A Story of the 1974 American Pamirs / USSR Expedition ~ CNN

Screen Shot 2020-01-24 at 7.32.10 AM.png

It was June 1974. The Cold War was verging on détente, though the Watergate scandal overshadowed the Moscow Summit between President Richard Nixon and his Soviet Union counterpart, Leonid Brezhnev.

A month later, thousands of miles away in what is now Tajikistan, close to the Himalayas in the shadow of Peak Lenin, another meeting took place between an American and a Russian.


Screen Shot 2020-01-24 at 7.32.46 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-01-24 at 7.33.15 AM.png

Molly Higgins first saw Elvira Shatayeva as she came around a bend in the High Pamirs mountain range, sometimes known as “the roof of the world.”

An Outward Bound instructor traveling the Colorado Rockies, living out of a faded white sedan, Higgins had been asked to a month-long international mountaineering gathering hosted by the Russians.

Nineteen Americans, including two women, attended as part of the 1974 American Pamirs / USSR Expedition. Higgins, then 24, was a last-minute invitee when organizers, many unsure or uneasy about quite where women fit in on expeditions, realized that one woman did not seem like enough.

“I was ambitious and very self-confident, and I thought I was very strong,” recalls Higgins, now a clinical laboratory scientist in Whitefish, Montana.

Climbers rest at Camp II. Pictured clockwise from bottom left: Jed Williamson, Marty Hoey, Peter Lev, John Evans, Molly Higgins, Fred Stanley, Bruce Carson (white hat), and Chris Kopczynski. Credit: Frank Sarnquist


She was with a crew carrying loads up to Camp II — Crevasse Camp — toward Krylenko Pass on the shoulder of Peak Lenin, the country’s second-highest mountain, when an earthquake shook the slopes.

Higgins remembers a creaking sound. Then an avalanche roared overhead, launching off the top of an ice tower above camp.

The avalanche darkened the air, scattered gear, and partially buried one person, with at least two others jumping into the crevasse to escape. Four among the crew had descended earlier to resupply, and for hours those in both groups dreaded that the others had died.

Yet all had survived, though in the lower group Allen Steck, a pioneering climber from Berkeley, California, was buried up to his neck. The two groups joyfully reunited at Camp 1, on the Krylenko moraine, and retreated, shaken, to base camp in an alpine meadow.

Molly Higgins, Marty Hoey and Arlene Blum together at basecamp after the storm. Credit: Arlene Blum

Some 170 climbers from 10 Western countries occupied a huge mountaineering camp, with another 60 Eastern European and Russian climbers and officials across a stream.

This was the first major American expedition allowed in the Soviet Union, which has some of the highest and most remote mountains in the world. The gathering was held to showcase the region and the skills of the host climbers and, it seemed, develop relationships with Cold War rivals. It was seen as a means to bring up young mountaineers and foster mountaineering relations between countries.

~~~  CONTINUE  ~~~


To Father from Daughter ~ Alpinist Magazine

This is a fine story about a daughter’s love and admiration for her father.  Alexandra has really captured Peter’s nature.   Who he was and who he is through the eyes of a daughter.  rŌbert

Alexandra Lev

Posted on: December 2, 2018

[This Climbing Life story first appeared in Alpinist 64, which is now available on newsstands and in our online store. Only a small fraction of our many long-form stories from the print edition are ever uploaded to Alpinist.com. Be sure to pick up Alpinist 64 for all the goodness!—Ed.]



Peter and Alexandra Lev, City of Rocks, 1990. [Photo] Lev family collection

MY DAD HAD A BOOKSHELF in our house that was as wide as one of the walls in our dining room and reached all the way to the ceiling. It was lined with heavy hardcover volumes and worn-edged paperbacks—books on topics that ranged from climbing to Buddhism, Judaism and histories—along with souvenirs from his travels around the world. There was a gold-plated menorah, which we lit with flickering candles each Hanukkah. A colorful elephant stood next to a hand-carved wooden figurine of the Buddha. On another shelf was an old Russian ushanka: a black fur cap with earflaps and a gold-embroidered Russian emblem on the front. Nearby, two delicately painted Matryoshka dolls offered frozen, comforting smiles. I played with the dolls often as a young child, opening each one to find the increasingly smaller inner dolls, and then unstacking and assembling them in a row along the edge of the shelves.

When I was twenty years old, in my first year of college, I stumbled upon a large-format book while cleaning the shelves one day. The notebook seemed older than I was, with frayed edges and faded pages. The writing was in German. Taped on the inside cover, there was a photo of a woman with long, dark hair that cascaded down her shoulders. She looked rugged and beautiful to me. A message appeared scrawled in German in unfamiliar cursive handwriting. As I turned the pages, I found pictures of climbing routes and descriptions of the Pamir Mountains, as well as printed and hand-drawn maps with notes scribbled along the sides. Folded up and stuffed between two pages was an article recounting a 1974 expedition. I looked through all these materials with confusion—back then I didn’t even know where the Pamirs were. I immediately called my dad and asked him about the notebook. He told me that the woman in the picture had died while on an expedition with him. At first, he didn’t give me many details, but once I pushed him he gave in, as he usually did to my requests.

~~~  CONTINUE  ~~~

‘The Longing for Less’ Gets at the Big Appeal of Minimalism


Credit…Sonny Figueroa/The New York Times


When you purchase an independently reviewed book through our site, we earn an affiliate commission.

As a millennial who graduated from college in 2010, in the lingering wake of the financial crisis, the cultural critic Kyle Chayka haltingly admits to being a minimalist, but only “by default.”

When he began writing “The Longing for Less,” he was put off by how minimalism had become commodified — a smug cure-all that countered late-capitalist malaise with self-help books by Marie Kondo and seasonal pilgrimages to The Container Store. His own minimalism was a consequence of living as an underpaid writer in New York: No basements and no closets meant no storage space for stuff.

But those two kinds of minimalism — sleek lifestyle branding and enforced austerity — don’t quite convey the enormousness of the subject Chayka explores in this slender book. Delving into art, architecture, music and philosophy, he wants to learn why the idea of “less is more” keeps resurfacing. He sees it as a shadow to material progress, a reaction to abundance, a manifestation of civilization’s discontents. He remembers growing up in a three-story house with a two-car garage in rural Connecticut and feeling mildly oppressed by “detritus scattered at random all over the place.”

The book itself is like an exercise in decluttering, as Chayka cycles through different ideas in order to find those he wants to keep. An inevitable section on Kondo doesn’t find much to commend in her approach, deeming it a force for homogeneity and, like comparable books in the genre, “an exercise in banality.” For Chayka, Kondo’s method clearly doesn’t spark joy.

More generative for him are the examples of artists who became known as Minimalists even as they disavowed the term. Experiencing their work sharpens his senses; in place of the dull hum of overstimulation, Chayka gains a heightened existential awareness. Walter De Maria’s “The New York Earth Room,” a pile of loose soil that takes up the expanse of a second-floor loft in SoHo, evokes vivid memories of the woods near Chayka’s childhood home. Donald Judd’s aluminum boxes in Marfa, Tex., suggest an “absolute freedom” that the author finds “implacable, aggressive and intimidating.” Chayka is moved when he considers how Agnes Martin created her ghostly grid paintings by paying assiduous attention to each and every line, repeating her actions over and over again, a process as mindful as prayer.

But the vulgarity of the real world keeps threatening to intrude. “Art becomes retail surprisingly quickly,” Chayka writes of Marfa, where Judd’s work turned the remote town into a place where upscale tourists can easily procure a vegan sandwich or a glass of rosé. Driving on the highway nearby, Chayka gets waved through an immigration checkpoint; his Marfa trip in 2018 coincided with the first reports that border guards a mere 60 miles away were separating migrant parents from their children.

President Trump, with his steaks and his golf courses and his gilded rooms, is like the anti-minimalist: opulent, ostentatious, overwhelming. Chayka, who mentions Trump at several points in the book, hopes minimalism might provide an antidote or a balm. He compares an exhibit of Martin’s paintings to a “visual spa treatment” after the November 2016 election; he recalls how the new administration’s “reckless enthusiasm” made him want to hide. “I had subconsciously started wearing all-gray clothing,” Chayka writes, as if he were trying to blend into the city’s unnatural landscape of concrete and steel.

What’s most striking about Chayka’s minimalist gestures is how frail they seem next to the larger upheavals that are taking place. And he knows this. Discussing the renunciatory philosophy of the Stoics and Henry David Thoreau, he discerns “a strategy of avoidance, especially in moments when society feels chaotic or catastrophic.” There’s a strain of this in contemporary lifestyle minimalism, which offers self-protection and retreat: “Your bedroom might be cleaner, but the world stays bad.”

‘the turn’ from Peter Shelton

Peter Shelton

Peter Shelton seeking

the turn,

in the San Juans of Colorado



new hips learn

how to ride

skis like wings


Peter Shelton

Future Perfect

Posted in Life in Central Oregon, Ski evolution by pshelton on January 10, 2020

Mt. Bachelor January 9, 2020

I don’t believe perfect exists. I have about as much success wrapping my brain around the concept of perfect as I do grasping the notion of infinity, say.

Perfection is a human construct, something theoretical, ideal; it doesn’t exist in nature. What I do think exist are perfect evanescent moments, perfectly carved turns, perfect hours on the mountain – philosophically impossible, maybe, but nevertheless flawless exceptions that prove the rule.

Today was one of those days. The objective markers tell some of the story. Four inches of new snow overnight, delivered with little wind, groomed judiciously on the main boulevards. And that snow was very low density, extremely low for the Oregon Cascades, maybe six or seven percent water, I’m guessing, where typical “Cascades Cream” is more like 10-12 percent, and the driest Colorado snow (also rare) comes in at about four percent water. The point being, this was dandelion fluff, light whipped cream atop a smooth ice-creamy under layer, snow so insubstantial that skis, boots, shins experienced only a feathery resistance. Temperature: high teens, not even a hint of warming or melting snow. Sky like a gin-clear lake, shrinking the distance to Broken Top and South Sister, all of the mountains, like Bachelor, almost completely white: rimed white trees, lava flows, summit snowfields, the whole white-washed world under a cerulean blue with a low January sun making shadows of every twig, every wind ripple, every curving, new-moon ski track. By mid-morning Carnival run was a virtual Jackson Pollack of overlain scythings, if, instead of endless layers of dripped paint Jackson Pollack had been into gouging perfectly round lines.

There’s that word perfect again. Our old friend and fellow ski schooler, Dick Dorworth, wrote a wonderful short story called “The Perfect Turn,” about an aging ski instructor thinking back on his quest for the perfect turn. It’s one of the best pieces of ski fiction out there. And it cuts very close to Dick’s own (and mine, and many skiers’) pursuit of an aesthetic ideal, on skis. A perfect turn will be different for everyone, but it will feel the same to each of us.

In my case, the turn will be etched into the snow the way a silversmith carves an image in soft metal. The two curved blades on my feet will slice parallel arcs through the snow without throwing any spray, without going sideways at all. Railroad tracks, some people call them. This perfect turn will not live in isolation, of course; it will be part of a continuum. It will have its beginning in the perfect end of the previous turn – the weightless, perfectly positioned setup (“the love spot,” in the perfectly apt phrase of guru John Clendenin), and it will likewise extend into the perfect beginning of the next turn. It’s a continuous flow. Where does the petal’s edge stop and the next thing, the not rose petal, begin?

This turn feels as if it takes no muscle power to complete. My center of mass, my hips, my head, are so placed inside the arc I have but to stand against the snow, easy as leaning against a lamppost. The snow is turning me.

Stringing a couple of these perfect semi-circles together, sine waves, sends me into raptures. It can’t be maintained for an entire run, or a whole day, or lord knows a whole mountain. But these peeks inside the monastery, these glimpses of mathematical, musical even (music of the spheres!) symmetries are enough.

Spoiler alert: Dorworth’s hero had to cross over from one reality into another in order to achieve his perfect turn. Today felt a little bit like stealing fire from the gods. Perfect turns (or close approximations) and the godlike feeling of drawing continuous lines, strings of crescent moons across the volcano’s furrows… Well, it doesn’t get much closer to heaven than that.



A response from a fellow perfectionist of the Turn


Peter Shelton seeking the turn in the San Juans of Colorado Future Perfect Posted in Life in Central Oregon, Ski …

Hi Peter !!! The search is a topic close and deep to my heart.
I offer this from an undisciplined Zen approach: all turns as all breaths
are perfect. The ski does not lie. Each turn is a manifestation of the causes
and conditions of the dance of skiing. BUT, we as humans rarely behave with
Zen precision all the time. So I add this about what may contribute to a Better
Turn: A good turn manifests the intent of the skier, reflects the appropriate use of the chosen tool, the efficient application of skills AND expresses the grace and joy
that only skiing can offer.
Ski like a Raven !!
Burnie Arndt

“Don’t waste time!” | Matsudaira Fumai



Although he was very successful as a Daimyo Matsudaira Fumai is remembered today as an eccentric tea master, an aesthete, and connoisseur of tea utensils, wares and artifacts. As he was an authority on all aspects of tea, people would also ask him for advice, for example on how to prepare the break (Nakadachi) in the procedure of a formal tea gathering. And as probably always the most important bit comes to the very end:

Screen Shot 2020-01-23 at 8.21.10 AM.png


“How to prepare the Nakadachi-pause? It depends on the length of Roji-path. With a long path, prepare the pause right after the meal is withdrawn. We water the garden and path. If there is a bench inside of a Nakaguri-gate, the outside pathway does not need to be watered. We water until the bench. If the bench is outside, the whole pathway needs to be watered. If there are leaves scattered around the garden and look unpleasant, sweep them under a tree. All the bamboos and stepping-stones in the view need to be watered. We keep in mind that in summer we water the trees, in winter water the stones. But most important is not to waste time.”

Matsudaira Fumai (1751 – 1818)


A Lesson on Immigration From Pablo Neruda


Credit…Gamma-Keystone, via Getty Images


SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile, like numerous other countries, has been debating whether to welcome migrants — mostly from Haiti, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela — or to keep them out. Although only half a million immigrants live in this nation of 17.7 million, right-wing politicians have stoked anti-immigrant sentiment, opposed the increased rates of immigration in the past decade and directed bile especially against Haitian immigrants.

Immigration was a major issue in elections here in November and December. The winner was Sebastián Piñera, a 68-year-old center-right billionaire who was president from 2010 to 2014 and will take over in March. Mr. Piñera blamed immigrants for delinquency, drug trafficking and organized crime. He benefited from the support of José Antonio Kast, a far-right politician who has been campaigning to build physical barriers along the borders with Peru and Bolivia to stop immigrants.

Chileans aren’t alone in witnessing growing xenophobia and nativism, but we would do well to remember our own history, which offers a model for how to act when we are confronted with strangers seeking sanctuary.

On Aug. 4, 1939, the Winnipeg set sail for Chile from the French port of Pauillac with more than 2,000 refugees who had fled their Spanish homeland.

A few months earlier, Gen. Francisco Franco — aided by Mussolini and Hitler — had defeated the forces of the democratically elected government of Spain. The fascists unleashed a wave of violence and murder.


Among the hundreds of thousands of desperate supporters of the Spanish Republic who had crossed the Pyrenees to escape that onslaught were the men, women and children who would board the Winnipeg and arrive a month later at the Chilean port of Valparaíso.

The person responsible for their miraculous escape was Pablo Neruda, who, at the age of 34, was already considered Chile’s greatest poet. His prestige in 1939 was indeed significant enough for him to be able to persuade Chile’s president, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, that it was imperative for their small country to offer asylum to some of the mistreated Spanish patriots rotting in French internment camps.

Not only would this set a humanitarian example, Neruda said, but it would also provide Chile with much needed foreign expertise and talent for its own development. The president agreed to authorize some visas, but the poet himself would have to find the funds for the costly fares of those émigrés as well as for food and lodging during their first six months in the country. And Neruda, once he was in France coordinating the operation, needed to vet the émigrés to ensure they possessed the best technical skills and unimpeachable moral character.

It took considerable courage for President Aguirre Cerda to welcome the Spanish refugees to Chile. The country was poor, still reeling from the long-term effects of the Depression, with a high rate of unemployment — and had just suffered a devastating earthquake in Chillán that had killed 28,000 people and left many more injured and homeless.

An unrelenting nativist campaign by right-wing parties and their media, sensing a chance to attack the president’s Popular Front government, painted the prospective asylum seekers as “undesirables”: rapists, criminals, anti-Christian agitators whose presence, according to one chauvinistic editorial in Chile’s leading conservative paper, would be “incompatible with social tranquillity and the best manners.”

Neruda realized that it would be cheaper to charter a ship and fill it up with the refugees than to send them, one family at a time, to Chile. The Winnipeg was available but since it was a cargo boat it had to be refurbished to accommodate some 2,000 passengers with berths, canteens for meals, an infirmary, a nursery for the very young and, of course, latrines.

While volunteers from the French Communist Party worked around the clock to ready the vessel, Neruda was gathering donations from all over Latin America — and from friends like Pablo Picasso — to finance the increasingly exorbitant enterprise. Time was short: Europe was bracing for war, and bureaucrats in Santiago and Paris were sabotaging the effort. With only half the cash in hand one month before the ship was set to sail, a group of American Quakers unexpectedly offered to supply the rest of the required funds.

Through it all, Neruda was fueled by his love for Spain and his compassion for the victims of fascism, including one of his best friends, the poet Federico García Lorca, who had been murdered by a fascist death squad in 1936.

As Chile’s consul during the early years of the Spanish Republic, Neruda had witnessed the bombardment of Madrid. The destruction of that city he loved and the assault upon culture and freedom were to mark him for the rest of his life and drastically change his literary priorities.

After the fall of the Republic, he declared, “I swear to defend until my death what has been murdered in Spain: the right to happiness.” No wonder he proclaimed the Winnipeg to have been his “most beautiful poem” as it steamed away — without him or his wife, as they did not want to occupy space that was better occupied by those whose lives were in danger.

And when that magnificent, gigantic, floating “poem” of his, after a hazardous voyage, finally reached Valparaíso, its passengers — despite the protests of right-wing nationalists and Nazi sympathizers — were given a welcome befitting heroes.

Awaiting the penniless survivors of Franco’s legions was President Aguirre Cerda’s personal representative — his health minister, a young doctor named Salvador Allende. Cheering crowds amassed on the dock, singing Spanish songs of resistance, gathered to greet the refugees, some of whom already had jobs lined up.

The refugees who came ashore on the Winnipeg would go on to help fashion a more prosperous, open and inventive Chile. They included the historian Leopoldo Castedo, the book designer Mauricio Amster, the playwright and essayist José Ricardo Morales and the painters Roser Bru and José Balmes.

Almost 80 years later, those undesirables pose disturbing questions for us, both in Chile and elsewhere. Where are the presidents who welcome destitute refugees with open arms despite the most virulent slander against them? Where are the Nerudas of yesteryear, ready to launch ships like poems to defend the right to happiness?

Isabel Allende On ‘A Long Petal Of The Sea’ ~ NPR interview

NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with Isabel Allende about her latest book, a sweeping historical novel titled A Long Petal of the Sea.



From the New York Times bestselling author of The House of the Spirits, this epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home.

“Isabel Allende is a legend and this might be her finest book yet.”—J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Saints for All Occasions


Screen Shot 2020-01-19 at 8.17.15 AM.png


Portrait Of: Isabel Allende

Latino USA


Author Isabel Allende began her writing career as a journalist in Chile. Born in Peru, Allende grew up in Chile until 1973, when her uncle, former Chilean President Salvador Allende, was overthrown in a coup and died. She fled the country along with her family, and lived many years in Venezuela as a political refugee. That’s where she wrote her break-out novel, “La Casa de Los Espíritus” or “The House of the Spirits.” Since then, she’s written 23 books and counting. Latino USA sits down with Isabel Allende to talk about her journey to becoming a renowned author.




Pablo Neruda Saved Thousands of War Refugees. Isabel Allende Imagines Two of Them. NYT

Credit…Lori Barra


  • +


By Isabel Allende

In January of 1939, after three and a half years of devastating civil war, Francisco Franco defeated Spain’s Republican army at Barcelona, clinching a dictatorship that would last for nearly a half-century and displacing hundreds of thousands of soldiers, activists and Republican supporters. Many fled across the Pyrenees into France thinking they’d escaped the worst, only to find themselves behind barbed wire in concentration camps like Argèles-sur-Mer, “half-dead from cold and hunger.”

Though the larger world seemed as blind to Spain’s displaced population as they’d been to the war itself, the Chilean diplomat and poet Pablo Neruda lobbied to save over 2,000 of the refugees, as many as could fit on a nine-ton cargo ship called the Winnipeg, bound for political asylum. Neruda’s far-reaching humanist act calls to mind Oskar Schindler, and is the little-known kernel of history at the heart of Isabel Allende’s 17th novel, “A Long Petal of the Sea.” Allende, we learn from her author’s note, first heard about Neruda’s “ship of hope” in her childhood, when it caught in her memory and remained there for 40 years. Now she has deftly woven fact and fiction, history and memory, to create one of the most richly imagined portrayals of the Spanish Civil War to date, and one of the strongest and most affecting works in her long career.

Spanning generations and continents, the novel follows an unforgettable pair of exiles granted passage on the Winnipeg: Victor Dalmau, an auxiliary medic in the war, and Roser Bruguera, a young woman carrying the child of Victor’s brother Guillem, missing in action. As the special consul for Spanish emigration, Neruda has been ordered to select candidates clinically, rejecting radicals and any candidates who are overly political or intellectual. His compassion becomes the stronger factor, however, an unexpected blessing for Victor and Roser, who manage to impress the poet with their selflessness and commitment to save the child at any cost.

[ Read an excerpt from “A Long Petal of the Sea.” ]

Victor and Roser marry, a bond that has nothing to do with romantic love, but something far richer and more reliable. As they begin their lives over again with nothing in Santiago, Chile, their partnership grows into deep friendship and emotional symbiosis. Only together, they realize, can they endure what they’ve lost and recover a sense of purpose.

The notions of love and belonging are satisfyingly complex in the novel, where intimate connections are challenged as countries tumble toward fratricidal conflict and upheaval. Like Spain, Chile will ultimately be fractured by dictatorship, sending Neruda into hiding abroad. Victor and Roser will become exiles yet again, as the idea of home becomes thornier and more remote.

Allende herself is no stranger to exile. Driven from Chile to Venezuela in the 1970s, during the reign of Augusto Pinochet when her name appeared on “wanted” lists, she lived in Venezuela for 13 years to survive. It was there that she began writing “The House of Spirits,” her debut novel and perhaps her best-known work of fiction. Without that displacement, Allende has said, she might never have become a writer.

Civil war can be “a hurricane that destroys a lot in its path,” as one of the characters tells us. But it can also be a powerful force of transformation — both for individuals and for nations. Allende’s personal experience may have served to broaden her perspective and sensitivity when it comes to complex politics and ideologies. Either way, she shows a deft hand and tremendous poise here, creating a story that feels true as well as consequential.

In “A Long Petal of the Sea,” as in much of Allende’s fiction, there is the sense that every human life is an odyssey, and that how and where we connect creates the fabric of our existence: the source of our humanity. If what happens to us — the axis of our fate — is nearly always beyond our control, stubbornly unchangeable, we can still choose what we cleave to and fight for, refusing to be vanquished. This is true belonging, and how we build a world.

By Isabel Allende
Translated by Nick Caistor and Amanda Hopkinson
318 pp. Ballantine Books. $28.




A Lesson on Immigration From Pablo Neruda

Credit…Gamma-Keystone, via Getty Images


SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile, like numerous other countries, has been debating whether to welcome migrants — mostly from Haiti, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela — or to keep them out. Although only half a million immigrants live in this nation of 17.7 million, right-wing politicians have stoked anti-immigrant sentiment, opposed the increased rates of immigration in the past decade and directed bile especially against Haitian immigrants.

Immigration was a major issue in elections here in November and December. The winner was Sebastián Piñera, a 68-year-old center-right billionaire who was president from 2010 to 2014 and will take over in March. Mr. Piñera blamed immigrants for delinquency, drug trafficking and organized crime. He benefited from the support of José Antonio Kast, a far-right politician who has been campaigning to build physical barriers along the borders with Peru and Bolivia to stop immigrants.

Chileans aren’t alone in witnessing growing xenophobia and nativism, but we would do well to remember our own history, which offers a model for how to act when we are confronted with strangers seeking sanctuary.

On Aug. 4, 1939, the Winnipeg set sail for Chile from the French port of Pauillac with more than 2,000 refugees who had fled their Spanish homeland.

Writer John McPhee Explains His ‘Old-Man Project ~ NPR


~~~  LISTEN  ~~~

Author John McPhee tells us why he is undertaking what he calls an “old-man project” — writing about the scraps of unwritten stories he’s thought about over the years.

John Evans ~ January 9, 2020 ~ A positive Life Force

Included a favorite shot (not my photo) of John and his wife Loie floating Desolation canyon in 1971. It is so much John . . . Powering the Sport Yak through the rough water .  Matt Wells


John Evans 001.jpeg








Jeff Lowe photo

Screen Shot 2020-01-10 at 4.28.18 PM 2

full moon (this morning) ~

symbol of Buddha nature

in all inherent beings


Jerry and friends,

I had not heard about John passing until Thursday night.
I always think about John this time of year.  A few days ago was the 52nd anniversary of the day that he and Barry Corbet made the first ascent of Mount Tyree in Antarctica.  (This followed the first ascent of Vinson in December ’66).  Few can appreciate what a big deal climbing Tyree in 1967 was.  To this day there have only a handful of ascents.  And then there was the Hummingbird Ridge on Logan!  Everest International Expedition 1971, Nanda Devi and the Pamirs climbing exchange both of which Peter was a part of I think. 
John’s positive attitude, humility stay with me. 
Best to you all.  
Wally Berg