The Shutdown Shit Show

Plus, I'm launching a new newsletter!

Happy Monday. Pictured here: the snow that ruined my climbing plans this weekend, but looked pretty.

Either a lot’s been happening, a lot has been published, or I’ve had too many cups of coffee—probably all three—but I’ve got an extra-long issue for you this week. Diving in!

What I’m reading

Is Sunscreen the New Margarine? Current guidelines for sun exposure are unhealthy and unscientific, controversial new research suggests—and quite possibly even racist. How did we get it so wrong? [Rowan Jacobsen for Outside]

Are Experiences for Women Making the Outdoors More Inclusive? The question at hand: Is this model effective in leveling the playing field, or has it gone too far to authentically facilitate true integration of women in adventure sports that have historically been dominated by men? [Cassidy Randall for REI]

The Green New Deal Is a Great Deal for the Outdoors: The initiative, led by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is ambitious, but some in the outdoor industry argue it's the only hope for saving wild places from climate change. [Cameron Fenton for Outside]

The Future of Mountain Guiding Is Women: There is so much power in women teaching women. It helps to reinforce the idea that we, as women, can be the experts, the decision makers and the teachers in the outdoors. [Shelma Jun for Arc'teryx]

Water Stone Outdoors: Located in the home of HomoClimbtastic, this store invites everyone to join their wacky scene—and helps preserve one of the world's most epic playgrounds. [Virginia Schmidt for SNEWS]

Can a Fasting Diet Help You Live Longer? A fast-mimicking program called ProLon claims it can. [Mary Turner for Outside]

Watch: Emily Harrington’s Ted Talk: “The conventional wisdom behind being mentally strong and confident is to quash all negative thoughts and emotions. Doubt, fear, and discomfort are considered signs of weakness and should be ‘conquered.’ As a professional rock climber and mountain adventurer for the last 22 years, I’m presenting an alternative approach to such feelings. Beating them and/or pretending they don’t exist doesn’t work.”

Subscribe to my new newsletter

Those of you who know me well have probably worried about my deep obsession with true crime at some point. This is fair. Not everyone drifts off to sleep listening to murder podcasts. But I was raised on Hitchcock, Nancy Drew, and Murder She Wrote (hi, Mom👋), and somewhere along the way I became a sucker for the real stuff.

So I’m launching a new newsletter that will compile the best true-crime reads, updates to relevant cases, and maybe a historical murder or two. It won’t be every week like this one is. (I’m taking a note from Molly Mirhashem’s The Kick and sending out an issue when I feel like I have enough solid content to include instead of sticking to a strict schedule.)

But if you sign up now, you won’t miss anything. Subscribe to Murder She Read here. I’ll aim to publish the first one sometime this month.

GIF courtesy Giphy

The shutdown shit show

The shutdown made a mess of a lot, including public-health inspections, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and lot of folks’ livelihoods across the board. Among the shambles: our parks. At Outside, we spent a lot of time talking about how public lands are faring.

Why Are National Parks Still Open? Nobody Knows. Parks are being destroyed, people are dying, and no one's in charge. [Wes Siler]

It's Not OK to Poach Trails in Unstaffed National Parks: From mountain bikers in California to snowmobilers in Montana, renegade adventurers see the shutdown as a chance to get away with anything. They need to stop. [Marc Peruzzi]

Trump’s Wall Fight Will Worsen California Wildfires: The shutdown is hampering fire prevention efforts in the state, even while the President looks to disaster-relief funds for his wall. [Wes Siler]

"It’s Bizarro Land": Joshua Tree Will Remain Open: Plus, a new protocol will make it more difficult for other parks to close during the shutdown. [Chris Van Leuven]

Someone Died in a National Park During the Shutdown: A man fell from Yosemite's Nevada Fall on Christmas Day [Wes Siler]

The Volunteers Cleaning Our Parks During the Shutdown: Hundreds of people, from the Everglades to Yosemite, have mobilized as part of a grassroots effort to rid national parks of refuse while federal employees remain furloughed. [Kaelyn Lynch]

Interior Remains Open for Business—for Oil Companies: Eight hundred of the 2,300 Bureau of Land Management staff who remain on duty during the shutdown are dedicated to serving the oil and gas industries. [Wes Siler]

Other reads

If you haven’t yet, you’ll want to read Anne Helen Petersen’s “How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation” on BuzzFeed.

You don’t fix burnout by going on vacation. You don’t fix it through “life hacks,” like inbox zero, or by using a meditation app for five minutes in the morning, or doing Sunday meal prep for the entire family, or starting a bullet journal. You don’t fix it by reading a book on how to “unfuck yourself.” You don’t fix it with vacation, or an adult coloring book, or “anxiety baking,” or the Pomodoro Technique, or overnight fucking oats. The problem with holistic, all-consuming burnout is that there’s no solution to it. You can’t optimize it to make it end faster.

Last but not least

James Hamblin@jameshamblinIf an email does not spark joy, delete it

All the Bad Habits We Won't Give Up in 2019

Plus, robot therapy and on fixing your attitude

And we’re back. New year, same newsletter. Hope your 2019 is off to a strong start.

Here’s what I’m reading

Robyn Erbesfield-Raboutou Wants to Fix Your Attitude:Kids think they can do anything. Nothing is impossible for them. But adults are stuck in an ‘I can’t’ mindset. For adults, so many things seem impossible.” [Graham Averill for Outside]

Angela Hawse Takes Helm of American Mountain Guides Association Board As Group Leans on Women to Foster Change in Guiding Culture: “We are at the forefront and it’s a really exciting time for us to rattle some cages and bring more awareness to issues,” she says. [Jason Blevins for the Colorado Sun]

Your Ideal Therapist Might Not Be Human: One of our editors spent a month working through her feelings with Woebot, a therapy chat bot. Here's how it went. [Erin Berger for Outside]

How and Why Jackie Paaso Got Her Own Ski Film Made: Paaso just wrapped up a two-year film project with fellow FWT athlete Eva Walkner—and it wasn't easy. [Julie Brown for Powder]

All the Bad Habits We Won't Give Up in 2019: The editors weigh in on all the things we ought to give up... but won't. [via Outside]

Coalition Snow’s Jen Gurecki Talks Reno Economy, Affordable Housing, Female Entrepreneurship and More: "It's always interesting when you see yourself in a magazine with Elon Musk on the cover." [Kaleb Roedel for Northern Nevada Business View]

Other reads

The Philosopher Redefining Equality” by Nathan Heller for The New Yorker:

In this respect, it might seem odd that, through history, equality and freedom have arrived together as ideals. What if they weren’t opposed, Anderson wondered, but, like the sugar-phosphate chains in DNA, interlaced in a structure that we might not yet understand? What if the way most of us think about the relation between equality and freedom—the very basis for the polarized, intractable political division of this moment—is wrong?

Last but not least

marisa kabas@MarisaKabasprops to the inventor of the tea kettle who was like, ok when it’s done let’s just make it fuckin scream

The Best Holiday Diet Is No Diet

Plus, mountain biking's road to gender equality and on sleeping with dogs

I’m writing to you from my mama’s home in The Great North. For those of you who don’t know me well, I grew up in Minnesota, left promptly after high school, and have since gradually moved to (mostly) warmer and drier places. Now that I call the high desert home, I’ve gotten soft when it comes to cold and snow. However, there was once a time when I gleefully piled on layers before braving snot-freezing temperatures. Evidence:

A quick heads up that I’m going to take off next week’s send of Sticks & Stones. I’ll be on a climbing trip in the Southwest, and hopefully unplugging for once in my life. So I’ll be back in your inbox in a couple weeks. For now, I’m leaving you with a longer-than-usual issue and wishing you all a very happy holiday season and a motivating, inspiring, or whatever-else-you-need-it-to-be new year.

GIF: Csaba Klement, Giphy

What I’m reading

Andraya Yearwood Knows She Has the Right to Compete: She is one of the fastest teens in Connecticut. So why do people not want her to run? Because this 17-year-old Black transgender girl represents what they are afraid of: no longer being the norm. [Mirin Fader for Bleacher Report]

Mountain Biking's Bumpy Road to Gender Equality: Subtle changes in perceptions of female athletes may seem like a small step, but the implications represent a greater victory and an opportunity to keep moving. [Annie Pokorny and Kate Courtney for Outside]

Dawa Yangzum Is First Nepalese Female IFMGA Guide: Congratulations, Dawa! (via Gripped) P.S.: Here’s a fantastic profile Anna Callaghan wrote on her earlier this year: “Smashing Guiding's Glass Ceiling

Sherpa women aren't encouraged to climb mountains. But that wasn't going to stop Dawa Yangzum Sherpa, who grew up in a Himalayan village with no electricity or running water but knew that she would one day summit Mount Everest. At 21, she stood on top of the world and then started a new quest: to become the first woman from her country to earn mountaineering's most elite title—an IFMGA.

Defying War and Catcalls, Syria's Women Hop on Climate-Friendly Bikes: “I don’t like the idea that women are victims. We should take action. We should do something about it. We have to protect our rights.” [Laurie Goering for Reuters]

The Best Holiday Diet Is No Diet: Eat what you want to eat, exercise when you can, stop labeling food as good and bad, and enough with the guilt. [Abigail Barronian for Outside]

Allyson Felix on Pregnancy and Motherhood: “Only so much of this you can predict, much less control.” [Ramona Shelburne and Allyson Felix for ESPN]

The Road to the Iditarod: Blair Braverman (our favorite musher) will be at the start line when the Last Great Race kicks off in Anchorage on March 2, 2019. In the first of a pre-race series of dispatches for Outside, she talks about the remote Alaskan lodge where she's training for the big event.

You could “be warm and have money,” as one Iditarod veteran (optimistically) imagined the non-mushing life during a recent conversation. Or you could cross the Last Frontier at a dog’s pace, step by step, your mukluks gliding inches from the ground, staring at your best friends’ butts by the glow of your headlamp. I know where I’ll be.

Running Wisdom from the Authors of 'The Happy Runner': Don’t compare yourself to others, and embrace the slog. [Martin Fritz Huber for Outside]

Dogs are bad at sharing beds

A recent study claims women sleep better alongside a canine. But we know the truth: dog owners are deluding themselves that they're getting any sleep at all. A very funny takedown by the one and only Erin Berger.

I present as counterpoint the dog who farted toxically all night and the other who had to change position every hour on the hour, and pawed frantically at the blanket for snakes before lying down. (I’ve looked it up, it’s because of snakes.) To the many study respondents who also thought a dog in bed increased their feelings of comfort and security, I present the dog who stared intently at the ceiling and growled a little, then fell asleep, leaving me up on ghost watch late into the night.

Other reads

My former editor E.J. Dickson wrote a very smart piece: “What’s Missing in All the Praise of Rachel McAdams’s High-Fashion Breast Pump Photo Shoot.”

Ultimately, McAdams’s photo shoot falls squarely in this category. Were it to be truly subversive, she might’ve been shot not with dramatic eye makeup and a cropped designer jacket, but in sweatpants and an ugly nursing bra at 3 in the morning blearily watching Netflix, or desperately trying to eke out one more ounce in a cramped supply closet before a business meeting.

Diamonds and Versace may look a lot cooler, but for celebrity moms to truly help normalize breastfeeding, it may be more helpful to showcase the reality of what breastfeeding looks like first—or, better yet, to advocate for better policies to support nursing moms.

Last but not least

Jenn Ellis@jellispantsEvery year our aunt in Maine sends us little handmade chocolate lobsters. This year they are soap. Guess how I found out? 🦞 🧼 TEM

Zinke's Gone, But the Interior Won't Change

Plus, another piece on Pattie Gonia. And the most destructive fire in U.S. history.

Good morning. Happy Monday. I’m running late today, so let’s get right to business.

But first, an obligatory weekend crag shot

What I’m reading

Paradise Lost: Inside the most destructive fire in American history—and why the West's cities and towns will keep on burning [Kyle Dickman for Outside]

Meet Pattie Gonia, the Backpacking Drag Queen Promoting Inclusivity in the Outdoors: She's spreading positive vibes and a powerful message one high-heeled hike at a time. [Jenny McCoy for Self] (P.S. You can read our piece on her here.)

Zinke's Gone, But the Interior Won't Change: I've watched Zinke’s downward spiral with trepidation. Yet his departure does not imply a pro-environment reorientation at Interior, and I doubt we've seen the last of him. [Elliot Woods for Outside]

Betty Reid Soskin Is One of Glamour’s 2018 Women of the Year: The stories of our honorees often start with the same idea: a woman who refuses to wait for someone else to make things better. Alone, or with an army behind her, she decides to act.

Aspen: I have been told, and come to believe, that life happens in between. On the sides of roads and rivers, just out of the firelight, just off the trail. I have learned that life encompasses, just as wholly, death, and thus life and death are sistered in this liminal place. I spend much of my time in this space between. [CMarie Fuhrman for High Desert Journal]

Serena Williams Got It Right. Exercise Is Healthy During Pregnancy. Serena Williams won the Australian Open while in her first trimester of pregnancy. A Sherpa woman in her third trimester climbed to Everest Base Camp. Paula Radcliffe, who holds the world record in the women’s marathon, ran twice a day in the first five months of her pregnancy. Olympic track athlete Alysia Montano competed in a high-level 800-meter race while 34 weeks pregnant. Pregnancy can feel like one long list of things not to do. But these women are demonstrating that exercise doesn’t need to be on that list—and the science backs them up. [Katherine Hobson for FiveThirtyEight]

Subscribe to this

My friend Molly Mirhashem just launched a new newsletter about women in running. It’s fantastic.

GIF: Rebecca Hendin, Giphy

Read it and sign up here.

Submit your story to the AAC

The 2019 Guidebook to Membership theme will be Climbers Uniting for Change. This can be change at a social level, an industry level, a personal level—however you interpret it.

Lost in the Valley of Death

Justin Alexander went searching for higher meaning. No one expected the quest to end in a search for his body. Harley Rustad for Outside:

Over the past 25 years, according to both official and unofficial reports, at least two dozen foreign tourists have died or disappeared in and around the Parvati Valley. Among the vanished are people from Canada, Israel, Japan, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Australia. Distraught loved ones post stories of the missing on social media, online message boards, and travel forums with scattered details and few clues.

Last but not least

Erin Strout@erinstrout"We all have the power to create real change, and we cannot allow ourselves to be defined by the acts of others."

Sports Illustrated@SInow

In her first public statement since September, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford presents Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year Award to Rachael Denhollander

The 15-Year-Old Climate Activist Demanding a New Kind of Politics

Plus, anyone who hates Jenna Woginrich's truck can fuck right off

Hi! I know a lot of you are new readers, so welcome. My friend Rachel Walker recently described Sticks and Stones as a weekly newsletter of “feminist writings and critical analysis of the state of the world,” which honestly is way better than any tagline I’ve come up with. Thanks for signing up.

Excuse me for being mushy for one sec: I also want to thank all of the subscribers who’ve been with me for the past couple years. THANK YOU for recommending my newsletter, sending me engaging links and notes to comb through, and being an awesome, supportive crew of readers. I’ve connected with so many smart folks through Sticks and Stones, and I want you to know that means a lot to me. So thanks for subscribing, thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing. My Mondays are always a little better because you’re a part of them. 😘😘😘


What I’m reading

An Open Letter to the Asshole Who Called Her Truck a Piece of Junk: “I sought out that truck. It wasn't something I settled for. It was an intentional purchase. As intentional as choosing homesteading over corporate design. Yeah, she's a little rough but so am I.” [Jenna Woginrich on Cold Antler Farm]

The 15-Year-Old Climate Activist Demanding a New Kind of Politics: Since the election, Greta Thunberg has returned to school for four days a week; she now spends her Fridays on the steps of parliament. She is demanding that the government undertake a radical response to climate change. She told me that a number of members of parliament have come out to the steps to express support for her position, although every one of them has said that she should really be at school. Her parents think so, too, she said—that she should really go to school, though she is right to protest. [Masha Gessen for The New Yorker]

How a New Beer Is Helping California’s Fire Victims: More than 1,100 breweries nationwide have signed on to brew Resilience Butte County Proud IPA. All profits from the beer will go toward a fund to help victims of California’s recent Camp Fire. [AC Shilton for Outside]

Rwandan Women Paddle into the Male World of Fishing: “Now a woman can say: ‘I can build a house by myself. I can look after my family properly. And even if my husband dies, we can live a better life.’” [Shannon Sims, Holly Pickett, and Clàudia Prat for The New York Times]

Finally: Women’s Swimsuits That Won’t Fall Down: Bikinis that stand up to every wave for women who rip [Kelly Bastone for Outside]

Camping Out With Long-Distance Firefighters: The Mendocino Complex Fire was the largest fire ever to strike California, consuming more than 400,000 acres and killing one firefighter. The fire crew worked shifts as long as 30 hours and slept in portable bunks, on the ground, wherever they could. [Justin Maxon, Elise Craig, Antonia Cereijido, and Jonaki Mehta for Cal Sunday]

Let’s talk about our mistakes

I’m just here to fangirl all over Caroline Gleich for talking about hers.

Caroline Gleich@carolinegleich❤️❤️❤️ I hope we can change the stigma of talking about close calls and set an example to other snow sports athletes and industry professionals to share their experiences so we can all learn.

Abigail Wise@AbigailWise

So much love and respect, @carolinegleich. Thanks for being open and honest and rad af.

Other reads

This is the section where I pop in a good story I’m reading that has nothing to do with the outdoors. This week: “Ghosts of Highway 20” in The Oregonian by Noelle Crombie:

Kaye Turner vanished 40 years ago while running along an empty road in a rustic central Oregon retreat. She was kidnapped and killed, her remains dumped in the deep woods.

Then Rachanda Pickle went missing from the desolate highway compound where she lived, never to be seen again. She was 13.

It wasn’t long before teenagers Melissa Sanders and Sheila Swanson disappeared from a camping trip to the coast. Their bodies were found off a logging spur.

It now appears their killer was the same man. The breadth of his crimes has never been revealed until now.

Last but not least

Here’s to a productive Monday.

Blair Braverman@BlairBravermansleigh all day

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