‘We’re going to change the world’

Manoah Ainuu, featured in the film “Black Ice,” grew up in Compton but became a professional climber.

S’lacio Bankston struggled on the icy pitch, lost his footing and backed off. Later, the 20-year-old refocused and invoked Mohammed Ali to pump himself up: “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!” Bankston sent the frozen waterfall on his second effort as his friends erupted in cheers. If Black climbers are rare, African American… Continue reading ‘We’re going to change the world’

2020’s good news happened outdoors

California condors continued a remarkable recovery in 2020.

As the coronavirus sent people running for cover last spring, Joe Owen ran to help others. The Danville soccer coach trotted up Mount Diablo (13 miles and 3,400 feet of climbing) every day in April to raise more than $4,400 for a local food bank. “I am really proud of what this has accomplished,” he… Continue reading 2020’s good news happened outdoors

Bring on the map makeover

Squaw Valley has committed to a name change in 2021.

Before thousands of climbers ascended Mount Whitney every year, a group of Buffalo Soldiers reached the summit in 1903. The first African Americans to climb the mountain also built its first summit trail. Enthralled by the grand scenery, Captain Charles Young committed to “preserving these mountains just as they are.” Under Young’s command, Buffalo Soldiers… Continue reading Bring on the map makeover

California cyclists complete cross-country excursion

On the toughest bicycle trek any of them had tried, Day 7 ranked as the toughest day. As the team pedaled on State Route 375 through Nevada’s hottest desert, July temperatures soared well into triple digits. Four cyclists biked nine straight hours on a shadeless road. So relentlessly shone the sun that they used the… Continue reading California cyclists complete cross-country excursion

Cyclists aim to inspire on cross country ride

A half dozen teenagers and one slightly-older teacher will bicycle out of San Francisco this June, on their way across the Central Valley, over the Sierra Nevada mountains and then all the way to New York City.  These lucky seven cyclists from San Francisco’s Ruth Asawa School of the Arts call their upcoming journey “Pedal… Continue reading Cyclists aim to inspire on cross country ride

Challenge, camaraderie define 100-mile race

Steven Moore finished in 18 hours, 14 minutes and 57 seconds, setting a new course record for men aged 50-59.

One hundred miles of murderous terrain stretches out the field of Western States Endurance Run, but the legendary race still sees an occasional photo finish. Those in Placer High School’s LeFebvre Stadium in the late hours of June 29 witnessed a sprint for the ages. After more than 18 hours of racing up and down… Continue reading Challenge, camaraderie define 100-mile race

The Marmot

The marmot lies on gray rock, a mass of skin and soft fur; he rests, soaks up sun. He wears a blanket of his own silvery-brown comfort, glinting in heavy afternoon light. I follow the footpath a narrow stripe across miles of forests and stark mountains. My backpack and my steps propel me down through… Continue reading The Marmot

Sierra Summits: “a guidebook with heart”

Sierra Summits, Matt Johanson’s latest adventure guidebook, is his third and best effort.   Sub-titled A Guide to 50 Peak Experiences in California’s Range of Light, the book offers a wide range of experiences covering the 400 miles of the Sierra Nevada range. For example, beginners and hikers with children can start on Sentinel Dome… Continue reading Sierra Summits: “a guidebook with heart”