Searching for Namibia | Alpinist Magazine

“Searching for Namibia.” Alpinist Magazine Feature. Fall 2010, #32. Download PDF | View Online “Photos of echoing emptiness drew me to Namibia. In the first picture, a scraggly rock face rose to a beveled granite prow. Its curve mirrored the shape of a mud-covered hut below. The cliff was three fingers high; the building was two. How tall was the unseen … Read More

Go East | Alpinist Magazine

“Go East.” Alpinist Magazine Feature, December, 2009.  Download PDF  |  View Online “What if the darkness of winter can trick you into knowing what is forgotten? It’s February 2008, and I’m driving to New Hampshire. I leave Maine at six o’clock on two-lane roads in a cheap rental car with a blown-out dome light. My scribbled down directions would be … Read More

Underwriting Adventure | Dirtbag Diaries

“Underwriting Adventure.” Dirtbag Diaries Radio Essay. September 29th, 2009. Listen Online “Two weeks from today, I head to Namibia. In fact, when you’re hearing this, I will likely be back from Namibia. Back from doing something, for which, I’m not insured. I’m going to Namibia to go climbing—or at least, that’s part of it. I’m also going to spend thirty-four nights in a tent … Read More

Manufactured Desire | Climbing Magazine

“Manufactured Desire: How Much is too Much?” Climbing Magazine, January 2009. Download PDF “When hunting FAs, most seek splitter cracks, edgy arêtes, or overhanging waves. Not Jeff Mottershead, 29, a Vancouverite and physics doctoral student. The obscure object of Mottershead’s desire was a tree-choked, dirt-filled gully on the rainy Squamish Chief. Today, after 1.5 years of Herculean toil and $14,000 … Read More

Country Style | Climbing Magazine

“Country Style: Going Trad in South Africa.” Climbing Magazine. December 2008. Download PDF “How badly can you want it? I’m in the bed of a “bakkie” (South African for pickup truck), with snail shells raining on my head. They’re the former inhabitants of a topper covering four people, climbing gear, and three days of food in a two-seater Nissan Hardbody bouncing north out of Cape Town toward Tafelberg. It … Read More

The High Side of the Horn of Africa | The Explorers Journal

“The High Side of the Horn of Africa. The Explorers Journal. Summer 2008. Download PDF “I scissor my hand up and down in the crack, clearing loose grains of sand from the inside edge. The purchase gets better and I commit to the hold and begin cleaning the inside of the next. Midway through my next excavation, the edge of the crack outside my foot fractures. The horizontal runnel I’d … Read More

The California Needles | Gripped Magazine

“The California Needles: Perfect, Multi-Pich Granite.” Gripped Magazine. July 2008. Download PDF “How many times in life does a place exceed expectations? It’s 3 p.m. on a late September afternoon and I’m hiking into the Needles in southern California. For more than a decade I’ve been trying to get to this exact spot – 2,400 m above sea level in Kern River Valley in the High Sierra. … Read More

Vertical Ethiopia | Climbing Magazine

“Vertical Ethiopia: Sandstone Chaos in the Horn of Africa.” Climbing Magazine. January 2008. Download PDF  “My first Ethiopian hand jam feels perfect. My flexed thumb nestles into ochre sandstone as I reach above for the next jam. I know this routine well: reach, pull, gear, clip, repeat. I do it for 20 feet. I could be in Indian Creek . . … Read More

Klettergarden | Climbing Magazine

“Klettergarden: Alpine Moderate Madness in Rocky Mountain National Park.” Climbing Magazine. August 2007. Download PDF “What comes to mind when I mention Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)? Probably the Diamond of Longs Peak, that 1,000-foot granite plaque capping an ominous east-facing cirque. Or maybe Hallet Peak and the clusters of V-hard boulderers sessioning the talus at its base. Or tourists filming bored, overstuffed elk from their … Read More

Getting What You Came For | Climbing Magazine

“Getting What You Came For: Adventure Climbing in Corsica.” Climbing Magazine December 2006.  Download PDF “I had plenty of gear, just nowhere to put it. Quaking in a strenuous stem, I finally gave up trying to sling a sloping horn. Going horizontal out a 3-foot roof, I used all the Corsican tricks I’d learned in the past weeks — I … Read More