Category Archives: Formats

Northern Borkoldoy, first ascents

The Harvard Mountaineering Club, celebrating its 80th anniversary, sent a team of 8 climbers to the northwestern region of the Borkoldoy.

Read the original [pdf] or read the story behind the story here…

This was the formal blurb summarizing the expeditions results for the American Alpine Journal. My teammates and I posted a more complete record at and I also wrote a more personal narrative [pdf] about the expedition for Harvard Mountaineering.

Finding Adventure in Central Asia

It was the watermelons that finally did it. The suspicious border guard accepted the proffered bags of beer, cigarettes, and watermelons and agreed to negotiate with his supervisor at the Karasai military outpost one last time.

When he came out all smiles, we knew we were going to be allowed into the Borkoldoy mountains in the greater Tien Shan range. Continue reading Finding Adventure in Central Asia

Puerto Rico

book cover image of Let's Go Puerto RicoMy rental car’s brakes failed, stray dogs chased me up a hill, and dozens of mosquitoes greeted me in my hostel shower–all in one day. The other 48 days of my Puerto Rican adventures were a breeze in comparison.

I sat through flash rainstorms in Puerto Rico’s Cordillera Central and swam with bioluminescent microbes and radio astronomers–but only the microbes lit up. I visited lost Spanish colonial towns and the remnants of a Cold War American Air Force base.

The results are in the second  edition of Let’s Go: Puerto Rico, researched in the summer of 2005 and published in 2006.

Southwest USA: Adventure Guide

book cover image of Let's Go Southwest USA Adventure GuideMy first writing gig was researching and writing for the Let’s Go Southwest USA: Adventure Guide. I put over 5,000 hot desert miles on my parents’ trusty and eventually very dusty Corolla. The marks from my mountain bike still grace the back seat.

I covered parts of California and central and southern Arizona. I slept under the stars and cooked breakfast while the sun woke the desert. People took me into their homes from Tucson to Winslow and I fell under the spell of Flagstaff, beneath the slopes of Humphreys Peak.

I learned how to get answers from strangers, how to write from the road, and how to hit deadlines before they could hit me.