Author: James Edward Mills

Assignment Earth, Environmental Protection, Video / 06.04.2010

In the shadow of the Canyonlands of Eastern Utah, a site has been proposed for the state’s first nuclear power plant. Located outside the town of Green River, the plant would generate electricity for three million homes and provide a much need economic boost to the community. But the project would depend on huge amounts of water from the Green River itself, raising questions about its capacity to support this new development and other claims to its shrinking supply, not mention the impact on fish and other wildlife “Whether it be oil shale, coal gasification plants, nuclear power plants and so, quite frankly there’s not enough water to support all these things,” said John Weisheit, the conservation director of Living Rivers in Moab. “In a river system such as this, even a small incremental drop can strand endangered fish habitat.” In the edition of Assignment Earth we weigh the balance between energy generation and environmental protection.
Art, Climbing, Film Review, Fun Film Friday / 02.04.2010

A few days before his disappearance while on expedition in China, climber and filmmaker Jonny Copp wrote a poem he called Border Country. Rich with vivid imagery of a headlong journey into an uncertain future the lyric may well have foreshadowed the tragic avalanche that claimed his life and those of friends Micah Dash and Wade Johnson.

A new film of the same title produced by multi-media artist and fellow climber Jeremy Collins pays tribute to his fallen comrades in a style well suited to the way in which they lived their lives. Border Country draws upon the complete spectrum of audio/visual tools to excellent affect coupled with the skilled application of mountaineering technique. With Collins’ handcrafted illustrations and music by Brad Barr, Oriole Post and Rue Royale the film is a requiem that doesn’t memorialize so much as celebrate those who live to climb.
Breaking News, Music / 30.03.2010

The Joy Trip Project welcomes a new contributing artist to our list of muscians. Chad Farran has made a name in the San Diego music scene by playing hundreds of shows with many local bands throughout the region, producing music for TV shows and independent films, and recording CD projects for local musicians. Over the past 3 years he has been involved in the production of music for the popular surf/travel show On Surfari that airs on FOX network's Fuel TV, and has managed to capture the essence of foreign countries that the show travels to by studying the traditions and instruments from each place, incorporating them into musical pieces, and creating a contemporary and refreshing soundtrack. 

Farran's most recent CD release is , with 22 songs featured in the first season of Fuel TV's On Surfari. The CD features a rich landscape of music with ethnic instrumentation and grooves inspired by travels to India, Panama, Mauritius and New York.
Africa, Climbing, Destinations, Ethiopia, Film Review / 28.03.2010

From the outset writer, mountain guide and now filmmaker Majka Burhardt admits she could have found a better place to climb. In her new movie “Waypoint Namibia” she went looking for an experience that goes beyond climbing for climbing’s sake. “I have a theory these days that you can make adventure additive,” says Burhardt as the film opens “You can go beyond pure physical adventure and get cultural understanding out of it.” Much of adventure over the last century has held a very tight focus on singular objectives. Summit bids to claim a first ascent of high mountain peaks most often take clear precedent over building relationships with the local population. Though on many expeditions adventurers limit their contact with native people to hiring cooks and porters Burhardt and her small team literally went out of their way to engage those they met and learn something about their civilization.
Film Review, Fun Film Friday, Video / 26.03.2010

This visually graceful film is a short depiction of grounded flight. Yogaslacker Adi Carter demonstrates the poses that can be achieved using the new eLine from Trango. This low-stretch slackline offers a quick and easy setup for creating a yoga flow station that's kind on trees and reduces wear on anchors. Slackasana may well be a up and coming form of practice for climbers and yogies alike.

Africa, Climbing, Ethiopia, Photography, Podcast / 24.03.2010

An interview with climber and writer Majka Burhardt

If you’re a writer, there are few things better than to combine your passion for storytelling with something else that you truly love. For writer Majka Burhardt climbing has long been the subject of her many articles in adventure magazines. A certified rocking climbing instructor and a member of the American Mountain Guides Association Burhardt blends her love for the outdoors with vivid descriptions of scenic landscapes and literary portraits of the many interesting people she encounters. But it was on a trip to Africa a few years ago that she discovered a unique opportunity to add one more passion to the mix. On a journey to explore the industry and culture of Ethiopia coffee, Burhardt found that when you least expect it you can find adventure in the most unlikely places.