Climbing

Appalachian Trail, Climbing, Color The Crag, Covid-19, Diversity, Film preview, Uncategorized / 17.11.2020

Taking a break from his daily training session Aden Conrad stopped to chat with his friend Malik Martin. A talented athlete, this aspiring sport climber needed just a few minutes to rest and allow the lactic acid to ease its way out of his powerful forearms. As they casually spoke, Malik took a quick succession of pictures of Aden with his Nikon camera. Just a few clicks of his shutter and the photojournalist captured a moment in the life of a young man transformed by the power of...

Alpinist, Climbing, Diversity, In Memoriam, Magazines, Podcast, ReThinkOutside / 29.04.2020

A few weeks ago I was asked to read aloud a story that I had written for Alpinist Magazine in 2018. The Force of The Soul is the premier edition of the new podcast series "Alpinist Out Loud". I am really grateful to my editor Katie Ives for encouraging me to write this profile of the late French climber Hugues Beauzile. It was nominated that year for the Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival award for Best Magazine Article. This compelling narrative of an incredibly driven and compassionate...

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...