Commentary

Commentary, Diversity, Outdoor Retailer / 07.02.2022

When she arrived at the Denver Convention Center, Brittney Coleman had that fierce look of determination, like a woman ready to take on the world. Though even she would admit that while attending the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in 2021 as the CEO of a new company, her outward appearance of self-confidence concealed more than a little fear and a since of intimidation. But she wasn’t about to let that get in her way. “I flew in on a cheap flight, stayed with a friend and walked the...

Commentary, Environmental Journalism, Outdoor Retailer, Special Events, Winter / 01.02.2022

Despite a surge of COVID-19 infections that are sweeping the nation, the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market is happening as scheduled. Though the annual Snow Show typically welcomes attendees and exhibitors from around the world by the tens of thousands, the risk of exposure to the Omicron variant has persuaded many companies, entrepreneurs and athletes to stay at home. As I watched a skeleton crew of personnel assemble a handful of display booths on set-up day, it was hard not to wonder if I was witnessing the slow and...

#BlackLivesMatter, Black Lives Matter, Commentary, Diversity, National Monuments, National Parks, Outdoors For All, Public Land, Yosemite / 04.10.2021

Long before the National Parks were established in 1916, Black Americans men and women worked tirelessly to preserve the public lands that many of us today deem sacred. Though directly engaged as combatants in the Plains Wars that displaced Native Americans for the sake of westward expansion, people of African descent, many of whom toiled under the oppressive yoke of slavery, also cherished the sweeping landscapes and natural settings where we now visit for recreation and solace. That enduring legacy of environmental stewardship continues in the present through...

#BlackLivesMatter, #ORShow, #ORSummer, An American Ascent, Art, Black Lives Matter, Commentary, Diversity, Expedition Denali, Outdoor Retailer, Special Events / 05.08.2021

One Day One of the first annual Big Gear Show in Park City Utah, I had the great privilege of presenting to the outdoor recreation industry a commemorative portrait of Charles Madison Crenchaw, the first Black climber to reach the summit of North America’s tallest mountain, Denali. This original painting by the artist Lamont Joesph White celebrates the enduring legacy of an American mountaineer. On July 9, 1964 Charles Madison Crenchaw ascended to the highest physical point on the continent of North America. Just seven days after the...

Adventure Activism, Banff, Breaking News, Commentary, Diversity, Magazines, National Geographic, Public Land / 01.03.2021

At some point I went from indulging a childhood fantasy to setting a life goal. I know that in the mid 1980s I imagined creating a career of adventure, but the realities of making an honest living relegated my job prospects to positions first in sales and marketing, then in print journalism. More than a decade ago I started to attend the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival in the Canadian Rockies of Alberta to report on the culture of environmental filmmaking and action sports. It was there that...

Commentary, Diversity, Everyone In A Park, Hiking, Ice Age Trail, National Forests, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Public Land, ReThinkOutside, The Adventure Gap, Wisconsin / 21.09.2020

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text] Immediately after breakfast, our little group sat discussing what would happen next. A steady rain had been falling since late the night before and the prospects of the hike we had planned appeared grim. Holding up my iPad I showed everyone an image of the local weather radar map. “As can see there’s a bit of window opening up,” I said pointing to a clear spot in a mass of swirling colors ranging from yellow/orange to deep red. “If we start now,...