RECENT WORK & SELECT PUBLICATIONS

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Highland Profiles: Ian Beckner

I pulled up to Driftland Ski and Sport in Davis as I had many times before. The open sign always seems to be on, and owner Ian Beckner always seems to be inside.

Highland Outdoors, February 2018

What We Found in West Virginia’s Headwaters

My mind raced as I picked my way through a snowy rhododendron tunnel. It was late March, and I had just returned home to the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia from a 16-day assignment to explore the northern reaches of Chilean Patagonia.

National Geographic Blog, January 2018

In Defense of WV’s State Parks

It’s no secret that West Virginia’s state parks are struggling. The state park system is plagued by a $50 million maintenance backlog, and 2016 saw a round of layoffs and the shuttering of several state park pools.

Highland Outdoors, January 2018

Alpine Training at Seneca Rocks

While West Virginia proudly boasts some of the best rock climbing in the Unities States, there’s one thing the Mountain State lacks: big mountains.

Highland Outdoors, January 2018

What We Found in West Virginia’s Headwaters

My mind raced as I picked my way through a snowy rhododendron tunnel. It was late March, and I had just returned home to the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia…

Field Notes, December 2017

New River Boulder Bounty Wrap-Up: James Pearson Brings in the Bounty on the ASCEND / Organic Climbing Project

Trad master and overall crusher James Pearson rolled in fashionably late to the New River Boulder Bounty, and immediately sent the ASCEND / Organic project…

ASCEND Blog, December 2017

ASCEND Teams up with Organic Climbing for New River Boulder Bounty

Yes, we’re aware. It’s dark when you go to work and it’s dark when you leave. That’s why winter is the best time to come get your crush on at ASCEND.

ASCEND Blog, November 2017

Jimmy Webb Nabs Numerous First Ascents in the New River Gorge

Contributed all photos and captions for this web piece.

Rock and Ice, November 2017

Justice for West Virginia’s Cheat River

If Congress doesn’t reauthorize the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, it could spell the end of stream restoration.

Rewire, October 2017

WV Bridge Day: BASE Jump Bonanza

On the third Saturday of every October, BASE jumpers from across the globe zero their sights on the New River Gorge Bridge…

Highland Outdoors, October 2017

The First Day at Coopers

‘Twas the first day at Coopers, and all through the woods, The climbers were out trying to bag up the goods.

Highland Outdoors, October 2017

Road Tripping the Pacific Northwest Coast

I’m a West Virginian at heart. I’ve had a love affair with the verdant and rugged topography of the Appalachian Mountains my entire life.

RootsRated, September 2017

The Fascinating Story of Happy Camp, California: One of the Pacific Northwest’s Final Frontiers

Along the banks of the mighty Klamath River in far northern California rests a sleepy mountain town.

RootsRated, September 2017

Gilded Sends: New River Gorge Bouldering

Climbers, rejoice! The autumnal equinox is here, bringing with it every boulderer’s favorite season.

Highland Outdoors, September 2017

Summersville Lake: Climbing in the Wake of PsicoRoc

The country’s first outdoor deep-water soloing competition was certainly a spectacle, but what does it mean for the future of climbing at Summersville Lake?

Highland Outdoors, August 2017

Microplastics in a Macroworld: Water Sampling in Patagonia

I feel as if we’ve stumbled into the center of the universe. We emerge from the thick forest canopy that has been obscuring our view for miles.

National Geographic, July 2017

NROCKS Full Moon Via Ferrata

Many species sync certain behaviors with the full moon. From urinating badgers and mating corals to glowing scorpions and the wild behaviors of our own pets, the full moon can cause things to get a bit… whacky

Highland Outdoors, July 2017

Made in the Shade: Summer Crags in the New River Gorge

Climbers, rejoice! The autumnal equinox is here, bringing with it every boulderer’s favorite season.

Highland Outdoors, June 2017

Paragliding in the WV Highlands

The Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge is an avian paradise. Look around and you’ll see hawks, geese, vultures, and many migratory species flourishing in the young forests and wetlands that characterize the distinct landscape.

Highland Outdoors, June 2017

Pure Patagonia, Part 2: Sampling in South America’s Final Frontier

I wake up at 6:00 a.m., comfortable in my sleeping bag despite the stiff bed. I take a deep breath and smell the coffee.

 Field Notes, May 2017

Pandapas Pond: Blacksburg’s Mountain Biking Paradise

The thriving town of Blacksburg, Virginia, is known for many things, including access to the rolling hills and slew of outdoor activities surrounding the ancient New River Valley.

RootsRated, May 2017

Pure Patagonia, Part 1: Sampling in South America’s Final Frontier

I feel as if we’ve stumbled into the center of the universe. We emerge from the thick forest canopy that had been obscuring our view for miles. The landscape is vast.

Field Notes, April 2017

Episode 1: Getting There

Our Patagonia adventure team describes the adventure before the adventure—traveling to Chile and arriving in a bustling, thriving, city. Not everything went as planned.

RootsRated, February 2017

Episode 2: The Long Road to Adventure

One of South America’s greatest road trips, Chile’s southern road is a wild, scenic, and unpredictable highway that cuts through some of the most beautiful geography on the planet.

RootsRated, February 2017

Episode 3: Exploring the Unexplored

If you’ve got what it takes to visit the unexplored reaches of Patagonia, these 10 adventures will be right up your alley.

RootsRated, February 2017

Episode 4: Back to Civilization

Patagonia isn’t just about the wilderness—there are amazing cities waiting to be discovered. Valparaíso is one of the best. Our guide looks at some of the best the city has to offer.

RootsRated, February 2017

Episode 5: A Glimpse into Chilean Culture

Chilean culture can be complicated, but it’s also fascinating. Our guide helps you understand what makes Chile the unique place that it is.

RootsRated, February 2017

The Ultimate Cross-Country Climber Road Trip

America’s love affair with the road trip began to blossom in the late 1930s.

RootsRated, February 2017

Water Water Everywhere

Last August, 16 of the world’s best climbers rallied on the bullet-hard sandstone of Summersville Lake, West Virginia, for America’s first deep-water-soloing competition on real rock.

Rock and Ice, January 2017

Ice Climbing in West Virginia

When the Mountain State is deep within the grip of Old Man Winter, Chris Bailey keeps a very specific emergency pack in his truck.

Highland Outdoors, January 2017

Gregg Corio: Morgantown’s Ice Man

If you tune into the Teva Mountain Games, an annual adventure sports competition, you’ll see the world’s best ice climbers…

Zackquill, January 2017

Meet Jim Snyder and Charlie Walbridge: Pioneers of the Iconic Cheat River

In the rugged Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, an equally rugged river flows north for almost 162 miles.

RootsRated, December 2016

From Alpine to High Desert: 10 Days of Climbing in Idaho

Famous Potatoes—Idaho’s state slogan is proudly printed on the bottom of its license plate.

RootsRated, December 2016

Try West Virginia’s “Epic” Mountain Biking Adventure for Youself

Deep in West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest, a 34-mile long ridgeline juts prominently into crisp mountain air, with knife-edge cliffs that drop 200 feet to the rugged slope below.

RootsRated, September 2016

WV Climbing Competition Makes a Splash

On a crisp summer morning, 16 of the world’s best rock climbers gathered on the crystal clear waters of Summersville Lake to climb its world-famous Nuttall Sandstone cliffs for Psicoroc.

Highland Outdoors, August 2016

New River Climbing Beta

You’re 80 feet above the ground and 800 feet above one of the oldest rivers on the planet. You place your toe on an improbable edge and inch your hand up to an impeccable jug.

Highland Outdoors, July 2016

Searching for the Pure Life in Paradise

White sand gives softly under our feet, reflecting enough ambient light to illuminate the empty beach and rolling boils of big surf.  The crescendo of crashing waves makes the black expanse of the Pacific sound as if it is breathing…

National Geographic, May 2016

Have Some Eco-Heroism With Your Climbing Adventure 

The morning sun dances off the glassy ripples lapping against my kayak. I dip a sampling bottle under the crystalline surface one, two, three times, the displaced bubbles rising as I rinse it with seawater.

National Geographic, June 2015

Protecting Our Fortress in the Sky

Clouds materialize from the void, billowing off craggy spires like smoke from a pipe. Late-season snow clings to steep mountainsides, stained from rock and dirt and hard as concrete.

National Geographic, September 2014

Boulder Hopping

My forearms are pumped and my heel hook is just off the mark. I slap my right hand up a few inches higher on a sloping sidepull.

Outside Bozeman, September 2014

In Search of Pika, Part 3

Clouds materialize from the void, billowing off craggy spires like smoke from a pipe. Late season snow clings to steep mountainsides, stained from rock and dirt and hard as concrete.

Field Notes, August 2014

In Search of Pika, Part 2

As we rounded the bend in the rocky trail, rock walls of gneiss and schist soared from the sagebrush meadows above us like magnificent giants guarding the pristine wilderness ahead.

Field Notes, July 2014

In Search of Pika, Part 1

No two days are alike in the mountains. I’m flying solo on an eight-week road trip in the interior West this summer, enjoying my fill of hiking, biking and climbing.

Field Notes, July 2014

How Could the Tsunami in Japan Affect Oceans in Alaska Today?

Steve Weileman and the Ikkatsu Project seek to understand how Plastic Debris Affects Marine Ecosystems.

Field Notes, June 2013

Penguins, Whales, and Life on  Ship Sailing Around the Antarctic Peninsula

ASC Adventurer, Laura Smith braves ice fields and frigid water for science.

Field Notes, April 2013

ASC and the AAC Go Hand in Hand for one Adventurer

In an age where awareness of climate change exists but little is understood, I had always accepted the science behind the debate.

Field Notes, December 2012

Secchi Disks, Banded Gulls, and a Whole lot of Adventure with the Wilderness Classroom

ASC teams up with the Wilderness Classroom to study water quality and bird migration in the name of science and adventure.

Field Notes, November 2012

What Can ASC Add to Your Adventure?

As a traveling rock climber road tripping to America’s greatest climbing destinations, our ropes don’t often take us to areas where relevant data for ASC studies can be collected.

Field Notes, August 2012