How do you rank a year that was off the charts in so many ways—above, below, sideways, and back again?
Well, the verdict is still out on that one. All I can say is that 2016 brought so many different people, places, and things into my life and, perhaps more importantly, helped deepen my appreciation for the humans that stick with me through all the late text replies.
This year I was able to write a feature about mountaineer Scott Fischer and the incredible family that carries on his legacy, a task that felt both overwhelming and amazing. I can't thank the Fischer-Price family enough for letting me share their story, but to Katie Rose for trusting me and teaching me so much about the lasting impacts of a father that was larger than life.
I also traveled to China for a feature I'd been planning and re-planning for nearly three years. The intersection of sport, culture, and current event has always fascinated me, and POWDER let me pursue that fascination in the Middle Kingdom, using skiing as the vehicle. The trip was quite possibly the toughest thing I've ever done, and it really took it's toll on me mentally and physically. To see all of that manifest in a finished piece—well, that's about as close to a Christmas bonus as I'm going to get in this life.
Aside from the big pieces, I was able to work on some really fun stuff with friends, including shooting and writing about a ski competition inside Fenway Park—hallowed ground for any Boston sports fan—for POWDER. In this year in review, I also published an online feature about skiing in Kyrgyzstan with Vice and had fun making fun of the ski dad some of us East Coasters know all too well.
In terms of goal-reaching, I didn't publish any books this year, but I did lend a helping hand to a pair, penning work for POWDER's, Monumental and Fodor's Seattle Travel Guide, so I'm counting it!
I don't really think it's fair to rank one year against the rest, but I do think the New Year serves as a great way to check-in, a great way to help us realize that 'hey, yeah, I did do some pretty cool stuff this year.' Whether it's travel, relationships, or simply balancing the checkbook (something I hope to accomplish someday), we all did some pretty worthwhile shit in 2016—remember that.
Anyways, enough pandering, here's a few favorite pieces from 2016. Thanks for reading.
Awakening: China—COMING SOON