seatmate on the plane the other day. I’d like to issue an apology but I never got their name. The woman had harmlessly asked me where I was coming from...
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    Notes from The Mozambican Bush
    November 22, 2011
    By Majka Burhardt and Sarah Garlick DAY 1 MB: I say goodbye to Ethiopia (intentionally), and to my new ultralight Thermarest (unintentionally). My first-ever spotting of the Congo appears initially out of a plane window, and soon through a propped-open plane...
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    Setting Off For The Lost Mountain
    November 6, 2011
    Tomorrow I head to Mozambique. Actually, that is a lie. Tomorrow I fly from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia via the Congo to Lilongwe Malawi and then to Blantyre Malawi. It’s Tuesday I head overland in Mozambique itself. I’m ready. Mozambique. We're...
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    The Best Worst Idea
    October 25, 2011
    Packing for Africa 2011 I’m in Africa, again. And on this trip, Africa x 3. My bags are loaded with what I need to find the course for a trail race in Ethiopia’s high sandstone escarpments, to lead a trip...
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    The Middle Ground: Telling a Better Story about the Famine in the Horn of Africa
    September 29, 2011
    It’s been two months since global officials have officially deemed the famine in the Horn of Africa as the worst to hit the world in a century. During those same two months, I’ve released Coffee Story: Ethiopia and have been speaking...
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    Imagine Ethiopia 2011: You Can “Go” From Home
    August 28, 2011
    As one of the leaders of Imagine Ethiopia 2011, I wanted to share a progress update to inspire and potentially involve you in our next steps. Read on for more. Earlier this year, Vancouver-based charitable organization, imagine1day, launched their second...
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    Three Ways to Do Something About Famine in Africa (From Forbes.com)
    August 16, 2011
    A guest blog by Majka Burhardt on Frederik Allen's Leadership blog on Forbes.com. There is famine in the Horn of Africa. Of course. Isn’t there always? Are you cringing yet? Good. Here are three things we can do now to help the...
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    Coffee Story: Ethiopia Available Now, Needed Now
    August 10, 2011
      Signed Copies Available Above* You may also purchase at     It's a big day for me today. It's the day Coffee Story Ethiopia comes out, and moreover it is the day I get to thank everyone who has helped support and create this amazing...
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    Going Big
    July 22, 2011
    Majka Burhardt on a bit of decent rock in Ethiopia, 2007. Photo by Gabe Rogel In Conjunction with Pemba Serves Five days ago I drove out of Eldorado Canyon after seven pitches of climbing with two professional women who live in Boulder....
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    The Biggest Job I've Ever Had
    July 16, 2011
    Lake Tena, Ethiopia Photo by Travis Horn This weekend a printing press in Texas is warming up its rotors and ink jets just for me. For me, that is, and the 90 million people of Ethiopia for whom I wrote...
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    Rolling With The Cool Kids
    June 8, 2011
    The new blades An Additive Adventure Entry In Conjunction WithOutsideTV.com and Osprey Packs It’s taken three months, but it’s happened. I was spotted.  Rollerblading.  It was just as awkward as it sounds. I was skating on 30th, or trying to skate amidst the...
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    So That’s What You Mean By Fat
    April 29, 2011
    Turn Madness in the Adamants, BC An Additive Adventure Entry In Conjunction WithOutsideTV.com and Osprey Packs It’s hard not to like powder. It’s even harder not to like it when you are an outdoor athlete. If you are faced with this situation, my...
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    Trifecta, An Additive Adventure Entry
    March 26, 2011
    Majka Burhardt Ice Climbing, 1996 season, age 20. Ready for a season switch? In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com and Osprey Packs It’s spring. It’s time to emerge from winter. It’s time, for me, to stop wearing long underwear. This is hard, because I have been...
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    Joining The Return, Announcing Imagine Ethiopia 2011
    February 11, 2011
    Three years ago I received an email with a simple question at its core: could I envision a trip to Ethiopia whereby adventure and education combined to create new stewards of the world? I said yes. imagine1day said yes. And...
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    Bring Back the Blades, An Additive Adventure Entry
    January 28, 2011
    Yes, that is my shadow. I have yet to recruit a professional photographer to shoot my blading. In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com and Osprey Packs It’s January 28th. My new skis are tuned and fat. In Colorado today, like most days of the winter, the...
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    Osito And A Frog Named Turtle, An Additive Adventure Entry
    January 15, 2011
    Baby Turtle, Phase 1. Photo By Peter Doucette In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com and Osprey Packs Osito is a poodle, which may explain why he’s never been an animal person. I’ve tried to convince him otherwise over the past ten and a half years. We’ve...
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    Community On Ice, An Additive Adventure Entry
    December 23, 2010
    Peter Doucette on Mummy IV In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com and Osprey Packs Two weeks ago I was in Minneapolis—the city where I grew up—for a showing of Chris Alstrin’s and my movie Waypoint Namibia. Afterwards, a man from the audience asked me what I did...
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    The Big Switch, An Additive Adventure Entry
    November 26, 2010
    Filing picks down for dry-tooling in the Boulder Rock Club: Ice Climbing Prep 2010. In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com and Osprey Packs It’s November 26th. It’s 5 degrees in the mountains. It’s time to go ice climbing. To be fair, it’s been like this for...
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    Robbery Friendships, An Additive Adventure Entry
    November 5, 2010
    Haile, Photo By Peter Doucette In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com and Osprey Packs This is Haile. In 2006, I put Haile, and thirteen of his closest friends, in jail. In Ethiopian jail, to be precise. I’d like to say it wasn’t my fault, but then...
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    The End of the Beginning, An Additive Adventure Entry
    October 22, 2010
    Mango Tree Planting at Laelay Wukro School Grounds In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com and Osprey Packs The bowels of the Addis Ababa airport are laced with sweet, thick exhaust. Five minutes ago--forty-five minutes before my departure back to the United States--a man in a sharp-creased...
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    Running With Haile, An Additive Adventure Entry
    September 10, 2010
    Haile Gebreselassie In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com This is how it happens. One person has the idea to run 13,286 kilometers—the distance from Vancouver B.C. to Mekelle, Ethiopia—to raise money to build a school in rural Ethiopia. It’s hard for one person to...
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    The Rebirth of Slick, An Additive Adventure Entry
    August 27, 2010
    In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com Three weeks from today, I’ll be flying to Ethiopia. I’ve been training for trip. I’ve been aqua jogging. Actually, I just had to stop aqua jogging. I was over-training with the 12”-wide water-flotation device. In my defense, I...
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    The Ballad You Forgot, An Additive Adventure Entry
    August 12, 2010
    A blog in conjunction with Osprey Packs and Outside Television. Let’s get this out of the way. I was 8. I made bad choices like singing Don’t Fence Me In at my father’s second wedding and lying down on the carpet in the school...
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    Me, As a Dot. An Additive Adventure Entry*
    July 30, 2010
    Photo by Gabe Rogel I have no idea who the people are who will change my life in the next two years. I had no idea, two years ago, that a woman making a spontaneous stop in a Patagonia store...
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    Bigger This Time
    June 15, 2010
    Believe the hype, drink the cool-aid, make the trip. That’s my motto this month. I didn’t start it. My friend Sara did. Actually, an intuitive did. Or, to be precise, my decision to go see an intuitive. A month ago,...
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    Mountainfilm and Get in Shape Girl: Rehab in Pink
    May 18, 2010
    In my mind, it was in the middle of the Miss USA pageant when I first saw the ad. A cadre of young girls in leotards burst through a door and waved ribbons and moved their arms around with...
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    Getting it Anyway
    April 26, 2010
    Majka Burhardt in Action, photo by Peter Doucette A Blog in Conjunction with Osprey Packs. Check out their site and great stuff atospreypacks.com. Climbers can, as a rule, break rules. We expand our youth, our shoulder stamina, and, most commonly, our...
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    Hoarding the Collection
    April 12, 2010
    It takes two people 94 days to use 36 rolls of toilet paper. This is pure science. This is my life. Or it is give-or-take the two half rolls I left behind in North Conway last week. My friends Jim...
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    Post Op
    March 6, 2010
    Osito with Golden Retrivers (his favorite non-poodle breed) pictured above as inspiration for healin Last year, during my first winter in New Hampshire, I made the mistake of asking what one does for culture in North Conway. Not that wanting...
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    Terminal Effervescence
    January 25, 2010
    Returning Home to the Portland, Maine Airport I started skipping winter without knowing it, a few years back. Today, 1.5-inches of rain into the New Hampshire afternoon, I’m making up for what I missed. The poodle has to go outside...
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    Transitions in Paradox
    December 20, 2009
    Where I started: Jima Airport, SW Ethiopia Three weeks ago I flew from southwestern Ethiopia to central Montana, in six flights. When I arrived at the Bozeman airport, at 11:45 pm. I’d been traveling for thirty-eight hours. It was -5...
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    Common Denominator
    November 14, 2009
    tape gloves The trouble with having a blog is a sudden desire to take basic elements like your decision to go to Africa with shoes that suddenly feel too small, how to fix the squeak of your van with a...
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    Edge Dweller
    October 25, 2009
    Cathedral Ledge, Photo by Peter Doucette You might not believe what I’m going to tell you. You might—if you have read things I have written in the past months—think I have some perverse law of attraction with tragedy. But maybe...
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    Whispering Into A Roar
    September 26, 2009
    Majka Burhardt on Omega, Cannon Cliff, NH. Photo by Peter Doucette In conjunction with Climbing Magazine and climbing.com. Read online HERE. This is a story without a conclusion. Maybe that will change by the end. At this point, I’m not betting on...
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    Left, Right in the Road
    September 15, 2009
    Last week, I left Jackson. I’d lived there just long enough to have a hard time leaving. I’d lived there just long enough to call it a home, though, to other more stable people, it seemed a stop on...
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    Vertical Homesteading
    August 26, 2009
    Home In Namibia, Photo by Peter Doucette --In collaboration with Petzl, check out the good things, and the good people who make that company one of the best-- Quick test: What’s the first word that comes to mind when I say the...
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    Screaming Uncle at a Whisper
    August 18, 2009
    Photo by Peter Doucette A joint blog with Climbing.com Sunday, August 16th was Craig Luebben’s funeral. Four weeks ago, Craig was the last person I saw at a memorial. We had a long conversation about risks, coming home, what makes it worth...
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    Beyond the Next
    August 5, 2009
    Getting closer to where I'm going I’m at my second tire shop in a week, 408 miles apart. This time, I’m in Bozeman; last time, I was in Salt Lake. But it all started in Provo. 63 mph in the...
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    The Poodle Permanent
    July 25, 2009
    Osito in Recovery I’m not a dog person. I never have been. I once knew a woman who returned a dog for its propensity to drool. She is my mother. Two weeks ago, I was talking on the phone with a...
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    Calling Shotgun From the Other Side of the Sea
    July 17, 2009
    Van Life with Osito My dog Osito’s breath smells like a combination of dead chipmunk and poop—even though I know he has had neither in the past three days. I’ve been watching him non-stop. It’s how I make up for...
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    Exotic Normalcy
    July 2, 2009
    Majka Burhardt at work, Spanish Style. Photo by Boone Speed I’m sitting at a table under a grape vine, with a reverse pyramid of identical green fruit dripping from the vine. I’m in Spain. Even breakfast seems exotic. I’m here...
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    Days of Grief
    June 18, 2009
    It’s 8:45am in Minnesota and I am about to go to my third memorial service in as many days. The venue keeps changing, the people keep changing, but the medium is the same. Last Thursday, Andrew Swanson and John Mislow...
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    Namibia Video 2: Southern Crossing in Action
    June 11, 2009
    A video short from Chris Alstin at www.alstrinfilms.com Namibia Video 2: Southern Crossing from Majka Burhardt on Vimeo.
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    Waypoint Namibia: Big Walls, Desert Mirages, and Perseverance in the Darmaland and Beyond. *
    June 9, 2009
    Majka Burhardt on Southern Crossing, 5.11+, V. Photo by Peter Doucette. On June 1st, Peter Doucette, Kate Rutherford and I completed Southern Crossing: a 1300-foot 5.11+, grade 5 rock climbing first ascent on the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest peak. But that’s...
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    Namibia Video 1
    June 9, 2009
    What it Takes to Want a First Ascent Namibia Movie 1 from Majka Burhardt on Vimeo.
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    First Ascents, Returns, and Expectations. Namibia 7
    June 5, 2009
    Southern Crossing, 5.11+, V, Brandberg, Namibia. Photo by Peter Doucette. “Was Namibia everything you expected it to be?” my friend Kyle asked me this morning. I’d been home for eighteen hours and had almost driven the wrong way on the road,...
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    Purple Flying Skies. Namibia 5
    May 11, 2009
    People here call Namibia “Easy Africa.” The roads, when they’re tarred, are great. You can get a fully kitted out 4X4 with bed linens and a lantern. You can car camp at the base of that mound of granite...
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    Rick Dees' Top 40, All The Way To The Granite. Namibia 4.
    May 5, 2009
    Antananarivo, Noola, Luanda...or Windhoek? I've been in Windhoek, Namibia's capital, for 48 hours—just now longer than it took to get here.  Departing Johannesburg, I had the chance to go to Gaborone, Antananarivo, Noola, Luanda. Bulawayo, Lusaka, Doha... I came here—at...
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    To Do: Go To Namibia. Namibia 3.
    May 1, 2009
    Petzl Attaches, Lockers, Spirits, Fin Anneau Slings, and Poodle. 4/5 of which will be going to Namib Courtesty of Petzl: Check out their new Website. I’m five days out from a five-week expedition. I have eight lists. On a one-to-one completion rate, the...
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    Running for the Butter. Namibia 2
    April 25, 2009
    I don’t run. I jog. Barely. I likely still jog the same speed at which I completed the mile run in fourth grade. This is hard for me—I come from a family of marathon runners and live in Boulder. I...
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    Mobile Home, Africa Style. Namibia 1
    April 20, 2009
    The Outdoor Research/Exped Aires Mesh, Poodle Sold Separately This is where I’m going to live for the next five weeks. The tent, not the lawn. The tent is going to Namibia with me and the lawn will stay here outside...
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    Deceleration
    April 17, 2009
    It’s snowing in Boulder, Colorado today. I just came from the desert. Before that I was ice climbing. Three nights ago, I had a dream that my van would not slow down on a New Jersey off-ramp. Even inside of...
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    An Inbox President
    April 7, 2009
    I’m three months behind on my reading. I catch up in random coffee shops and doctors offices along the path of my current road trip. This is why it took me until last week to realize that I stand...
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    Going Local
    March 24, 2009
    I-70 stretches 449 miles across Colorado. I’ve been plugging away at this stretch of highway for thirty years. It houses a portal to every memory I have. Somewhere in my mind I think that I will have finally grown up...
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    The View Thus Far. Namibia 6.
    March 22, 2009
    We have less than two weeks to spend in Namibia and my mind is trying to add more, not less. Kilometers pass like miles on narrow dirt roads. I pass landscapes I do not have time to explore and...
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    Where I'm From
    March 13, 2009
    The other night, while speaking in Amherst, I was introduced as living in North Conway. Just like that, three months in, and I am from New Hampshire. The woman who introduced me had no problem uttering this statement; good...
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    Transient Connections
    February 23, 2009
    I spent the weekend part inside the future of my past. The Pacific Northwest was my first landscape of adulthood—it was where I learned how to be an independent woman and climber set free by the snowy peaks and...
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    Inside the Wheels
    February 18, 2009
    I leave in an hour for Cleveland and Vancouver. I am going back into book tour mode. Last year, when that was about my only mode, I would try to climb each time I came home to Boulder. I...
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    Fighting The Impulse or, Working Make Believe, 2
    February 5, 2009
    At age nineteen, I took a year off of college and climbed full time. It was great, for most of the time. Actually, it was great when I was around other full-time climbers. When I was around people in...
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    Working Make Believe
    January 31, 2009
    It’s 4:34pm on January 31st. I spent the last eight hours working. Today, that work was outside, ice guiding. I know it was work because other people knew I did it, and I got paid for it. Yesterday, I...
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    Styling Your Life
    January 21, 2009
    I’m living in North Conway, NH this winter. It freaks my mother out. She thinks I am going to move here, permanently. She looks at the numbers: 47th in funding schools. I point out it is the #1 most...
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    Toward the Tunnel
    January 8, 2009
    Three years ago, a microwave sized rock dislodged in a gulley and began its long roll towards my foot. I ended up writing a novel, or trying to. I started out thinking I was going on a long climbing...
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    Holiday Break for the Unbreakables
    December 23, 2008
    It has been over three years since I spend more than three days without doing something productive or additive. These days, if I climb for more than two days in a row without checking my email I start to...
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    Working in the Void
    December 11, 2008
    Yesterday I finished up work on a grant application that took me five days to complete. It was 2:30 pm. I pressed send. It disappeared from my computer. I looked at my dog. The New York Times recently had an...
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    The Dark Side: Whipped Installment
    December 8, 2008
    THE DARK SIDE: WELCOME TO THE MAD PURSUIT OF NIGHT CLIMBING (Part of an on-going series on my blog of posts from my column Whipped, for Climbing Magazine. February, 2007 Installment) Download PDF Four hundred feet up Eldorado Springs Canyon’s Yellow Spur, pigeon...
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    Girls on Point
    November 21, 2008
    Sarah H heading into the steepness Up until five years ago I climbed with men more than women. It wasn’t a conscious choice, it was just what I was surrounded by. These days it is almost the opposite. Maybe some...
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    Ice Up
    October 31, 2008
    Pitch 3, Photo by Peter Doucette It was 80-degrees in Boulder yesterday, October 29th. Almost too hot to climb…rock. The ice, on the other hand, is on. Pike’s Peak, Colorado. Home to a road to the 14,000’+ summit and early season...
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    The Great Divide: Whipped Installment
    October 27, 2008
    THE GREAT DIVIDE: THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE UGLY OF CLIMBING COUPLEDOM (Part of an on-going series on my blog of posts from my column Whipped, for Climbing Magazine. December, 2006 Installment.) Download PDF   I just want a boyfriend who climbs ......
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    Appalachia Merge
    October 3, 2008
    Travel has a way of smashing your life together and making you earn the fall-out. I’m on a plane, again—this time from the southeast to home. I’m back on tour and just spoke, got sandbagged, and took a flu...
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    Expando-Crag: Whipped Insallment
    September 23, 2008
    EXPANDO-CRAG: MAXIMIZING YOUR CLIMBING SPACE, POLISH-STYLE (Part of an on-going series on my blog of posts from my column Whipped, for Climbing Magazine. September, 2006 Installment.) Download PDF The Poles, long known for making do in the face of social, political, and economic...
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    Self-Order
    September 8, 2008
    My mother tells me she would be happiest if I were living down the road from her in Montana. Next best, would be in a city with a major airport as a writer. Next would be a city without...
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    A Saab Story: Whipped Installment
    August 31, 2008
      A Saab Story: Of Mice and Karma (Part of an on-going series on my blog of posts from my column Whipped, for Climbing Magazine. July, 2006 Installment.) View Online  |  Download PDF The longest road trip I’ve ever taken was in a two-door 1983...
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    Burley Integration
    August 18, 2008
    My senior photo for high school was a shot of me in a Crazy Creek chair on a rock next to a lake in Glacier National Park in Montana. More so than a glammed up version of myself, I...
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    Tossed
    August 4, 2008
    Last week I got tossed. Imagine a 4X8 space littered with maps, cables, bedding, food, dishes, and plastic bags. The space was my van and it looked like a bear had gotten inside and wreacked havoc. But I was...
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    Going for Broke: Whipped Installment
    July 17, 2008
    Going for Broke: An (Ir)Rational Pursuit of Every Climber’s Dream (Part of an on-going series on my blog of posts from my column Whipped, for Climbing Magazine. Januray, 2005 Installment) View Online  |  Download PDF It’s 7:30 a.m. and you’re at the parking lot...
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    What I Wanted
    July 4, 2008
    Two weeks ago I was in New Hampshire. Again. I’d never been to the state until this February, and now I’ve gone on three trips to the North Country. It pulled at me the first time, and I knew...
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    La Petite Epic: Whipped Installment
    June 30, 2008
    La Petite Epic: Learning the Ropes, French Style (Part of an on-going series on my blog of posts from my column Whipped, for Climbing Magazine. October, 2004 Installment) View Online  |  Download PDF It all began with an overhanging limestone pocket at Wild...
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    But What if There are Two Million Germs?
    June 23, 2008
    I’m traveling again. Back on planes, pilfering free internet from sidewalk coffee shops, and cutting the top off my travel face moisturizer to eek out the last of the goodness. After eighteen nights in my own bed it’s time...
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    Finding Your Better Half: Whipped Installment
    June 18, 2008
    This week I am going to start doing something different and introduce back installments of my column Whipped. I hope to alternate between column installments and other comments. View Online  |  Download PDF Finding Your Better Half : The search for the perfect...
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    Reunited
    June 7, 2008
    I never went to my college graduation. I got out of Jersey as fast as I could back then, got out and went west to where my new life was waiting for me with all of the mountains and...
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    Available at an Ethiopian Bookstore Near You—Vertical Ethiopia, and a Porsche.
    May 31, 2008
    I got an email from a friend last week who lives in Addis Ababa. “Saw your book at the Hilton,” she wrote, “next to Time magazine’s Africa Edition. Does this mean you’ve finally arrived?” Nope. But my book has. After almost...
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    Consistent Humbling
    May 18, 2008
    I did my first lead climbs at the Gunks, in New York. Back then I was feisty, eager, and adamant that I could pull anything off. After my first lead tying off trees for pro, I decided I was...
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    Context
    May 13, 2008
    I’m home in Boulder for the next five days, three days longer than I have been in town for three months. I’ve been looking forward to this week for a long time, but when I drove into town last...
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    Nobody told me when I would need the Marshmallow Shooter
    May 2, 2008
    When I was in sixth grade, I thought being an adult meant you were done. Done with anything tough or complex in friendship, life, love—any of it. My best friend had recently been stolen by an evil girl, the...
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    The Weight of Your World
    April 21, 2008
    I got married young. Back then, I would have never admitted I was young—back then I was 21 and had it figured out. Back then is nothing like now. Now it’s ten years later, I’m single, I’m dating, I’m...
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    Community Riff
    April 12, 2008
    I’m in Miami. South Beach, to be exact. I saw more mini-dresses, three hundred dollar flip flops, and oversized sunglasses in one hour last night than I have in the past year. This morning I sat overlooking an aqua...
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    Free Time
    April 3, 2008
    I’m in Bishop, California. Yesterday, I woke up at 6:30, made breakfast in my van, worked on my computer for two hours, and then went climbing. I came back by 4:00 for more work. My hands were covered in...
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    Massaged Kale
    March 26, 2008
    One week into a four-week road trip in my van and my homing devices are already firing. Like it or not, I seek out the same things each time I travel: wifi zones, pedicure providers, and… raw food? Yesterday, on...
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    Snowmobile Drag Race Cancelled
    March 14, 2008
    When I was a kid, skiing was more important than anything in the world. I’d wake up and suit up in hand-me-down red racking pants from my cousin Mark and a pink puffy jacket from last year's sale rack...
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    Two Weeks In
    March 9, 2008
    There’s the retired schoolteacher who spent four years, or two stints, in the Peace Corps in southern Ethiopia. He remembers the people. The food. The peace. The young woman who traveled overland from Kenya and to the Red Sea, across...
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    Mountain Appraisal
    March 2, 2008
    When I was fifteen I took I NOLS course in Wyoming and hated nearly every day—in the beginning. I was skinny and short with bony hips that jutted out perfectly into the marginally-padded hip belt of my external frame...
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    Hometown Crowd
    February 27, 2008
    I had a deal with myself when I went to pick up my book at the airport. If something went wrong, if it looked awful, if I could not face it, I was going to Sri Lanka. Mexico would...
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    Ethiopian Birr
    February 23, 2008
    As of January 2nd, 345 Ethiopian Birr (ETB) was the equivalent to $37.99. On that day my publisher set the price for my book and now, a month and a half later, my book is stamped with both prices...
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    Arrival
    February 22, 2008
    The call comes in the middle of my third cup of coffee. I load into the car and wonder just how much space 500 books will take up in my wagon. It’s industrial where I am going; gray buildings...
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    An Honest Workweek
    February 19, 2008
    Yesterday my book got on a plane in Dubai. It’s headed to the US as I write this and, theoretically, on Thursday, I get to finally see it. In two weeks shy of one year, Vertical Ethiopia went soup...
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    Normal People
    February 14, 2008
    Identity crises are never pleasant, especially when they happen 200’ up a frozen chunk of ice. Ideally, this would be different. But that’s never my luck. Do normal people have the same? Here’s the situation: It seems I’m constantly...
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    New Hamshire Gone South
    February 7, 2008
    When I was fifteen I was obsessed with trying to figure out if I liked certain things, or if I liked to like those things. This is not en efficient way of thinking, but I always go back to...
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    Liminality, Defined. Day 1
    February 5, 2008
    There is a theory somewhere in my head that I can rob myself of my own creativity. As if there are two of me (or more) and if one takes flight and writes, the other will be left with...
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    Mountain Appraisal
    February 2, 2008
    When I was fifteen I took I NOLS course in Wyoming and hated nearly every day—in the beginning. I was skinny and short with bony hips that jutted out perfectly into the marginally-padded hip belt of my external frame...
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