I've had enough hiding in third-person language on this "about me" page. It's the hardest section to write, because I can't pretend to be anything else here, but I might as well own it. I wouldn't say I'm modest, if I'm honest with myself, but I try to be. (Isn't that the case for most of us?) If I were truly modest I wouldn't care that my voice is little more than a tiny squeak in a dark corner. It's not nothing, but almost. I'm always wishing I could be more than I am—but again, couldn't that be said of so many? This is the comfort I offer, I suppose: that we are all so much the same in our private suffering. We as individuals are not alone. That's about the best message I can hope to deliver. I like to think of this website as an escape, a little rabbit hole that anyone can crawl inside when they need respite from the content marketing and whatnot. Just raw soul here. That's the manifesto, anyway, and has been since I started writing newspaper columns in high school. Frankly, sticking to something I believe in is exhausting, especially when it comes to getting older and busier with more significant problems on a daily basis. Sometimes I need a break, which is why the writing can happen in spurts on this site. I don't see myself giving up—I pray I don't. But I don't have a real hope of ever earning a living at this, as I once did. And that's the only reason my manifesto gives me or anyone any hope at all, because it's pure; unadulterated by anything other than a desire to reach people in an honest way. Click bait be damned! Look what that has done for our recent presidential election, and there's no evidence to suggest the rate of bullshit will slacken and allow truth to emerge. Ever. That's why I also like to think of this site as a gesture of resistance, for whatever tiny peep that it is. If you're reading this, thank you for finding me. Together we are stronger than we are alone.
Now, for the bullet points of my life, which is probably the real reason you clicked on this page in the first place. I'm 34 years old, currently serving as the digital editor for Alpinist Magazine, a publication I've had the honor of freelancing for since 2010. My writing has also been published in Rock and Ice since 2005. I have a degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder—back when the school still had a "School of Journalism," and a reputable one at that, which shows how times have changed. After college I interned at Rock and Ice and then went to work for various Western Slope newspapers as a copy editor, reporter and columnist. From 2007 to 2014 I authored Open Space, an introspective column that was published twice a month in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent newspaper. I've also written an occasional climbing blog for SplitterChoss.com. Some of the published work I'm most proud of is a short fiction trilogy published in Alpinist issues 36, 41 and 47, and an illustrated biographical story in Alpinist 55. You can find a list of some of these stories on this site.
I'm a Colorado native. I grew up climbing, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking and backpacking. I currently live in Carbondale, Colorado, with my wife, Mandi, and our dog, Soleille (pronounced So-Lay–French for sunshine—I mention this because that dog has inspired a bit of my writing—perhaps too much—and you'll see her name come up if you read enough of my work). Mandi and I were married on the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison on June 13, 2015.
In the last few years my life has been largely defined by open heart surgery that happened Oct. 30, 2014. You can find many related articles about it throughout this blog, especially in The Open Heart Series, and elsewhere. Another plot twist happened when I fell and broke my ankle while climbing in the Black Canyon on Sept. 25, 2015–just 11 months after heart surgery. I almost lost my mind then (or did I?). You can also find the story about that in the American Alpine Club's August 2016 edition of Accidents in North American Climbing.
Friends have described me as a "seeker," which is an apt word, as I am usually straining to grasp the deeper wisdom that may be found in each and every day. Exploring the timeless and common bond of human experience has been the driving manifesto of my work since I started publishing at age 15.
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