The Cleanest Line

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The population of the High Atlas is concentrated in small villages, but it’s far more common to see donkeys and other livestock on the paths running through each. Chris Kehmeier and Leilani Bruntz take a well-trod exit near the village of Toulkine. Photo: Leslie Kehmeier

Ask Where The Mules Go

By Leilani Bruntz   |   Apr 4, 2019 April 4, 2019

Following ancient pathways in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains. According to our local guide, Samir Ahmoudou, to travel anywhere in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, you only need to know three Amazigh words: sow, gow, ich—“eat, sleep, drink.” Hospitality will take care of the rest. Such advice seems simple to the point of… Read More

Come to Papa. Leads gets a lift from Mom, Sherry, in 1995. Turtle Rock, Joshua Tree National Park, California. Photo: Greg Epperson

Where She Landed

By Bonnie Tsui   |   Mar 28, 2019 March 28, 2019

Jordan Leads wants everybody to know she is alive and well. When she was six months old, she had her picture taken with her family at Joshua Tree’s Turtle Rock: a baby in midair, swaddled in a puffy purple jumpsuit, thrown over a disturbingly large gap between boulders. (Her parents,… Read More

Was Meñakoz a legitimate big-wave spot? Photo: Tony Butt collection

An Englishman in Euskadi

By Tony Butt   |   Mar 11, 2019 March 11, 2019

It was November 1991. I was with two friends and we were at the beginning of a three-month surf trip around the coasts of Spain and Portugal. Mundaka was our starting point. We all agreed that we would be happy just to get something better than the cold, windblown beach… Read More

Illustration: Walker Cahall

Novel Inspiration

By The Dirtbag Diaries   |   Feb 15, 2019 February 15, 2019

After falling in love with John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Charlie Turnbull and Leon Morton set out to recreate the 1,615-mile journey described in the novel – but on bikes. In July. With camera gear and a few buddies in tow, they followed historic Route 66 from Oklahoma to Southern… Read More

Illustration: Walker Cahall

Mountain Hollow Dreams

By The Dirtbag Diaries   |   Feb 11, 2019 February 11, 2019

“I’d built it up in my head a lot—being a professional climber. This felt like the consummation of those dreams. I found the valley, I envisioned the trip, I got the funding, made it happen, stood at the base, picked the line, climbed it, sent, we were at the top… Read More

Illustration: Walker Cahall

Year of Big Ideas 2019

By The Dirtbag Diaries   |   Jan 22, 2019 January 22, 2019

“For better or for worse, ideas are infectious. They become our goals, and the struggle to realize them becomes memory, the story of our lives,” says Fitz Cahall. When Brian O’Dell decided it was time to stop driving his Honda Civic, he didn’t list in on Craigslist. Instead, he posted… Read More

Illustration: Walker Cahall

Hit Pause

By The Dirtbag Diaries   |   Jan 17, 2019 January 17, 2019

What if you could hit pause on life? This last year, Fitz turned 40. Instead of buying a sports car, Fitz took a sabbatical. Today, he presents a story about mountain biking the Oregon Timber Trail, a 670-mile-long, mostly single track trail across the state’s deserts and forests. What’s the… Read More

Illustration: Walker Cahall

Endangered Spaces

By The Dirtbag Diaries   |   Jan 12, 2019 January 12, 2019

Drew Hamilton makes a living by taking tourists out into the remote Alaskan wilderness to hang out with brown bears. No fences, no guns—just Drew, and the eight hundred pound, six and a half foot tall, Ursus arctos horribilis of southern Alaska. Most people call them grizzlies. These days, he does it,… Read More

Lean and mean. Using only tiny granite edges and small blobs of ice, Chris Mutzel finds the first pitch of Exocet on Aguja Standhardt to be run out, rime-covered and extra-heady. Argentine Patagonia. Photo: Austin Siadak

Inclement Gifts

By Rolando Garibotti   |   Dec 14, 2018 December 14, 2018

Weather has a way of complicating—and enriching—everything. By the time I top out, it’s snowing and it’s dark. I walk back as far as the rope will let me, and in the flattest spot I can find, I dig a hole and sit, bracing myself. I yell, “Rope-fixed!” repeatedly, but… Read More

The approach to advanced base camp was threatened by large seracs 
 above. We started very early, hoping 
 to beat the sun and falling ice. Chantel and I moved as fast as we could through this crevassed area to get to a point of relative safety. Photo: Jason Thompson

What Was Left

By Anne Gilbert Chase   |   Dec 10, 2018 December 10, 2018

After a failed first attempt, three friends return to India’s Mount Nilkantha to confront—and embrace—the terrible, beautiful duality of a life in the mountains. It was our third day on the southwest face of Mount Nilkantha, what we’d thought would be our summit day, and it was my lead block. Read More

Illustration: Walker Cahall

The Glacier Project

By The Dirtbag Diaries   |   Nov 5, 2018 November 5, 2018

“Any time I ski a steep line, I’ve done it hundreds of times, and still every time for me there is that moment of fear on top, where I am like, ‘Do I really want to do this?’,” says Jason Hummel. “But, also, anytime you do anything scary, it really… Read More

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