Summer Hess

Sustainable Summits Conference Inspires Responsible Alpine Recreation

High places inspire me; they challenge my spirit, inspire me to closely observe and participate in the natural world, and serve an essential role in supporting life on this planet. The more time I spend in the mountains, the more I feel responsible for stewarding alpine environments to the best of my abilities. That’s how …

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Four Traits Climbers Develop in the Northwest That Can Come in Handy Across the Globe

I hiked up the steep trail to the top of a volcanic canyon in northern Chile to fetch water, which flowed through a slim canal to the village 10 kilometers downstream. The buzz of altitude and midday desert sun slowed me down, and it was so dry that my sweat evaporated before it could cool …

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Woman in a wetsuit adjusting her swim cap, preparing for an open water swim.

Life in Water: What Drives this Local Swimmer to Hit the Lake Whenever She Can

Susan Hales describes the details of some of her more memorable swims vividly. She has been attacked by a merganser. She has been inspected by river otters. She has pulled herself out of the water on the brink of storms. A typical day in the water for Hales is adventurous by most others’ standards. Take, …

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