Commentary

Adventure Activism, Adventure Media Review, Commentary, Diversity, Expedition Denali, Life Out Loud / 07.06.2013

I woke this morning after a peaceful night’s sleep to the vision of a dream. Crashed in a sleeping bag on the floor of a modern cabin I could see the glorious view from Talkeetna. A cascading image came pouring through the window in a stream of light reflecting snow from the summit of Denali. But rolling over before rising something else caught my eye. On a low shelf beneath an old television set with rabbit-ear antenna and a VCR was a row of tired paperbacks. There I found...

Adventure Activism, Commentary, Diversity, Expedition Denali, Life Out Loud / 27.05.2013

  On this Memorial Day I want to recognize the accomplishments of veteran Charles M. Crenchaw. In 1964 he became the first African-American to reach the summit of Mount McKinley, also known as Denali, the highest peak in North America. But in the years leading up to that historic climb during World War II Crenchaw served as a Master Sargent in the U.S. Army Air Corps. As flight engineer he was in charge of maintenance for a squadron of airplanes flown by the Tuskegee Airmen. An experiment designed to...

Adventure Activism, Commentary, Cool on Kickstarter, Diversity, Expedition Denali, Magazines, National Geographic / 10.05.2013

I've been told it shouldn't matter. But as one in a handful of black professionals in the outdoor recreation industry I can't help being wildly excited. In June the first team of African-American climbers will attempt to reach the summit of Alaska's Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America. Also known as Denali at 20,328 feet this mountain is literally the highest physical point anyone can achieve in the United States. And as metaphors go it is the ultimate realization of the dream Martin Luther King Jr....

Adventure Activism, Adventure Media Review, Commentary, Cool on Kickstarter, Diversity, Expedition Denali, Film preview / 10.04.2013

In June of 2013 the first team of African-American climbers will attempt to reach the highest peak in the continental United States. The project called Expedition Denali aims not only to demonstrate the long standing presence of black athletes on the adventure scene, but to inspire a new generation of young people to embrace the enduring legacy of minority participation in outdoor recreation and environmental conservation. The face of mountaineering is about to make a dramatic change. Though typically dominated by white men the sport of climbing is taking...

Adventure Activism, Commentary, Diversity, Life Out Loud / 28.03.2013

At the turn of the last century a great American hero set an enduring standard of excellence that forged the basis of the modern National Park System. With a "take charge" style of leadership Colonel Charles Young commanded a regiment of U.S. Army soldiers in the construction of improved roads that made it possible for the growing number of wagons and automobiles to safely visit the newly designated national park of Sequoia and its stands of giant redwood trees, the largest in the world. As the first...

Adventure Activism, Adventure Media Review, Commentary, Expedition News, Life Out Loud / 02.01.2013

The first morning of the new year my wife Shamane and I spent working out at our local health club. Now that we finally have almost two feet of snow on the ground it's a shame we couldn't go skiing. All the trails around Madison are groomed to perfection and one friend said the cross-country corduroy nearby at Mirror Lake State Park was "like riding a magic carpet". But four weeks after surgery for a partial knee replacement Shamane is in re-hab. Whether you're addicted to backwoods ski...