The Art of Adventure Writing // REI Co-op Journal

With an impressive list of mentees, including Alex Honnold and Jon Krakauer, and 29 books under his belt, David Roberts is nothing short of a legend. Here, he sheds light on the evolution of adventure journalism—and how to make it in today’s tough market.

In the 1960s and 1970s, David Roberts was climbing the hardest routes in Alaska, including the first ascents of the Wickershim Wall on Denali and the east face of Mount Dickey. His dramatic experiences in mountaineering gave him plenty of story fodder and ultimately launched his writing career, in which he specialized in climbing, adventure, and the American Southwest.

Arguably one of the most prolific adventure writers of all time, David Roberts, 74, is still climbing and writing despite battling cancer. Today he says climbing 5-anything, or just getting off the ground, is a good day.

This June, Roberts and his “Old Gang” of climbing buddies met in Mammoth Lakes, California, for their annual reunion. I met up with them to talk about how adventure and writing have changed over the years, and Roberts offered his best advice to young and aspiring writers.

Read the interview at the REI Co-op Journal online.

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