National Parks – Beyond the Edge

Category archives for National Parks

Freedom to Move: Field Rhythm and Longtime Friends

My daily rhythm is typically a solo wandering in a wild landscape with crisp air and clean dirt. I feel super lucky to be able to spend a lot of time in the backcountry having experiences with wild animals, setting up camera traps, and photographing the rhythms of an animal migration. I’m a loner, and…

Freedom to Move: “A Wild Mind Sounds Pretty Good to Me”

Joe Riis is the best photographer I know. I’m biased—I get to hang out with, work with, and count some of the best National Geographic photographers as my friends. But Joe stands out. It’s partly because of his work, which speaks for itself, but it’s also because of his character and how he chooses to…

Video: Yosemite Climbers on Dealing with Their New-Found Fame

Whatever public profile Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson had before they free climbed the Dawn Wall of El Capitan, it certainly got a lift once they reached the top. One of their first encounters with an adoring fan took place directly in the aftermath of their ascent, in the Yosemite Lodge cafeteria where the two climbers…

For a Climber on El Cap, a Dropped iPhone is Particularly Painful

Read our profile of Tommy Caldwell, “Climber on Historic Yosemite Attempt Faces Yet Another Fateful Choice,” and see photos and video from this climb. Even the grip of a professional world-class rock climber sometimes isn’t enough to hold onto an iPhone. This week, Tommy Caldwell, one of the two climbers currently vying to complete the first…

Returning to Parque Patagonia to Map Trails, Change

Ross Donihue and Marty Schnure received a National Geographic Young Explorers grant. I’m riding shotgun in a diesel Mitsubishi 4×4 truck as we take curve after curve of washboard dirt roads. Beads of sweat form on my forehead as we take a hairpin turn and I roll down my window to gulp the fresh air.…

Our Canyon Lands Film Series Aims to Protect Our Wild West Backyard

“We are wild creatures, and if you remove wilderness from us, you take away our human spirit.” The story of Canyonlands National Park, and the lands that border it, is a complex tale of political horse trading, pressures for resource extraction, and recreational opportunities. It is also a story of the Wild West, of a rugged…

Kilauea, Far From Ordinary

I took a photograph the other day like I occasionally do. It started out like such an ordinary day; the sun rose from the East as it always does. The birds began to chirp and the chickens began to stir right at dawn, perfectly on time like they always are. I opened my eyes like…

Kentucky: Visit Mammoth Cave National Park

Slither, crawl, and climb on the Wild Cave Tour. What Is It? With more than 400 miles of explored area, Mammoth Cave National Park boasts one of the world’s longest cave systems. The Park Service offers an array of tours varying in length and focus so you can pick the best ones for your needs.…

A Grand Adventure: Skiing and Climbing the Grand Teton

On June 16, 1971, Bill Briggs stood alone atop Wyoming’s 13,770-foot Grand Teton, one of the most iconic peaks in North America. He surveyed his surroundings, saw a storm gathering in the distance, and quickly clicked into his 210-centimeter fiberglass K2 skis. Then, he skied off the summit and into history. Four hours later, when…

What It Takes to Climb and Ski the Grand Teton

At 13,770 craggy feet in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, the Grand Teton is an icon. Mention you’re tackling it, and climbers’ eyes light up. It’s not the tallest nor hardest mountain, but it delivers every component of a classic adventure: 7,000 feet of elevation gain, technical climbing, dramatic exposure, thrilling rappels, and breathtaking views.…