Commentary

Commentary / 17.12.2012

I used to be a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association. Back when I was into projectile sports, archery and target shooting, I was required to take a gun safety course as a condition of eligibility for competition in biathlon. The NRA offered instruction for proper gun handling so I could run a short distance and then fire a .22 caliber rifle at targets in either a standing or prone position. I learned a few things about protecting those around me, not from some immanent threat of...

Commentary, Manic Media Monday / 01.10.2012

Over the weekend I watched an inspiring documentary film. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of an 85-year-old chef in Japan that arguably makes the best raw fish, seaweed and rice in the world. True aficionados of sushi know that it is far than the sum of its parts. The mastery of this popular cuisine is the direct result of painstaking dedication and discipline. But as an occupation in this film sushi is a wonderful illustration of the joy and satisfaction we can find in our jobs,...

Adventure Media Review, Commentary, Environmental Journalism / 15.09.2012

“I was damned if I would write one [novel] because it was what I should do if we were to eat regularly. When I had to write it, then it would be the only thing to do and there would be no choice. Let the pressure build. In the meantime I would write a long story about whatever I knew best.” ~ Earnest Hemingway It's one of those gorgeous summer days in Madison. Just a week before the change of seasons the crisp morning air and full sunshine reminds...

Adventure Media Review, Climbing, Commentary, NPR, Podcast, Public Radio, Wisconsin Life, Wisconsin Public Radio / 12.09.2012

This summer, I traveled across the North American west, hitting  some of the top rock climbing destinations in the country. Moab, Utah, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and Joshua Tree … plus a quick hike through the Grand Canyon.   I trained at mountaineering in the Chugach Range of Alaska and made it safely to the summit of Mount Baker in the Washington Cascades.  Next year I’ve got an even more ambitious project -- to reach the top of Mount Denali, the highest point on the continent.    But there’s more to...

Adventure Activism, Climbing, Commentary, Diversity, Expedition Denali / 16.07.2012

This is going to sound really odd. But there's something comforting in the taste of wet wool. Just back from two weeks of glacier training with the National Outdoor Leadership School in Alaska I'm struck by this enduring memory. Each day while carrying a 60-pound pack sweat poured off my forehead in a briny stream so thick and salty it might have been blood. Despite the bitter cold and a frigid wind it didn't freeze. Hot and wet it flowed down my face and into my mouth. Only...

Adventure Media Review, Climbing, Commentary, Diversity, Expedition Denali / 07.03.2012

[caption id="attachment_6951" align="aligncenter" width="541" caption="Cheleas Griffie on Separate Reality, Yosemite Valley (photo by Greg Epperson)"][/caption]   When it comes to diversity in outdoor recreation it seems there are simply those who don’t care. After 400 years of racial strife and oppression throughout American history I’m sure we’d all like to put it behind us. In fact most of us likely spend time outside to get away from all the socially charged bickering back and forth between one ethnic group or another. I get that. But please, don’t tell me, a...