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…

Don’t Die Curious

On May 22, 2019, the Class of 2033 had their kindergarten orientation. I drove past Signal Hill and saw the swell of improbably small and cute four and five year olds spilling out of the school, peeking in their welcome packets – 60 families on the cusp of a big transition. I distinctly remember sitting…

When Farmers and Writers Talk Shop

Frontier thinking. Everything you do happens at the place where your ideas meet your idea of the world. This is the time of year when the farm machines roll full-tilt out of winter hibernation. At least, that’s how Andrew Budgell speaks of it. Co-owner of Laughing Crow Organics, one of Pemberton’s small scale organic mixed…

Nina Caprez: Sorry, not sorry.

In Nina Caprez’ instagram profile, she describes herself as a “Sponsored athlete, life artist with a free spirit.” I had the chance to interview her for Arc’teryx. This story ran on Arcteryx’s Bird Blog in late March 2019. Nina Caprez is a straight-talking weapon of a climber who is not ashamed to have big goals. That makes…

Uncontainable

Soundtrack: This time last year, I was writing obituaries. I wrote a lot of them. This month, I’ve been grateful for the ability of other people to put some of the grief and loss swirling through our community into words. It’s the thing about loss – it knocks the wind out of you, and with…

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…

Are you smarter than a tree?

It didn’t weird Dr Suzanne Simard out, when I told her I talk to trees. Dr Simard is a professor of forest ecology with UBC and the researcher behind the viral TED talk that introduced the general public to the idea that trees communicate with other trees, and share information, carbon, energy, in collaboration with…

Crowning a “junk” tree with overdue appreciation

“What’s this?” asked my clutter-resistant husband, observing the giant mason jar of oily plant matter on the counter. “Ohh, it’s medicine! It’s called Balm of Gilead,” I explained. “Oh. But what is it?” “Cottonwood tips in oil.” “Hmm. And what’s it good for treating?” he asked, in an impressively neutral manner, eyes scanning to the…

Craft cider: here’s to a drink that literally grows on trees

“You know that rule in skiing or biking where you don’t look at the tree you’re trying to avoid?” says Kathleen van der Ree, one half of Squamish’s Northyards Cider Co (and a partner with law firm Race and Co “on the side”.) Having grown up in a family of restauranteurs, van der Ree spent…