Climbing

Banff, Climbing, Diversity, Film Festival, Influencers, ReThinkOutside / 31.10.2019

From the moment I first arrived I was made to feel welcome. I remember on that first day, years ago,  I was greeted so warmly by Jim Olver the director of customer service at the Banff Centre For Arts & Creativity.

You just showed up and glommed on to one of my tours,” he reminded me. “Now look at you. You’re back as a big-time speaker.”

For more than a decade I’ve enjoyed the privilege of attending the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in Alberta, Canada. Like most aspiring adventurers I first became aware of Banff through the amazing films that tour the world every year and feature the best athletes in the sports of skiing, climbing, mountain biking and kayaking. I was also inspired by the remarkable stories of passionate people and communities that express their place in the world through an active relationship with nature. And despite marginal skills and few noteworthy accomplishments as an alpinist I managed to become part of this annual 9-day celebration of mountain culture. 

Climbing, Color The Crag, Diversity, Special Events / 23.10.2018

At first I was afraid I’d have to say no. When the organizers of the Color The Crag Climbing Festival reached out to me to be the keynote speaker at their second annual event, I was already heavily booked. I was scheduled to make presentations at the Adventure Film Festival in Boulder and the Society for Wilderness Stewardship Workshop in Gunnison in early October. Hurricane Florence had forced the rescheduling of a photo story sharing project in South Carolina to the week before. And I had promised my...

Alpinist, Climbing, Diversity, In Memoria, On Assignment / 16.10.2017

When my friend Aimee Copp, the director of the Adventure Film Festival invited me to come to Boulder to take part in this wonderful event she asked me, “So James, what are your working on?”. I immediately told her about an exciting story that I’m writing  for Alpinist Magazine about a French climber who died on Aconcagua in 1995. She asked me to appear on stage at the Boulder Theatre to tell this remarkable story. If you’ve read the memoir of the great American climber Lynn Hill you may...

Adventure Film, Alpinist, Appalachian Trail, Climbing, Diversity, Essays, Film Festival, Film Review / 13.10.2017

After a long day of watching movies and a late night of drinking, I slept with a man I love. Certainly no lapse of judgement, my friend Jeremy Collins invited me to share his bed in the Boulder Adventure Lodge at 1AM rather than drive twenty miles back to Golden through a sloppy storm of rain, sleet and snow. A few weeks earlier at another one of the many film festival events that we attend together, he joked with a crowd during a Q&A that we had shared...

Banff, Books, Climbing, Film Festival, In Memoria, Interview / 17.03.2017

  On Tuesday March 14, 2017 climbing pioneer Royal Robbins died of natural causes at his home in Modesto California. He was 82 years old. A leader in the world of mountaineering he completed the first class VI climb in America on the Northwest Face of Yosemite’s Half Dome and in 1961 he completed an ascent of the Salathé Wall on El Capitan. In a long career that included the founding of a global sports apparel brand that bears his name Royal Robbins was a leader in the outdoor...

Books, Climbing, In Memoria, Podcast / 04.05.2016

If you've been following the news recently you probably heard that there was a startling discovery in the mountains of Tibet. The bodies of climber Alex Lowe and filmmaker David Bridges were discovered near the sight of a tragic 1999 avalanch at the base of Mt Shishapangma. After 17 years the legacy of Alex Lowe is continues through the lives his surviving climbing parnter Conrad Anker, his wife Jennifer and his sons Max, Sam and Issac. In his name the Alex Lowe Foundation works support and improve the lives of indigenous...