Would You Join the Lost Mountain?

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 with an eight-person team of scientists, conservationists, and climbers in October. We’re finding species new to science, we’re starting a new … Read More

Coffee Story: Ethiopia Available Now, Needed Now

  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 project. We’ve done it. This morning a friend asked me to write her a note about … Read More

Waypoint Namibia: Big Walls, Desert Mirages, and Perseverance in the Darmaland and Beyond. *

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 only part of the story. There’s also a 2,000+ year-old painted giraffe, 108-degree temperatures, eight days at 15km/hour over washboard roads, scorpions, laser sharp granite cracks, crumbling granite faces, and 1.7 … Read More

First Ascents, Returns, and Expectations. Namibia 7

“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, twice. I hadn’t yet seen the poodle. A scab on my shoulder had started to bleed again. “More,” I replied. “Better.” On June 1, Peter Doucette, Kate Rutherford, and … Read More

Mobile Home, Africa Style. Namibia 1

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 of my house in Boulder. (The poodle, unfortunately, will also stay at home.) There is chance this tent will get trampled by an elephant. Either with me inside … Read More

Working Make Believe

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 spent the same eight hours in front of my computer. Nothing I did touched another person or was directly revenue producing. … Read More

Toward the Tunnel

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 road trip and spent the next six months focusing on getting my coffee cup from the kitchen to my desk without … Read More

Holiday Break for the Unbreakables

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 grind my teeth. Or rather, with current technology, it is more like 6 hours without a quick run through my phone. … Read More

Working in the Void

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 article about family and office roles mixing at work. The piece explained that all of the issues you have at … Read More

Expando-Crag: Whipped Insallment

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 hardship, have also always applied the same perseverance to sport. Consider the recent introduction of the bicycle with … Read More