ABOUT ME: I grew up in Port Townsend, Washington among the glaciated spires of the Olympic Mountains. I have spent much of my life exploring this magical planet from the summit of Mount Everest to the remote islands of the South Pacific. I developed a passion for writing when I was a teenager stuck on a sailboat in middle of the ocean, ten days from land in every direction. In 2007, I graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing. Since then, my work has appeared in various media worldwide, including Backcountry, Powder, and The Ski Journal. My first book, My Old Man and the Mountain, tells the story of following in my father’s footsteps to the summit of Mount Everest. It is currently available for preorder and will be released by Mountaineers Books in October, 2016.
For more information about me, or to make an inquiry, visit www.leifwhittaker.com.
ABOUT THE BLOG: After graduating from college, I found myself losing the motivation to write every day, so I created this space and shared it with my family and friends, hoping their readership would push me to create new posts while I traveled in Ecuador and Peru. It worked. A single comment from my mother drove me to seek out the nearest internet cafe and sit at a keyboard for hours, writing about my latest jaunt up a volcano. She was probably the only person who read it, but hey, at least I was writing. Much of my writing was an attempt to make sense of the wonderful adventures I had. The blog was also a place to play with the craft of storytelling, to try unusual word choices, to punctuate incorrectly, and to break dozens of grammar rules, as you will see if you explore the archives. Somewhere along the way, I learned that what I enjoyed writing about the most were the people I met, the places I traveled to, and the experiences I had in the outdoors. I began to form an idea of why these adventures were important to me, and why others found such joy in visiting wild places. I haven’t come close to figuring it all out, and I probably never will, but I still try to climb as if I’ve never reached a summit, and to write as if my mother is the only one reading.