The Guide ~ a short story

Jamal’s senses snapped into focus with a sudden burst of light. The darkness that enveloped him had lasted only an instant as his mind recovered from the shock of having fallen. In those first few moments he wasn’t entirely sure where he was. His mama’s kitchen was the safest place he could imagine. But as the smell of cooking filled his nostrils, in his mouth there was the distinct taste of his own blood. “Why is it so cold?” he thought to himself.

Then suddenly all at once he knew exactly what had happened. Even through the clouds overhead the perpetual sun of an Alaskan summer lit the walls of ice all around him in bright flashes of white.  Looking up Jamal could see the grey of an overcast sky that stood in subtle contrast to the snow that drifted down from above and onto his face, only the goggles he wore kept the flakes from falling into his eyes. The view from inside a crevasse on an ancient glacier was every bit as horrifying as his worst nightmare. Jamal hung there suspended from a rope tied securely to his harness. But unable to move it was as if he were buried alive.

To  read the rest of the story visit

How’s that for a cliffhanger? I hope that this short excerpt of a new work of fiction encourages you to support my work as a professional writer. After several years of news reporting and commercial copywriting projects I want to try my hand at writing things based on my personal experiences but derived primarily from my imagination. With the help of a few fans on I can devote several hours each week to pure fiction writing and make my way to Canada this fall to participate in the Banff Mountain and Wilderness Program in Alberta where I have been accepted as a fellow. I just need to raise about $600 to cover the cost of a plane ticket.

The Guide is short story I’ve written that is a fictionalized account of an event that occurred in 2012 on the Matanuska Glacier in Chugach Range of Alaska. While training for Expedition Denali, which is the focus of my forthcoming book The Adventure Gap and a film I co-produced called An American Ascent, a member of our party fell into a crevasse. Though he was pulled out safely without serious injury the incident impressed upon me both the inherent danger of mountaineering and the proficiency with which trained professional guides can execute a rescue and get a team of climbers moving again after averting a potential catastrophe. It also illustrated for me the importance of teamwork and fellowship in the achievement of goals. I learned a lot about how a thoughtful and talented mentor can help a young person build confidence in themselves and how to trust the skills and abilities of others. These are the things I want to write about.

My goal with this narrative is to practice my skills as a storyteller. By making it available to readers online exclusively through Patreon I want to also get legitimate buy-in from fans of literature, people who will hold me to a higher standard of excellence with suggestions and criticisms to make the work better in the future.

It will only cost you $1 to read it. If you like it, please share it with your friends and encourage them to read it too. If you hate it, tell me so. But give me some idea of how I can make it better. Your support will help me to move this story forward. My hope is that I can continue this narrative as a series of stories with new editions coming out every month. If you like my work and want to see more become a Patron today!


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