Hoarding the Collection

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 and Sarah came over on my last night in New Hampshire to load my van for me. They each went … Read More

Post Op

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 culture in North Conway is a mistake–you can want it–you’re just not supposed to admit you want it. Especially not to someone like Freddie. When I slipped last winter and inquired about culture, Freddie … Read More

Transitions in Paradox

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 degrees outside, a 75-degree drop from where I’d started. My van, choked full of a winter’s assortment of climbing gear, files, and poodle food, was waiting in … Read More

Common Denominator

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 wooden spatula, the death of your grandmother, the unexpected appearance of antivenin five months after you needed it, and an utter sense … Read More

Edge Dweller

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 the truth of it is that I am trying to turn the tragedy around. When you find a dead body on your second day of vacation, … Read More

Whispering Into A Roar

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 it. Four weeks ago, I wrote a piece about trying to understand death in the face of more death, and in spite of life. I thought that, by writing it, I … Read More

Left, Right in the Road

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 a quest for home. Sure, I lived in an unfurnished house on No Name Alley while strangers called my home in … Read More

Screaming Uncle at a Whisper

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 it, and what makes you stay. We talked about how tired we were of going to climbing funerals. We talked about how much … Read More