The Swallow and the Anchor

“My future captain interviewed me with three questions,” remembers Joe Aultman-Moore. “Had I ever sailed before? No. Did I get seasick? I don’t know. And, could I leave tomorrow? Yes.”  As Joe learned to sail while hitchhiking on a sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean, he also discovered the unexpected ways in which travel can explode his perceptions of normal.…
Read More

El Avalanchisto

When Matt McKee first heard about the position forecasting avalanches for Minera Pimenton, a gold mine in the Chilean Andes, it sounded like the snow geek’s dream job. But mere hours after his plane touched down in Santiago, Matt started getting hints that maybe he had walked into a situation that more closely resembled a nightmare: a den of avalanche paths, a mine full of workers who didn’t believe in avalanches and a country that looked for someone to blame if things went wrong.…
Read More

365 Days

“In the day to day tangle of life, it’s easy to let go of the things that provide that focus, and calm and perspective,” writes Fitz Cahall. “I find that serenity so easily in wilderness. How do we carry that home?” While on a trip to Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, Fitz resolved to do something back in “regular life” to try to tap into that quietness every day, for one year.…
Read More

Adventure 1000

  It’s January. Time for our annual Year of Big Ideas. This year, we talked to Alastair Humphreys, a 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Among other things, Alastair has walked across India, and 1000 miles through the largest sand desert in the world, cycled 46,000 miles around the world in four years and rowed across the Atlantic.…
Read More

Flying Deep

  There comes a stage in a great athlete’s career when the pursuit of technical difficulty takes a back seat. It gives way to simplicity, an aesthetic and possibly to an iconic style that leaves an impression on a sport. Will Gadd is one of the most accomplished mountain athletes ever.…
Read More

The Journey Within

  “I’m thirty-years-old, and a complete and utter failure,” writes Chris Kalman. “My mom is a PhD astrophysicist, my dad, a PhD mathematician, and my sister has a Master’s in epidemiology. They all have jobs, children, houses. I, on the other hand, am a dirtbag.” Earlier this fall, Chris moved away from favorite climbing haunts towards something bigger and more intimidating than giant rock walls.…
Read More

What You’re Handed

Regardless of how you choose to play outside, if someone gets hurt in the mountains, the first step on the checklist remains the same: “scene safety”–you make sure the thing that hurt your buddy isn’t going to hurt you too. But there’s no checklist for emotional safety when things go wrong.…
Read More

5 Steps to Bailing

“The reality of climbing is, if you climb long enough, you’re bound to bail,” writes Dean Fleming. “I’ve left rappel biners on sport bolted 5.8s. I’ve bailed from trees, chockstones, fixed cams, and Manzanita bushes. Sure, sometimes my pride gets a little dinged, but so far I’ve survived some pretty weird situations.” We figured with that kind of experience, Dean could teach us a thing or two.…
Read More

Mother’s Have It Hardest

“I remember really quickly going from, ‘Wow, I’m home, this feels great’, to ‘Holy s***, what did I do to my mom’?” says alpinist Kyle Dempster. “And that was the first time I saw how truly difficult it is for mothers.” Today, we bring you two stories–one from Hilary Oliver, and one from Kyle Dempster and his mother, Terry–about the struggle of loving an adventurer.…
Read More

The World by Bike

Committed. It’s a word we use to describe people we know, our friends, even ourselves. Committed to a sport. A ski line. A lifestyle. It can be easy to commit to those daily or short term goals. But carving out time to achieve a bigger dream, something that may take weeks or months, even years–it can feel really hard to take that first step.…
Read More