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…

Riding Back in Time

As we rode away from the trailhead, the guide turned back to throw a cheerful bit of advice over her shoulder. “You might as well turn your phones to Airplane Mode now. Save the batteries for the camera.” Searching for a signal would drain them dead, since there’s none to be found once you ride…

Imperfect, but adapting to it

It’s an ugly truth. When I first encountered climber Craig DeMartino, I felt a little bit sorry for him. He was inspiring, for sure. Remarkable in his resilience, absolutely. But, with his right leg amputated below the knee, I saw the absence more than his remarkable presence. DeMartino was a professional climber and one of…

Saving the World, One Word at a Time

This story is featured in the summer 2019 Save the World issue of Coast Mountain Culture magazine. With thanks to editors Mike Berard and Tara Cunningham and art director Chris Rowat for their incredible contributions towards helping this story find its fullest and best expression. Of an estimated 7,000 languages spoken around the world, only 25 of them…

Paolo Marazzi: profiling a spiderman

What matters most is to wake up in in the morning, still exhausted, in a place few others have been before. Because you will have been part of the stunning view, not on the other side watching from a viewpoint. This profile of Italian guide and pro climber, Paolo Marazzi, was first featured on the Arc’teryx blog…

Coming down from Treeline

Can a quiet and deeply thoughtful piece of film provoke radical action? Jordan Manley’s Treeline makes the case. This morning, on my way home from the school bus-stop, I detoured via a small patch of Douglas-Fir – the grandfather tree, called Srap7ul, in Ucwalmictws, the language of the Lil’wat Nation, meaning “something standing upright.” I found a…

The Maker’s Medicine

In praise of Slow Booze: drinking more mindfully might be as easy as swapping mass-produced plonk for hand-crafted, small batch beverages. And PS Happy 10thanniversary, Pemberton Distillery.   The best drink I had over the festive season was a small plastic glass of port-wine, infused with herbs and hawthorn berries that yoga teacher Natalie Rousseau…

Are you ready for the Analogue Travel Challenge?

In praise of the soul lap, the undocumented adventure. Stephen Hui has taken thousands of photos of pristine backcountry vistas. But these days, he’d rather leave his camera behind, especially if he’s hiking a trail he’s been on before. Even though his work, as author of the just-released and already-a-bestseller guidebook, 105 Hikes in and…

The pleasure of not thinking

To the farmers, firefighters, day camp coaches, event workers, frontline service people, road re-pavers, emergency responders, investigative reporters, I need to apologize. I’m sorry. I see how hard you’re working to keep the wheels turning. I’m not pulling my weight. “No thinking in August” is my friend Mike’s mantra, and the moment I heard it,…

Falling therapy

“Advanced Women’s Climbing”, an all-day clinic offered at the Arc’teryx Climbing Academy in Squamish July 21-22, seems innocuous enough when I sign up. I have taught enough women’s only ski clinics to know that an all-yin environment can instigate some great breakthroughs. What I hadn’t anticipated was that our guides, Arc’teryx endurance athlete and mountaineer…