Waypoint Namibia | Petzl

“Waypoint Namibia.” Petzl Catalog Feature 2010. Download PDF  “What makes a climb impassable? I’m 215-meters up a first ascent of a granite crack climb in the heart of Namibia, and all I have to hold onto is a bush. Lots of bushes. Trees, too. In order to get where I’m going – the summit – I need what’s behind the … Read More

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

Whipped: Benched

“Injury, Drugs, and Other Dirty Secrets.” Climbing Magazine Column. July 2010. View Online  |  Download PDF “I’m on drugs. It’s best to get this out in the beginning. This is not by choice. I’d like to say that this would all be more fun if it were by choice — if I were having a Hunter S. Thompson moment in my … Read More

Whipped: Going Local

“The Self-Justification for Vertical Travel.” Climbing Magazine Column. March 2010. Download PDF “I was halfway over the atlantIc in November 2009 when I realized that my one-year plan — bracketing stays in a trifecta of North American mountain towns with three international journeys — made zero sense. I blame Steve, a fellow traveler whose meddlesome, questioning attitude tipped the scales. We hadn’t left … 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

Classic Climbs: Mountaineers Route | Climbing Magazine

“Alpine Shangri-La on a 1,000-Foot Granite Wall.” Climbing Magazine. August 2009. View Online  |  Download PDF “Elephant’s perch is the West’s hidden gem, with golden granite and airy climbs above sapphire lakes. Fred Beckey, S. Marts, and H. Schwabland put up the Perch’s first line in 1963 (the Original Beckey, then V 5.8 A2), when the approach involved eight miles … Read More

Underwriting Adventure | Elevation Outdoors

“Want health insurance to protect yourself on your next climbing expedition? Think about applying for Polish citizenship.” Elevation Outdoors Essay. June 2009. View Online  |  Download PDF “Two weeks from today, I head to Namibia. In fact, by the time you read this, I will likely be in Namibia doing something for which I’m not insured. Technically, because I live in … Read More

Whipped: Cone of Protection

“How I Beat My Biggest Climbing Nemesis: Myself.” Climbing Magazine Column. March 2009. Download PDF “I’d lived In Colorado 10 years before I climbed in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, the only place I’ve seen that pulsates beauty and fear at equal frequencies. Tight, 2,000 feet deep, dark-green water surging over house-sized boulders through its inky depths, the Black fills … 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