I have served as the Executive Director of the Access Fund since the fall of 2007. I love my job and have found many challenges and rewards along the way. The Access Fund is a non-profit organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserved in the U.S. We take our job very seriously and know that current and future generations of climbers are depending upon us to represent their interests. Recent additions to our programming include the Conservation Team, Land Conservation Campaign, regional staffers and growth in our policy department. I recently wrote a blog post about our future aspirations. In 2011 we celebrated our 20th anniversary and took stock of some of our accomplishments. The Boulder Daily Camera also recently wrote a nice article about our work.
I am currently the chair of the steering committee of the Outdoor Alliance whose mission is to ensure the conservation and stewardship of our nation’s land and waters through the promotion of sustainable, human-powered recreation. Six national advocacy organizations form the backbone of the Outdoor Alliance: Access Fund, American Canoe Association, American Hiking Society, American Whitewater, International Mountain Bicycling Association, and Winter Wildlands. We have a policy architect based in D.C. I believe that the human powered outdoor recreation community will continue to become more and more important to conservation efforts in the United States and even worldwide. People need to connect with places to care enough to fight for their protection.
In September, 2012 I had the honor of speaking at TEDxBoulder. My talked focused on the role of human powered recreation in the future of the conservation movement. The big, traditional organizations (such as The Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society) are concerned that as their membership ages, younger generations aren't refilling the ranks. I believe that recreation has a crucial role to play.
Timmy O'Neill did a little interview with me at the 2013 Winter Outdoor Retailer Trade Show.
I also volunteer on the board of the Action Committee for Eldorado, the local climbing organization dedicated to representing climbers' interesting in Eldorado Canyon State Park and preserving the opportunity to climb and the diversity of the climbing experience in Eldorado.
I worked for North Carolina Outward Bound from 1995 to 2007. I held a variety of positions over the years, from instructor to director of operations. I started and ran the Patagonia mountaineering program from 1999 to 2003. During my final 4 years I oversaw all program operations and safety management for the school. I remain engaged with the outdoor education world through my work with the Access Fund.
I loved teaching and living in the field with students and instructors. Everyday was an adventure, filled with meaningful, physical work, educational challenges and camaraderie. I feel very privileged to have spent my 20s working for Outward Bound with so many wonderful people in beautiful places.
On the summit of Tronador with Outward Bound students, Argentina
I started climbing in Minnesota in 1989 and have since shared many climbing adventures with friends all over the world. I was most active in the big mountains from 1999 to 2001, when I did an expedition to both Pakistan and Patagonia each year for three years. Now most of my trips are closer to home, with a longer voyage every once in a while.
My main climbing partner during my most prolific expedition years was Jimmy Chin. In 1999, we set off on our first major trip together to the Charakusa Valley of Pakistan. Jimmy had a bit of beta and a single slide from the great (now late) Galen Rowell. As we entered the valley we saw this:
Parhat and Fati Brakk in the Charakusa Valley, Pakistan - Photo by Jimmy Chin
We made the second ascent of the left tower, and I made the first ascent of the right tower with another partner while Jimmy and others climbed on Beatrice across the valley. We were hooked!
One of the greatest climbing experiences of my life was climbing The Naked Edge in Eldorado Canyon in 2009 with Erik Weihenmayer and Charlie Mace. Erik is blind, and it soon became clear that he isn't a blind guy who climbs, he is an excellent climber who is blind. Cedar Wright shot a great video of our ascent:
Here are a few assorted videos and links which cover some of my other favorite climbs. All photos are mine unless otherwise noted.
The Incredible Hulk, Sierras, California, 2010 - Dave Anderson
We spent a grueling 15 days on this alpine wall, including 5 days storm bound in a portaledge built for two. We shot a video of our attempt which was professionally produced, though it is dated now. The soundtrack is amazing!
I have been very happily married to my wife Lucia Robinson since October 17, 2004. We have two daughters, Tessa and Cora. My brother and his family live in Oregon, my parents in Minnesota, and my mother in law in West Virginia - so we travel a lot.
Welcome Cora! August 26, 2012
Lucia has a very successful behavior strategy and design business called Walden Hyde. Her business partner, Robb Shurr, is a former Access Fund employee.
The following are some videos that are probably only going to be interesting to me and my immediate family. You've been warned.
We took a wonderful family vacation to Baja in April of 2012:
My dad celebrated his 70th birthday in Dec of 2011. My mom made this great video for the occasion:
Our daughter Tessa was born on June 6, 2006 and is our little pride and joy.
In June of 2011, friends and family celebrated the placement of a plaque at Pendleton Point in Blackwater Falls State Park, WV, honoring Sonny Hyde Jr., my late father in law, for his contributions to the state of West Virginia.
On December 19, YouTube took down the original posting of my TEDx video because “its content violated YouTube’s terms of service.” This was apparently collateral damage from a widespread crackdown on artificially inflated view counts. The original YouTube version (youtube.com/watch?v=j8dT1w5sp74) had 26,497 views before it was taken down. I hope it is restored there soon, but until then you can view my talk on vimeo. You can read more about this on the blog of one of my fellow speakers: redheadwriting.com/missing-one-or-several-tedx-talks-from-youtube
In September, 2012 I had the honor of speaking at TEDxBoulder. My talked focused on the role of human powered recreation in the future of the conservation movement. The big, traditional organizations (such as The Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society) are concerned that as their membership ages, younger generations aren’t refilling the ranks. I believe that recreation has a crucial role to play, thought both the conservation and recreation communities need to adapt to remain relevant.