My current position is Senior Acquisitions Editor for FalconGuides, the largest publisher of books in the outdoor industry. In this role, I hire the writers to produce about 40 books per year and ensure that we put out great products.
For eight years, my primary job was field testing rock climbing and mountaineering equipment, then writing product reviews for Rock & Ice magazine. This culminated in the publication of my first book. I also edited the Performance section (techniques, training, nutrition) and that lead to my second book.
In 1998, I founded Trail Runner magazine, which became a sister publication of Rock & Ice. As Senior Editor for both magazines, I helped develop content and oversaw various departments. While working on these magazines was rewarding, I decided to freelance fulltime in 2001.
While I continue to write for magazines, my main focus lately has been books and photography. Among my magazine credits are: Outside, Backpacker, Rock & Ice, Climbing, POV, Hooked on the Outdoors, Newsweek, Desnivel (Spain), Vertical (France), and Headwall (Brazil).
In addition to writing and photography, I also promoted slide show tours for world famous climbers such as: Kurt Diemberger, Chris Bonington, Doug Scott, Joe Simpson and Reinhold Messner (his only US tour).
Dad gave me an early start in the outdoors while I grew up in Washington, DC. In 1968, he and my uncle started a whitewater canoeing school and four years later, they founded the second whitewater rafting company in West Virginia. Instead of football and baseball, my afternoon sports in high school were rock climbing and whitewater kayaking, thanks to the St. Albans Voyageur (one of the nation's oldest outdoor programs).
Because I was too young to be a raft guide, my first paying job was as a photographer shooting the rafts (twice a day I'd hike down a trail 3-miles down to the river, shoot the action, then dash back up to process the film and sell prints when the rafters returned). The next summer I did become a raft guide and whitewater canoe instructor but my roots in photography were well established.
We used to make a lot of our own gear including: a mountain tent, sleeping bag, packs, down pants, and climbing gear (chocks, rappel device, aid gear). In 1980, I started in the outdoor retail business, working up from a part-time salesperson to promotions manager, store manager, and/or buyer at Hudson Bay Outfitters in the DC area and Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, CO.
During my years as a professional gear reviewer, I have visited nearly 30 equipment manufacturers (from ropes and carabiners to fabrics and shoes) in the US and Europe. While I enjoy modern gear, I still have my wool knickers, wood ice axe, wood cross-country skis for perspective.
Past certifications include: CPR Instructor, Advanced First Aid Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, Emergency Medical Technician, IANTD Nitrox Diver and PADI Dive Master.