Climber. Author. In no particular order.
At the time this photo was taken by @jamesqmartin , I was in the middle of probably the best stretch of climbing in my 19 year career, onsighting hard trad climbs left and right, climbing with confidence, and posing like a fool. Good luck, or good technique? Today, I’m hobbling around on an injured knee after blowing a red x4 on a scary whipper. I was through the crux, and starting to relax just a little when suddenly, a hold that had never felt slippery before was impossible to hold onto, and I fell where I had never fallen previously. Bad luck, or bad technique? No matter how good, or experienced you are, luck is a huge part of climbing. Those who die or get hurt in climbing accidents are often unlucky, and those who walk away unscathed often don’t realize their good fortune. I’m bummed I hurt my knee, but I’m also lucky I didn’t get hurt worse (and haven’t sustained any truly debilitating climbing injuries… or worse… thus far ). For this reason, I always encourage people to do little things to protect against bad luck: wear helmets, check knots, place extra gear when possible. I clearly didn’t place extra gear when this picture was taken, or yesterday. Tomorrow, maybe I will. @metoliusclimbing
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM ) just released its environmental review for the proposed Ambler mining road. The road threatens the future of the Western Arctic caribou, which undertake one of the greatest land migrations on Earth. The industrial access road would not only cut across the caribou's migration pathway, it would also slice through Gates of the Arctic National Preserve. Today is the last day for comments to be made to the BLM here - https://p2a.co/X6bpokw . Thanks @jamesqmartin for the heads up!
Neha climbing some rocks here in Arizona. Not bad. 🏜
Happy 40th birthday Old Man Morris @tricksterdeity ! In celebration of your big day I went for a 40 second run around my yard... set an FKT. 🎂
No big deal... just an article I wrote (I mean, @tiogathedog wrote ) front and center on @outsidemagazine home page today... If you’ve always wondered what Tioga (or your own dog ) is thinking... today you can find out. Link in bio. #doglovers #adventuredogs #adventuredogsofficial #johnmuirsdog #tiogathedog #goodboy
I’ve done a handful of 5.13s before, including an a/b slash grade or two. But they usually feel like Index 5.12b, and I don’t think any of them have been harder than Stern Farmer or Fifth Force (both 5.12b ), which previously I would claim as my two hardest redpoints. But I think this one (it’s called Shaman School ) is solid at the grade, and probably harder than anything I climbed at Index, or anywhere. It’s also a beaut. If it wasn’t I don’t think I’d have spent a solid five or six days on it -- the second-longest I’ve spent on any single pitch in my life. Didn’t get any photos b/c, well, that’s just how it goes sometimes. But I promise, it’s autumn out here and the aspens are beautiful. Basically, I’m pretty happy about it. @metoliusclimbing
Great day climbing with @taylormichaelburk in Sedona! I don’t usually get pictures of me climbing so I appreciate the shots, Taylor! (The first three, the good ones, are his. ) Taylor and I meet in the Dolomites, of all places, on an @arcteryx press trip! Fun to reconnect again here in AZ. @metoliusclimbing
I was recently incredibly fortunate to join @arcteryx in the Italian Dolomites on a press trip for a new program they will be announcing soon. It was a phenomenal experience. More on that soon. But before I joined the team, I got in a couple climbing days with my good friend from years back in Cochamo, @r4ndl Florian Haenel. After a 24+ hour travel marathon from the states to Munich to the Dolomites, we set off to do the Cassin Route on Cima Ovest in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Established by the visionary Italian climber Riccardo Cassin (with Vittorio Ratti ) in 1935 (!!😳🤯 ), the 450m 5.11+ is, today, one of the most classic routes in the Dolomites. Climbing the Cassin with Flo is an experience I'll never forget. From the mind-blowing sunrise in the morning, to the sound of cowbells guiding us down through barbed wire and other remnants of World War I in the fog that settled on us by night, the entire day was unlike any other climbing experience I'd had before. I was proud to climb the route all free, onsight and without falls, clipping many dubious pitons (some undoubtedly placed by Cassin himself ) and surviving a number of thought-provoking runouts en route to the summit. Thanks Flo for the grand time, and @arcteryx for getting me there! #cassin #trecimedilavaredo #dolomites #arcteryx #climbing #cimaovest @metoliusclimbing
1. Did not go to climate march. 2. Did not lobby in DC. 3. Still searching for light at end of tunnel, 365 days a year. (For those of you who didn’t make it to the climate march, and didn’t strike, but are still out there doing your best. )
Ten years ago today, @b .grant.simmons and I climbed the diamond on Long's Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was our first big alpine climb together, and set the stage for many years of great adventures to come. Remember when I was laybacking the bergschrund, Grant? Or climbing the frozen glacier without even micro spikes, using pointy rocks for ice axes? Or when I told you, "sure, you can go in direct to that #3 ..." Hopefully we're both a little smarter ten years down the road... Or, at least one of us.
I recently got an opportunity to join @senmcsallyaz Senator Martha McSally on a hike of an 11 mile section of the Arizona Trail outside of Flagstaff Arizona. All I really knew about the Senator going in to the hike was that she's a Republican. Meanwhile, I have always voted democrat. I decided not to read a raft of articles about her and her political/religious/moral/spiritual values, and just get to know her organically the way I would with any other person. What I learned about the Senator is that we have a lot in common. We both think Arizona is an underrated state when it comes to wilderness recreation opportunities. We both think sleeping in the Grand Canyon would be super awesome. We both think the current state of political divisiveness is crippling our nation. We both love dogs. We both have favorite mountains. There were a bunch of us on the hike -- representatives of nonprofits like @grandcanyontrust , @az_wilderness_coalition , and @willowbendcenter ; the photographer @jamesqmartin (who took this photo, and arranged for me to be on the hike in the first place ); the Coconino County Supervisor Jim Parks and his executive assistant, Steve Flanagan; and a bunch of McSally's staff. We talked about wild flowers, mushrooms, plane crashes in the San Francisco peaks, Jim's cowboy boots which treated him well all 11 miles, the loveliness of aspen trees, and other pleasant topics. We laughed together, and enjoyed one another's company. We didn't talk about politics, really, at all. We didn't dig into difficult topics we are sure to disagree about. I'm sure Senator McSally has views and opinions that would bother me; and vice versa. For that matter, the same goes for everyone on the hike. Everyone on the planet. I'm not saying we should never talk about those things, or never dig into tough subjects. But I do think there's value in getting to know someone first. Build a foundation of mutual respect, trust, and commonly-held values and beliefs... and then you can get into the contentious stuff. Thanks for the opportunity Senator, and thanks to everyone else who made it a memorable hike. #arizonatrail #flagstaffarizona #wilderness #grandcanyon #hiking
Checking out potential wedding venues with @nnmeganmm ... 👍 or 👎 to this location?
Meanwhile in #flagstaff ...
@nnmeganmm and I have been climbing a lot at this wall lately, mostly because of the lovely aspen forest at the base of the wall. What I haven’t been doing much lately is using social media, mostly because it tends to make me feel bad about myself, and frustrated with how I spend my time. . . . For those of you who don’t already know, I have been putting a lot more time these days into my email newsletter than social media. The former is something I’m really excited about, and having a lot of fun with. I share pieces of writing and little stories there, and occasional offers or discounts on books. If that sounds interesting to you, head over to the link in the bio, and fill out the pop up when it... well, when it pops up. If it doesn’t pop up, just scroll to the bottom of the page and fill out the form there. Cheers and happy summer everyone!
Making not so hard look kinda hard... or vice versa? 🤔 You decide. I’ve been climbing well for myself lately, making pretty quick work on a variety of 12+ and 13- sport and trad climbs. But haven’t been doing much dynamic movement lately. This 12 felt pretty hard to me... or maybe I’m just short... anyway, nice stripes on that wall, no? 🎥 @jamesqmartin
Here are some #monsoon poems because here in #Flagstaff , it's about damn time. 1. The monsoons this evening came tantalizingly close. Close enough to smell the first coy drops on the pavement. Close enough to feel a chill in the air. Close enough to hear. But still not here. 2. Good are the places where good things are spare. Acknowledged and valued when they fall from thin air. Like a benediction up something's sleeve: Monsoon in the summer, the desert's reprieve. 3. Mountain rains in the desert summer One way or another Bound to happen Monsooner or later P.S. Thanks to all the #firefighters , county workers, and #volunteers who have helped pad our sidewalks with sandbags. The #museumfire may not yield a direct threat right now, but the risk of floods pouring down the cooked slopes is very real, and our house is in the tip of the funnel. What a conflicting feeling, yearning for rain, but at the same time worrying it might flood our (and others ) home!
Reasons to stay inside: 1. ) I don’t have a partner. 2. ) the crag is an hour away. 3. ) (when already half way there ) shit! I left my shoes at home! ... Reasons to go outside: 1. ) worth it... every single time. ... @metoliusclimbing
Here's a picture my friend @austin_siadak took of me a few years ago looking up at a wall either in apprehension, or in disbelief. Depends whether we had already summitted or not. I can't remember which was the case. Either way, this image accompanies a short essay I shared recently with @adventurejournal . Check it out (link in bio ). I think you'll like it. Here's a tiny snip: "It’s the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done. Day in, day out, trying to make a go of this. Trying to create something out of nothing. Magazines fold, publishers draw inward, writing—everyone tells me—is dead or dying. I wish I were less hellbent on proving everyone wrong. What I yearn for now is to yearn for nothing. My only ambition ambivalence. A crew cut and a 401k. A job, a lawn, and a cold one before a glowy screen at the end of the day. Paradoxically, the closer I grow with age to death, the more I feel there is to live for. There’s a bit of reckless flame that is gone out of me. I don’t get stoned hardly ever anymore. Screws with the work day." #climbingwriting #climbing #adventurejournal #shamelessselfpromotion #hashtag
Thanks so much @mountainsportsflagstaff for hosting me and @friendsofcochamo on Friday for a slideshow! We raised some money for Friends of Cochamo, and answered some great questions from a super engaged audience! And awesome news... on Saturday, we got a letter from the IRS confirming that we have officially become a 501(c )(3 ) tax deductible organization! If you were waiting for that to happen before pitching in to Friends of Cochamó... wait no more! Link in bio!
Yes, seriously, somehow we are all still talking about the threat of a Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay... sadly. The handful of remaining stretches of true wilderness such as Bristol Bay are basically the last seed banks for the natural heritage of planet Earth. It’s where the last seeds are kept for unmodified, untampered with, unfucked up ecosystems— the most sustainable and efficient systems this planet has ever known. Gone here means gone for good. Sign the petition. Link in bio. #wildalaska #nopebblemine #protectwildalaska #bristolbay #savebristolbay