Places Climbing’s Brought Me

Recently, I went through all the photos on my computer, and sorted out all the climbing ones for a project I’m working on. I was surprised by how many I found. Five years of photos, starting in my university climbing gym, and slowly growing into photos of small cliffs, endless pine forests, frigid rivers, high alpine peaks, frozen waterfalls, and foreign countries.

I often struggle to explain why I love climbing so much. After all, so much of the experience is internal. But after looking through these photos, I think they make a compelling case on their own.

Here’s where five years of “The Sport” have taken me.

(A lot of images after the break)

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Vail’s Ski Patrol Doggos

Recently, a woman I met in Chefchaouen messaged me a link to my article: “Should You Work For Vail Resorts?  “Fourth result on Google! You’re all over the place,” she wrote.

How funny to think that three years ago, when I started this blog, it was about living in a ski town.

Life will change a lot, if you let it.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I certainly don’t yearn for the ski town. And I’m excited to see where the newest changes in my life will lead me. But sometimes, a reminder of the past can be sweet.

So today, we look back at Vail for a bit.

Here’s a video about Henry, one of the ski-patrol avalanche dogs from Vail. Snatching a few scratches from one of these puppers at PHQ atop Chir 4, or seeing one load or unload the chairlifts across the mountain was always a highlight of my season at Vail.

Hope you all enjoyed the video as much as I enjoyed the glimpse at the past! And hope everyone in Colorado enjoyed this weekend’s fresh snowfall! I’m jealous of everyone that got to catch some powder turns!

Why We Travel

A reader left a comment on my 2017 in Places post:

“The more you travel, the more you will find that it is the people you meet along the way that matter most… Keep on travelling!!”

I couldn’t agree more. I’d like to share just one small story from this year about some people I met on the road. You saw them last week, at the tail end of my 2017 in Photos post, and you see them again, above.

They are Patty and Jeed. I met them on Koh Lanta, a Thai island, at the end of 2015.

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2017 in Places

Another year, another few stories to tell.

One of my favorite posts I wrote last year was 2016 in Places, a meditation on a year of movement.

I started that post with this sentence:

“As I go into 2017, I’m faced with a big choice: do I choose to keep chasing places, for another little while, or is it time to settle down and devote myself to enhancing my relationships with people?”

As you’ll see, I ended up choosing places. Places gave me a lot this year. I leave 2017 with a greater breadth of stories and experiences. But my feeling is 2018 will be defined by people. We will see.

For now, here’s what happened to me in 2017.

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