Seija Halonen: the art of radical self-expression

Feet Banks has an incredible radar for incredible people. Whenever he has asked me to profile someone for Mountain Life, I come away stoked for the encounter. Seija Halonen was no exception. The Untamed Issue is out now. Seija Halonen strikes you quickly as one of those rare people who has no skeletons in her…

How to be a checklist Ninja

The first item on Alexandra Franzen’s to-do list for Thursday was drink two big glasses of water. We overlook the easy wins when crafting our to-do lists, says the author of the newly released The Checklist Book, and we shouldn’t: when we accomplish something, even something small, that feeling of satisfaction stimulates the body to…

Dreams of the Stone Age

CMC 12g StoneAge This story ran in Coast Mountain Culture magazine’s Lost issue, in Summer 2017. Ijust listened to the Hive podcast with Natalie Nahai in which Dr Sam Gandy, a doctor of ecological science and collaborator with the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London, shares the single positive note that came out of…

How to be Successful, according to your Future Self

I call up Squamish-based mountain guide, Julia Niles, on a fun assignment – I’m writing her professional bio for the Arc’teryx athletes page. I’m happy to reconnect with her, after having her as my guide in a climbing clinic two summers ago.  After three hours in a workshop, she is the kind of person who…

Bucket List Goals for Adventurers of a New Decade

The list is out. I have a beautiful hard-cover book on my desk to prove it. The Lonely Planet has announced the “Best in Travel 2020” – the results of an annual search to anoint the best places to visit in the year ahead. The list was whittled down, via fierce debate, from a longlist…

Hold Space. Invite Emergence.

I counted up the interviews I did this year – 40 voice memos, some still awaiting transcription, pages of scribbles, Word documents already filed away. What would that look like as a collage of portraits, I wondered? Is there an Instagram Best 9 homage available, to honour the cumulative effect of these conversations on me,…

Unearthed

Sometimes when I tell myself to breathe, it triggers panic – as if by drawing attention to this innate, unconscious, automatic action, breathing in and out suddenly becomes improbably difficult. Meditation, swimming laps, yoga… all these experiences often contain a few extremely panicked moments when I gasp, unable to catch a breath that has suddenly…

Our reckonings, exposed

I had the opportunity to meet and work with two incredible photographers this year, living on opposite sides of the Pacific, doing their best to look at the hard things. Grateful for the wonderful creative team at Coast Mountain Culture and Kootenay Mountain Culture for opportunities to explore these ideas, about reaching limits and the…

The Heart is a Drum

Yvonne Wallace gave herself seven days to close her heart and put it back in her chest, having stretched it as wide and thin as a deer hide to allow her story to resound through it, to sing of bone-truths. She had performed her one-woman show, ūtszan, twenty times, from Whistler to Whitehorse, Dawson City…

The Puzzle of Two-Eyed Seeing

The Dark Season is here, and my dinner table is about to be given over to a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. I feel a bit sheepish about confessing the grandma-ness of this, but I haven’t had to write a resume for over a decade, so I am now liberated of having to impress anyone with…