With a little help from my friends.
Back in the 90’s, while working as a PR flack for Patagonia, I was propositioned with my first legit writing opportunity. “Send us some story ideas,” my friend/editor at Transworld Snowboarding prodded. Not knowing any better, I went big by pitching a snowboard mountaineering trip to the Pyrenees (where we’d climb and shred the three highest peaks along the alpine spine that separates France & Spain). Little did I expect a green light... soon we were jetting off to Luz Saint Sauveur: three pro-snowboarder athlete/amigos, a cinematographer/buddy and the Top Gun snowboard photographer of that era, Mark Gallup. Once our feature-length story appeared in the glossy pages of that esteemed endemic magazine, people began to see me as a “writer.” So, I rode the pony.
Since then, writing has evolved from being a sideline-gig to becoming my primary vocation. My preferred medium is narrative nonfiction that weaves unsanitized outdoor adventure (snow/surf/river/bike) with hardscrabble travel. In that pursuit, you'll also find a few character profiles & product reviews in the mix. Additionally, I do select commercial content and cause-related writing (& strategy) for brands and issues that light my fire.
TRAVEL & ADVENTURE STORIES
*** Click on magazine covers to open PDF's of these articles.
Montana Issue, 2017
The Mantra Loop
A meditative hot lap.
Summer Issue, 2017
A Montana Mile
Blending high alpine singletrack and grizzly bear angst, this essay highlights one of Montana's 5-star rides.
Winter Issue 2016-17
This profile features Will Ritter and his hyper niche, super booming biz, Spark R&D. Makers of the world's finest splitboard bindings (say what?), Will has built a thriving, Montana-based enterprise from CNC'ed billet aluminium.
Cooke'in with Gas
This is a tale about mentoring. Schutzy - the sensi of shred - shepherds Murph, Kirby and the crew in the high-angle Beartooth backcountry.
Vamos Ahorita (Go Now/Immediately)
Jack Tackle, a badass, semi-renowned climber, gave me some sage advice, "Buy the fucking plane ticket." Here we heed his not-so-gentle prodding and head to the bowels of Mexico for a salt water cleanse.
Catch A Cheetah: Dave B. Profile
I've done a few snowboarding trips into B.C.'s Coast Range Mountains with Dave Basterrechea. He's got billygoat, big mountain skills that always leave me slack-jawed. Yet, he's a devoted dad and backcountry entrepreneur, as well. Here's a snapshot of this freakishly talented, yet equally low-key shredder.
Moku Nui Tattoo
Wrote and photographed a piece about a mid-winter surf junket to my "secret" Hawaiian Island. Bivi'ing for three weeks out of a rental minivan, bouncing off the reef and having an off chance - perfect - surf session with Kelly Slater (and Shane Dorian).
ROAD TRIP: Charlie Russell's Montana
Not my standard beat, I don't normally write for cowboy mags on western art topics. However, this was interesting to research - giddy up!
Puckerville, Montucky: A Near Miss in Montana's Bitterroots
Sometimes stories just happen. We were on a mellow, b/c trip at the Downing Mountain Lodge, which is located on the east shoulder of the Bitterroot range. Conditions went from balmy corn skiing to an overnight, extra-dank 18" dump. In our excitement to rip pow, we triggered a monster avalanche.
When my editor first hit me up with this assignment I balked. You see, I have serious distain for the formulaic "20 Most Beautiful" type topics that proliferate in much of contemporary media. However, once I got off my high-horse, I really enjoyed writing this piece about my favorite isle.
Outside - Traveler
Total Immersion: One Family's 18-month (and counting) Hawaiian Hiatus
Thanks to Leslie Weeden, an editor who believes in my writing, I had a solid ten-year run with Outside Mag.
Burning Ring of Fire
Seriously, how often do you get to use a Johnny Cash song for the title of a story? Even if you don't read the article, check the photo on the opening spread. Contact me if you desire the incendiary recipe.
Outside - Travel Guide
Alaska For Greenhorns
This tale is about a heli-shred trip to Alaska; it debunks the general notion that one need be a brass-balls-expert to seek fluffy turns in the 49th state.
Scratching The Surface
Wolverine tracks are a good indicator you're in a wild, remote place. Skinning around in the Centennial Mountains, on the Montana/Idaho border, we came across these sharp-clawed foot prints as well as occupied bear dens. And, a slew of sweet lines like this cover photo.
Elusive Fruit - Seeking Nectar in the Tantalus Range
Bro trips are all well & good until someone gets swallowed by a bergschrund. That's how I was feeling on this excursion into the serrated, granite pyramids just west of Squamish, BC. High stakes billy goating in a glaciated zone, riddled with crevasses. Did I mention the sweet hut?
PRODUCT & GEAR REVIEWS
Winter Issue 2018
Split Personality: What comes down must go up.
Aeropress and All Terrain Camper
Gear reviews are often rehashed tech specs +/or minimally re-tooled workbook copy. I tend to take a more narrative approach when reviewing tools I get to test drive. From portable espresso makers to pop-up pick up campers, Backcountry mag has given me creative license.
Mammut/Barryvox Element avalanche beacon
"Way, way better than a plastic jesus..."
Portable coffee contraptions
A round-up review of java brewing devices.