What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?

- Henry David Thoreau


Editor's Letters

Feb 14, 2015

Editors Letter. Issue 7. Spring 2015.

To know, one must burn… Discover the fire within.


Apoorva Prasad

You can subscribe to the Outdoor Journal here.

It was raining again in Chamonix. So many of these hopeful summer weekend dashes to the world centre of alpinism ended like this — watching a grey wet sky from a window or tent flap. To escape the weather, Seb, Gilles and I headed up north past the Swiss border to climb something on dry granite. We racked up and blitzed a hardish (for me) 300m+ 6c route up a perfect stone mountain. Seb, easygoing as always, barely said much except a joke here or there, while I struggled on the hard moves. Those days, years ago, I’d never appreciated his true skills, for I only climbed with him or crashed at his place like all climbing bums, while knowing vaguely that he was a sponsored skier.

Some weeks ago, I finally waded through my ever-drowning inbox to read Seb’s French piece and translate it for this issue. Only then did it dawn on me how hardcore this understated skier has been this whole time. From calling his passion “pente raide”or steep skiing (rather than the more literal extreme skiing) to climbing the easy stuff with plebeians like myself, he’s one of the best human beings I’ve had the privilege of knowing. Yet he has the fire to be the first to ski Alpine north faces in this day and age — the very birthplace of modern climbing and skiing — where you’d imagine everything had been done many decades ago. To do this, you must nurture a burning passion inside.

First ascent. First descent. What does it mean to be the first at something?
When the world was young and humanity hadn’t covered every inch of the planet, it must have been pretty easy to find a few firsts. The world has almost doubled in population in my lifetime. Just statistically speaking, you had twice the possibility of doing something unique about 30 years ago; and approximately four times the chance in, say, Hillary’s era. But in the 21st century, with the world’s nooks and crannies explored and all big things done, being the first person to do something means a lot indeed. It means that you are more driven than 7 billion other people on the planet.

The British lads and others who just ran many of eastern India’s rivers for the first time ever are some such people. So are many of the contributors featured within these pages, as an inspiration to us all. They show us that the world has yet places to explore and adventures undone.

To know, one must burn. One must therefore practice tapas. Tapas means ardor — the heat within the mind

Roberto Calasso, Ardor

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Editor's Letters

Aug 14, 2018

Welcome to the new OutdoorJournal.com

A reflection of our new team and iterative process of regular updates to our design, editorial content, business model and much more.



Apoorva Prasad

In order to achieve our long-term goals, we’ve had to learn some hard lessons, undertake pivots and become more of a tech startup than “just a magazine”. I’ve personally had to go from being “just a journalist” to being the CEO of a tech startup, raise outside funding and relearn software development, nearly 20 years after I quit engineering school in Maryland to climb in the Himalayas, travel and become a storyteller.

You’ll start to see a brand new look to our website and other properties, as well as be able to undertake trips on The Outdoor Voyage (www.outdoorvoyage.com), which we’re also launching via trip pages on The Outdoor Journal itself.

Call us what you will, but The Outdoor Journal & Voyage stands for one thing: to educate, inspire and enable all peoples to enjoy, experience and protect wilderness.

This is also an acknowledgement of the reality that the media industry as we knew it for the last hundred years is essentially dead, that nearly all advertising dollars are scooped up by Facebook and Google today, not independent media businesses like ours; as well as the fact that our readers have constantly asked us who the best travel companies are, globally, and how they could book with them. Our business model is henceforth evolving into a hybrid travel + media model, where a sales commission from a scalable travel booking business is what (we hope) will fund our honest, authentic and independent editorial journalism. Importantly, our marketplace side seeks to promote ethical travel and sustainable development in local communities globally – a mission that received a boost when Booking.com awarded us their second-highest startup grant award last December. Some links you follow may earn us a commission, and we will continue to have some sponsored content or advertising on our channels, but we will always strive to be transparent and explicit about what’s honest, genuine journalism, and what’s not – a rarity in most travel and outdoor media.

We’ve remained a family & friends-funded startup, but sometimes we pitch ourselves to investors calling it a future “Wirecutter for adventure travel” and other times, a potential “NatGeo + Expedia for Adventure”. Call us what you will, but The Outdoor Journal & Voyage stands for one thing: to educate, inspire and enable all peoples to enjoy and experience wilderness. That is our purpose, and we will continue to build and grow towards goals that help us achieve it.

It’s been a long journey, and I invite you to retrace my steps by reading all of the previous Editor’s Letters, which can be found under The Journal.

Finally, should you wish to support our journalism, and everything we stand for, please subscribe to our print magazine here.

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