Beyond the mountain

An interview with Banff Mountain Literature Award winner Steve House

steve-house

Leading alpinist Reinhold Messner once called Steve House “the best high altitude climber in the world today.” That’s no small praise coming from the first man to solo the summit of Everest without oxygen.

In his late 30s House has had a distinguished career ascending the most challenging routes on many of the highest mountains in the world. Just after the release of his new memoir Beyond the Mountain House shared his thoughts on his earliest days in the sport.

“The real turning point for me in my climbing career, and I talk about this in the book, and I think it was an important moment for me,” House said. “I decided after high school to take a year and do a student exchange. And got sent to Yugoslavia.”

Originally House I had hoped to go to France. Instead he spent a year in the mountain region once known as Slovenia.

“I was there for a couple of months, super board! As a kid I didn’t understand the language having a really a hard time making friends. And climbing was my deliverance from all that,” he said. “You don’t need to communicate that much with language when you’re going climbing with somebody. I found and joined a climbing club there and I wound up dropping out of school and spent that whole summer climbing.”

House said that it was at this point when for him the hook for climbing was set. He’d go one to earn an ecology degree from Evergreen State University in Olympia Washington and from there he’d become a professional mountain guide, leading expeditions and climbing solo while pushing the boundaries of high altitude adventure.

In this edition of The Joy Trip Project Steve House tells the story behind his award winning book.

Music this week by Jake Shimabukuro from the album Dragon. Find him online at: www.jakeshimabukuro.com

Jake-ShimabukuroThe Joy Trip Project is brought to thanks to the generous support of our sponsors Recreational Equipment Inc. REI and Patagonia. We don’t take money from just anyone. Supporters of this podcast share our mission of better living through an active healthy lifestyle in balance with nature and the communities in which we live. Special thanks this week to New Belgium Brewing Company for underwriting travel expenses during The 2009 Banff Mountain Film Festival.

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Author:James

I'm a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.

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