They say nature heals. For 24-year-old Alexis Alzadeh, nature saves. After being sent from Atlanta to Utah for detox and rehab, Alexis discovered parts of herself she never knew existed––like the desire to ski, summit mountains, and climb rocks. Moving to Utah and completing her recovery program included “setting fire to the old parts of [her] that no longer worked.” This poignant and powerful essay shows, candidly, how nature saved Alexis’ life.
Many backpackers consider themselves ultralight, but Clint “Lint” Bunting takes it to the next level. He drinks straight out of streams, uses sticks to pitch his tarp, and chews his vegetables before boiling them to cut down on dish use. Although his style may not resonate with everyone, it’s interesting to put a new spin on “fast and light.”
When I first started climbing, the idea of falling on bolts terrified me. Six years and hundreds of falls later, my bolt-angst has decreased, until, that is, I see some gnarly, rusty, decades old spinner on an exposed bolt. We can all make a clear distinction when it’s that obvious, but what about all the bolts that look like they might hold? Here’s a quick and dirty guide to knowing when to trust a bolt and when to back it up.
In America, we are obsessed with productivity. We need something to show for our day, and ultimately something to show for our lives. Oftentimes, the third question asked during an introduction is “What do you do for work?” We structure our cultural norms around it. So what about those of us who like to climb rocks? Who live on the fringe? Who forgo 401k’s, affordable health insurance, and steady paychecks? Climbing doesn’t pay the bills, and initially only offers something to the climber, not the world. But maybe that’s enough. These moments of introspection and reflection throughout our international crags may be what our generation needs. Check out this thought-provoking essay on Mojagear about being a “Conquistador of the Useless.”
It appears I have quite a problem posting consistent midweek round-ups, so we’re gonna shoot for the vague “Weekly Round-Up” and see if my consistency can be, well, consistent.
I’ve come across so much good content in the last few weeks! We live in an incredible time where information is accessed so quickly and easily.
Millennial Tastes are Driving Marketers Crazy, but it’s Doing the Food Industry Good, an article published by Upworthy, highlights how millennials are driving positive change in general consumption, and in particular, the food industry. There’s been a lot of negative press about millennials in the past year. We’ve been misunderstood, and also ignored. This article is proof of both. But it’s also proof that corporations are starting to take notice, and it’s good for everybody.
I love anything that highlights women taking a stand throughout history. I love it even more when it involves the natural world. The NCPA published this article documenting six national parks that wouldn’t exist if it hadn’t been for the women that championed them.
“In the past 18 months, over 50 bills attacking federal management of our public lands have been introduced to Congress,” begins this interesting and helpful article about five simple ways we can protect our public lands from Climbing Magazine. It’s a hard time to be a human and lover of the natural world, but we can’t remain overwhelmed. It’s time to take a stand for what’s most important. From volunteering, to signing up for newsletters, this short and comprehensive how-to can make you feel a little less overwhelmed and a little more proactive.
And a funny goat video.
Enjoy your weekend, friends!
I recently attended the No Man’s Land Film Festival put on my Wylder Goods. It was an EPIC night filled with inspiration, activism, and badass lady crushers. This round-up features non-profits and films from the event.
HEAL Utah is an active non-profit in the Salt Lake City area that’s fighting for clean air. The most negative side effect to being a Salt Lake resident is the inversion we face every winter. Unfortunately, this once wintertime problem is slowly leaking into a year-round problem as we damage the ozone above our beautiful city and mountains. They work tirelessly especially during the legislative session to promote the passage of Clean Air and Clean Energy laws.
Shannon Galpin is a doer. In 2009 she left everything behind to start a non-profit in Afghanistan to empower women through cycling. For five years Shannon had no success, and was unable to find even one female who rode in Afghanistan. After years of learning to understand the culture and the deep-seeded taboos behind women riding bicycles, Shannon was able to establish her non-profit, Mountain2Mountain, to get women riding. Since then, Afghanistan has developed a national women’s cycling team, which has found the support and gained generous donations from Liv cycles.
Save Our Canyons began in 1972 as Salt Lake residents saw the threat of urbanization on the Wasatch Front. They have worked endlessly to protect our wilderness and canyons from development and industry. Through the organization, Lone Peak, Mt. Olympus, and Twin Peaks, have been saved as designated wilderness. As the non-profit grows, they continue to take on new tasks like protecting the watershed, and, currently, raising funds to save Bonanza Flats.
Last note of inspiration: The Edges Film spotlights a wonderful passionate woman, Yvonne Dowlen. Yvonne started ice skating as a young girl, and turned her passion into her career. Even after a car accident and a stroke, both in her 80s, she continued to skate five days a week. I was so inspired by this film, and the fact that at NINETY YEARS OLD she was still ice skating. Age is just a number, people.
Shorter work weeks may cut our CO2 emissions in half, reduce our stress, curb accidents, promote gender equality, and reduce unemployment. I’m in! Read the full thought-provoking article on the TED website.
The EPIC May 2017 edition of Outside came out with a crew of badass woman dominating it’s cover with the headline: The Future of Adventure is Female.
Spring and summer are upon us, and so are the much needed reminders to Leave No Trace. This article is a great reminder about what is acceptable trail etiquette and what’s…not so much. Check it out and decide for yourself if you’re an asset or detriment to the outdoors.
Brendan Leonard’s website, Semi-Rad, is where my inspiration for a midweek round up came from. He posts insightful, and often hilarious articles. He’s also just completed his second book, The Great Outdoors: A User’s Guide, which is currently on it’s way to me.
And an awesome quote from Hunter Drew:
“This is something I’d like you to recognize and truly wrap your mind around. Everyone makes an excuse as to why they can’t do the things they need and want to do. Only a very select few people out there are making excuses to do the things they need to do.
People have become so comfortable that they’d rather suffer a mediocre existence than put in the slightest effort required for improvement.
Instead of complaining about the problems that you have in your life, start working to solve them. Stop being so comfortable sitting around talking about how the world is holding you down. You are holding you down—GET UP! Stand up and start doing.
Stop being so goddamn comfortable all the time. Implement some intentional discomfort into your life.”
Who says you can’t have a midweek round-up on a Friday?
For the first time ever, a group of badass lady setters are coming together to create a space for women to learn the art of route-setting. From the founder: “SheSets intends to create an environment where women are taken seriously, where expectations of women are high, and where women don’t have to fight the urge to grow.” The weekend takes place in Loveland, OH, and has a variety of pay options. Check it out, http://www.shesets.com/
REI’s #forceofnature movement. This year, REI has made a commitment to grow the presence of women in their advertisements, and provide better and more technical options for women in the outdoors. You can check out their movement on any social media outlet with the hashtag mentioned above.
Isaac Lowe-Anker, son of Alex Lowe, and adoptive son of Conrad Anker, is not only an adventurer, but also a talented artist. Check out his IG @iloweanker for beautiful pen and pencil artwork.
The IFSC heard us! Two weeks ago, the International Federation of Sport Climbing announced they would start charging viewers to watch the World Cup Series for $20/month. I don’t even pay that much for Netflix. Of course, climbers everywhere took a stand and protest signs were prominent at the first IFSC World Cup of the season. Shortly after the IFSC released a statement rescinding their decision to charge. Keep climbing free!
Stumbled upon Elayne Fluker’s podcast, Support is Sexy. The few episodes I’ve listened to have included inspirational messages and beautiful stories of women entrepreneurs who’ve battled their way through high’s and low’s to be successful.
I found Kirsten Schiel on Instagram and follow along for the adventure and beautiful pics (@kaysheel). This week she posted a poignant and captivating essay on her first winter overnight trip into the Uinta’s.
While we’re on Instagram, the posts from @seecaitclimb against the red rock of southern Utah and northern Nevada will make you want to pack up your gear and jump on I-15 southbound immediately.
Amy Jane David (@amyjanedavid) has been working on a short film series titled, “Wild Women of the Wasatch.” There are eight episodes up already featuring women in adaptive sports, women skiing, women in epic snow jobs, and women who take skateboarding to a whole new level. You can find all the episodes in the search bar at Ski Utah.
And of course, I have to give a shout-out to my girl Sarah at Girl on Rock. She has some great posts about DIY gifts for climbers, road trip games, and some spooky wilderness stories.
What inspired you this week?