Expedition Denali

Adventure Activism, Climbing, Diversity, Expedition Denali, Life Out Loud, Outdoor Recreation / 08.03.2013

I admit some apprehension to being in front of the camera. As a trained observer I've always been more than a little reluctant to be part of the story. But when it comes to Expedition Denali I’m prepared to make an exception. To be part of the first team of African-American climbers to reach the highest summit in North America is an opportunity tough to pass up. And our little cohort of adventurers aims to change the face of mountaineering and the stories that define what it means...

Adventure Activism, Climbing, Diversity, Expedition Denali / 17.10.2012

(This story is the second installment that details the latest Expedition Denali training mission to the summit of Mount Baker ) My field of vision was restricted to a bright white cone of light. The beam of my headlamp reflected back the blue-grey footprints of the climbers on lead ahead of me. Overnight the summer slush had frozen to a solid mass of ice that threatened with every step to sweep my feet right out from under me. On the Easton Glacier of Mount Baker at 4 o'clock in...

Adventure Activism, Climbing, Diversity, Expedition Denali / 20.08.2012

[caption id="attachment_7763" align="alignleft" width="402"] photo by Bryan Fabel[/caption] Morning comes early in the mountains. By definition an alpine start rouses climbers from sleep long before sunrise. Gathered on the Easton Glacier the night before, we discussed our departure time at the team meeting. My first thought was probably shared by the others. "Are you friggin' kiddin' me?" But no one said anything. We just agreed to be roped up and ready to go. One by one we shuffled off to bed. At 2 am I lay in my tent wide awake huddled...

Climbing, Diversity, Environmental Protection, Expedition Denali / 09.08.2012

Just barely recovered from the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City I'm heading back in to field with the National Outdoor Leadership School. As part of training for Expedition Denali in 2013 our team of African-American climbers is getting another opportunity to build skills and camaraderie while traversing the glaciers of Mt. Baker in the state of Washington. The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful part of the country. And as we prepare to embark upon another great adventure I can't help but recognize how lucky we are....

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 Activism, Climbing, Expedition Denali, Outdoor Recreation / 01.07.2012

Anchorage, Alaska 3:55 AM July 1, 2012 The Alaska Backpackers Inn I usually find it tough to sleep on days like this. Here where the sun just barely sets light seeps in through the thick curtains and it never truly gets dark. I'm up early to pack a bag that's not as heavy as it looks. The Alaska Backpackers Inn is a newly refurbished apartment complex in downtown Anchorage made to resemble a hotel poorly. The though clean, secure and a good value for the buck, the noxious smell of new paint and chemical antiseptics makes it tough to take a full breath. Traffic noise from the open window drones on through the night of the midnight sun. There's no air conditioning, so it's hot. And with all these distractions what lies in the days ahead has me juggling emotions mixed with both excitement and dread. Enough though my whole life has led up to this moment it seems that once again I've discovered my destiny on the road I took to avoid it.