Nonfiction

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published in ASCENT (2022)

In July 2006, the summer before our senior year in high school, my friend Scottie and I spent five days climbing—or, in my case, falling off—Rifle, Colorado’s easiest climbs. 

 

Scottie was one of those preternaturally developed high-schoolers, big shouldered, red-bearded, an Ivy-bound acer of the SAT who’d just been elected student-body president of our rheumy New Hampshire boarding school. For those five days in Rifle Mountain Park, I watched him climb more and better than he’d ever climbed, while I—his short, plump foil—whipped off everything.

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published on climbing.com (2022)

Watching Alex Honnold free solo scares the hell out of me. It’s not so much that I’m afraid he’s going to plunge to his death before my eyes (though I sort of am); it’s that, watching him climb, I can’t help but transpose myself into his position.

When I first watched Free Solo in a Brooklyn theater, for instance, I was keenly aware that Honnold had already survived his ascent. But as a climber of two decades, I also kept imagining myself trying to do what Honnold was doing—and this, since I have an overactive imagination, quickly forced me to confront simulations of my own very imminent death. (For verily it is said that if Steve Potter ever accidentally finds himself without a rope halfway up the Enduro Corner, he will have no choice but to make every mistake that we’re all afraid Honnold will make. He will tense up. His fingers will become waterfalls. His shoes will become ice skates. He will quiver. And he will sob. And he will…)

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published on climbing.com (2022)

She’s done The Swarm (V13/14). She’s done New Baseline (V14). She’s done Direct North (V14) and Jade (V14) and Chinese Connection (V13) and Nagual (V13). In the summer of 2020, she rampaged through the classic V13s of Rocky Mountain National Park, and in the years since she’s steadily ticked her way through North America’s most iconic testpieces. The Shield (V12) in Little Rock City. Room Service (V12) in Squamish. Dominator (V12) and Shadow Warrior (V12) in Yosemite. Wet Dream (V12) in Red Rock. The Mandala (V12) in Bishop.

In short, Katie Lamb, 24, is among America’s most accomplished pebble wrestlers—and she just had one of the best 18-months of bouldering ever.

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published in Climbing Magazine (2021)

On the morning of April 2, 2021, Cory Richards, one of America’s most accomplished alpinists/mountaineers, arrived with a small team at basecamp on Dhaulagiri (26,795 feet), all sights set on its unclimbed Northwest Ridge. At the time, he was excited.

 

“The ridge is exceptional,” Richards says. “It’s 2,000 meters of mixed chutes and ladders up to a small band of seracs that guards the top of the face. After that, it’s a high-alpine ridge that starts at 6,400 meters and climbs to 8,000 meters. It’s a dream route.”