I’m so vain (this post is definitely about me)

I should wear a helmet every time I go climbing. This is objective; a fact. I read enough tragic headlines and accident reports to know it. It’s a no-brainer (ack, sorry, I really just couldn’t help myself, sorry). Continue reading “I’m so vain (this post is definitely about me)”


Find Your Snack: Grin and Bear It

Hiking in the Tetons in the dark is a little different than hiking in places uninhabited by grizzly bears in the dark, namely because of grizzly bears and the fact that they live there.

The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016, and dirtbags nationwide are finding creative ways to commemorate the NPS Centennial. (My favorite so far is the Dirtbag Diaries’Milepost series.) I, on the other hand, lack artistic sensibilities, and am thus marking the occasion in the same way I celebrate everything else: by eating. Without further ado, then, I present the next installment in this series about things I’ve eaten, or seen eaten (in this case, almost me), in national parks. Continue reading “Find Your Snack: Grin and Bear It”

A mid-season reflection: What are those turns worth?

As I’ve written before, I’ve spent a lot of the last handful of years thinking about death. Not in an abstract way—what is life; who am I?—but in an all-too-real, terribly concrete way: both professionally and for recreation, the pursuits I’m drawn to require us to undertake a great deal of risk, and lately I’ve read the accident reports of peers, colleagues, friends-of-friends, and role models who bore the consequences of that risk in the most catastrophic way imaginable. Continue reading “A mid-season reflection: What are those turns worth?”

Peaks and Pee Funnels: My Month of Mountaineering, Part 2

Another climber once asked if I knew the definition of mountaineering. I could have said a million things, I guess, but nothing came to mind. “What is it?” I asked.

“Moving slowly uphill while not feeling very well,” he replied.

Such moments of clarity tell me two things about climbers as a group: first, our chosen activity and its inherent unpleasantness, at least on paper, indicate a slight imbalance in our collective brain function. Second, and perhaps more importantly, we are aware of the first fact, and we have a sense of humor about ourselves.

Continue reading “Peaks and Pee Funnels: My Month of Mountaineering, Part 2”