Brad Rassler Brad Rassler, Editor-in-Chief of Sustainable Play, lives and writes in the Tahoe Sierra.
  • Heretical Pilgrims, or You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down ON THE EVENING of November 12, 1958, Warren Harding, Wayne Merry, and George Whitmore surmounted Yosemite’s El Capitan, having made the first ascent of the 2,900-foot Nose route — a campaign of 47 days spread over nearly 18 months. When Harding, the leader, returned to the valley floor, he was approached by a scrum of reporters seeking a statement from […] 1308 words October 31, 2014
  • On the Sustainability of Summits IF YOU’RE you’re one of the 1,200 climbers attempting Denali’s popular West Buttress route next year, the nearly two metric tons of human waste you’ll collectively dump into the Kahiltna Glacier’s crevasses will emerge in the ablation zone in about 2085, according to a 2012 study sponsored by the National Park Service. When it does, […] 1510 words August 7, 2014
  • David Beck: Architect of the Sierra High Route Originally published in Couloir Magazine. I’M SCHLEPPING A 65-POUND PACK up Symmes Creek Gorge, playing Sherman to David Beck’s Mr. Peabody, helping him escort seven clients on a ski tour of California’s Sierra High Route. We’re just an hour into the first day’s climb of 4,000 feet, and I’m stressed, spent, and wondering why I […] 2533 words March 25, 2014
  • Sochi Olympians Speak Out On Climate Change IN TWO WEEKS, U.S. cross country skier Andy Newell will travel to Sochi, Russia to compete in the Winter Olympics. And though his aim is clear — to stand atop the podium — he’s traveling to the Games with more than precious metal on his mind. For the past two months, Newell, 30, has quietly […] 1192 words January 24, 2014
  • Fast and Female and Pretty in Pink EVERYTHING’S BEEN COMING UP ROSES for the women of the U.S. cross country skiing team. World Championships. World Cup podiums. World Cup Globes. Unprecedented media attention heading into the 2014 Winter Games. And though the pink hair, face paint, glitter, and stars and stripes leg warmers with which they adorn themselves are merely visual mementos of […] 2336 words December 11, 2013
  • On Earning One’s Turns There were articles about backcountry skiing on those pages. Or rather, upon closer examination, a series of screeds. Here was a rant about initiating an early "lead change" to carve the perfect telemark turn, and another about how to lay down the perfect skin track 608 words October 14, 2013
  • From Trash to Ash to Stash: Copenhagen’s New Waste-to-Energy Ski Slope MANY A DETROITER’s first ski turns were on a mounded landfill in southeastern Michigan called Mt. Holly, which provided vertically deprived midwesterners with just enough of a pitch for some glide. Holly was indeed the pariah of the local ski hills; it was unattractive, lacked vertical drop (350 feet) and its former incarnation as a […] 334 words October 9, 2013
  • The Patagonia Catalog’s Unforgivable Whiteness I wondered about Patagonia’s color-blindness and general reluctance to celebrate the black, brown, yellow, red, and the graying outdoor athlete, especially given the company’s stance on social and environmental diversity. 580 words September 11, 2013
  • Euell Gibbons: No Grape Nut He THE AUTHOR AND FORAGER Euell Theophilus Gibbons once served as the folksy face of Grape-Nuts, the breakfast cereal that contains neither grapes nor nuts. The television campaign featured Gibbons delivering his now-famous “Ever eat a pine tree?” line, which catapulted him from darling of the back-to-nature movement to an unwitting victim of America’s pop culture. The […] 1534 words August 26, 2013
  • In the Wake of the Aleut Eagan, a lithe and youthful 61, describes his solo journey by sea kayak down an especially thuggish stretch of the southeastern Alaskan coast. A Class 5 whitewater boater, accomplished mountaineer, climber, and free diver, Eagan called on all of his training to accomplish the quest, which took him five years to piece together. 344 words August 8, 2012
  • Running Talus: Profile of Doug Robinson :: Climbing For the better part of a day I’ve been drifting with Doug Robinson through his life, flitting from the Sierra to the Winds, from the Himalaya to the Eastside. Twilight filters through the windows of his Kirkwood, California vacation cabin and a flurry of snow dusts the window panes. Robinson sits exuding calm, all five feet five inches and 150 pounds of him, supple and lean at 51. He gives me his all with laughing blue-grey eyes, and latches on to every question, smiling at the memories that tak 3048 words January 17, 2012
  • Andy and Brad’s Eastside Adventure Originally published in California City Sports. I WAS DISTRACTED BY maniacal laughter coming from my partner. I turned and beheld a man transformed. Andy and I had spent the last 16 hours gallivanting through the Eastern Sierra, climbing vertical ice and overhanging rock, pedaling wind-blown highways and boulder-strewn trails, cross country skiing a 6-mile circuit of high-altitude […] 1873 words April 19, 2011

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