What I Am Reading Now and Alpinist 49

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Alpinist 49 has my first piece for the literary magazine on pages 20 and 21.

For the last two weeks I have been immersed in conference prepations and legislative meetings here in Washington, DC for Habitat for Humanity’s annual visit with Members of Congress. Staying current on my reading list has been more difficult since we had one kid and harder since two, but it’s nearly impossible during these busy seasons. But sometimes there is a sip of words and, more rarely, a greedy gulp.

So with the conference complete (and a success), my days suddenly seemed longer… and colder. The perfect conditions for reading just a little bit more, and excuse for another hot espresso. Here’s an update and some ideas for what to read next:

Barry Blanchard’s The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains I am on the verge of finishing up Blanchard’s book and will tell you more about it in a review in a few weeks. I first learned about Blanchard from Steve House and have been eating up anecdotes about him for over a dozen years now. It’s been great to read his autobiography. I am charmed by his days in the Alps, but am envious of his access to the Canadian Rockies.

Alpinist 49 — The winter issue is on newsstands now and I have a brief piece on the bottom of pages 20 and 21 about a true story from the Adirondack Mountains and a climber hat became well known in Yosemite. Please check out my article and Kelly Cordes’ compilation on “The Unclimbed” that also includes a perspective from one of my favorite contemporary Alaska pioneers, Clint Helander.

The Tower by Kelly Cordes (again) This is next on my list after Blanchard’s autobiography. It’s a comprehensive history of Cerro Torre. I like to joke that he talks about everything about how the bolts went up the Compressor Route until they were triumphantly ripped off with cackles.

The other book on top of my list, but I don’t have a copy yet, is One Day A Tiger by John Porter about the immortal Alex MacIntyre. One friend of mine that read it already recommended that everyone should drop what they’re doing and read it now.

I have about a half dozen books on my shelf that I have mentioned before but haven’t had time for yet. Patience, I keep reminding myself, is key. This is just a busy season.

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