Editors Letter. Issue 10. Spring 2016

"The mountains are calling and I must go." John Muir

Editors Letter. Issue 10. Spring 2016

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I write this while sitting in the foothills of the Himalaya. In front is the massive Trisul, 7120m, pink-tipped in morning light. Yet it is rendered faint by a haze in the winter sky that I’d never seen in my childhood, when we spent vacations driving days-deep into the Himalaya. These lands have lost much in “development”. Like Doug Tompkins, I feel the single most important goal we have today is to preserve these wilds, through whatever means necessary, when the concrete zombie-cities of the south expand uncontrollably into nature, hacking away at forests, streams and meadows.

I became a climber, apart from other things, because of the sense of community and belonging it fostered almost instantaneously. Your nationality, color, gender and all other separators became secondary. I traveled the world staying with friends of friends who knew nothing of me, save that of being a climber. However, today’s fractious politics, news-cycle-driven fear and media hype around anything that pushes eyeballs, and the sense of otherness that the hunt of sponsors fosters, that community seems to be breaking apart. In today’s hyper frenetic YouTube era, I wonder if that meaning is being lost in the hunt for mindless clicks. Are FFAs and FKTs really that important? Do we always need to be something better or bigger or faster? Or can we be simply content in communion with nature? This is the message I share when I travel, looking for partners, from athletes to brands, journalists to NGOs. Perhaps I am naive. But there was an era when the sense of spiritual unity told us what this search actually meant.

We at the The Outdoor Journal are as guilty, sometimes, of promoting the most visible ‘actors’ to attract advertisers. However, we also try to highlight the best adventures around the globe that represent the lifestyle we seek to promote. Our goal is to try and seek a return to the simple joys of life, that have always existed in the real world outside. We know, despite my naivety, the only way to succeed is by creating a successful, profitable commercial enterprise, which then has the power to make a difference.

The question I always sought to answer, through the outdoors, was the meaning of life. Having lived and travelled in many countries, I wanted to know, what was the most important thing I could do? What was it that gave my existence purpose, and meaning? When would I stop feeling that unknown terror gnawing at my soul?