In 17 years of actively climbing, skiing, and now running – I hope I’m where I am supposed to be, I mean, great partners and the mountains have pushed me. I have questioned my potential because of them and heard my own voice of reason.  I think that is something I expect from the mountains, there is a line I like to cross when I engage them creatively and physically.

Today I run long distances hoping to earn an understanding of yet another vexing chapter of climbing; endurance.  It is a safe and simple path.  An extension of the base I leveraged my youth to build. It is something I can do outside every day, you can follow along if you like:


Running 6 peaks in 5 hours above 13,000' on the Continental Divide, Summer 2014. Photo: Andrew Maguire
Running 6 peaks in 5 hours above 13,000′ on the Continental Divide, Summer 2014. Photo: Andrew Maguire


It takes more than great partners to get to the top of a thing or two. I am a Global Ambassador for Osprey Packs. They are an everyday part of my career in industry and recreation. Osprey gave me the support to chance what was out there, starting when I was 24 and dreaming of becoming a real alpinist and filmmaker. 11 years later, at 35, there is a pack for everything I’ve ever done or could do.

I have climbed Everest, I have pioneered first ascents and ski descents on 7000M peaks, I’ve skied a few 6000M Himalayan Peaks and left a scratch or two on some faraway granite corners in Sichuan. I have failed tremendously and backed out of and away from deadly positions. That forced me to push boundaries and create my own. In pursuits of the high peaks and in respect of their commitments, I never looked to them for a showing of mediocrity. In facing the fear of uncertainty, I found greater realizations than what I could do, I went there looking for what hadn’t been done…and to do it.

I still do today. I am happy trying. I am happy in the mountains


Ben Clark on Thorung Peak 2010
Skiing the windswept final pitch on the summit ridge on 20,201′ Thorung peak in the Muktinath Himal, Nepal. The Annapurna Range in the background was my favorite place to ski. My partners and I skied this peak twice in 3 years, Annapurna IV, Pisang Peak and Chulu West. Photo credit: Hari Mix




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