How have you become a product of your environment?
“I’m the product of a stable, loving family. A product of parents without egos, only a desire to see their children be happy. I grew up in an environment where no one ever told me not to do or try something, only to be safe doing it. My grandfathers and father are veterans of war. I’m the first generation in a while with the freedom to play while young so I feel proudly obliged to do so.”
"I’m the product of friends who are all doing extraordinary things in art, science, culture, business, and athletics; they challenge tradition in bold and nuanced ways. They have inspired international and local adventures and guided me in ways I’m still coming to understand. With them I’ve climbed the highest mountains, raced across deserts, walked minefields, visited refugee camps and nomadic tribes, explored ruins, found home on The Playa, sailed, skied, dove reefs, connected oppressed communities and the world to share information, written code, played music, traded books, broken language barriers, and shared countless drinks, meals and laughs. A life I never dreamed of but am profoundly thankful for.”
Beer, Wine, Coffee, Tea, Whisky, Water?
"All of the vices… Dark beers, bold reds wines, fresh and lightly roasted coffee, Sherpa tea, single malt Speyside or Highland Scotch, bitney springs water."
"Everything in moderation, including moderation.
Education is the progressive realization of ignorance."
Most life-changing experience?
"Climbing some place remote, rugged and beautiful as Kashmir was the trip of a lifetime but the most life changing experience I’ve had is simply seeing contrast. Traveling through Lebanon, Syria and Iraq at the start of the Arab Spring and being part of a community like Burning Man; talking to people who have nothing, not even safety or shelter and seeing people with absolute autonomy to create, express and thrive at opposite ends on a hierarchy of needs gives me an appreciation for small comforts and acts of empathy that make life worth living."
Top three travel destinations?
"Roatan, Honduras for water and beaches. Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland for granite, clean air and peace and quiet. Any remote Himalayan village, disconnect and be left alone with your thoughts for a while."
Five things you can’t travel without.
"Snacks, phone (Music, Books, Camera, Map, GPS, translator, flashlight), headphones, a hat, curiosity."
What was the most dangerous trip or experience you’ve had. How did you handle it?
"Statistically, the summit of Annapurna I. For every 4 people on the summit, one person has died on the mountain. One of the strongest climbers I’ve ever met died up there in 2015. Many other legendary climbers have been lost in avalanches on its flanks. When an avalanche started to rip down a gully right next to the route we put in, I had about two seconds to decide if it was big enough to dive on the rocks for or safe enough to grab my camera. I chose to dive for an anchor and rock and only got dusted. Fortunately, a Spanish climber below us at camp 2 got some pictures as it was happening. We joke: Look good, act cool, safety third. Acting cool: keeping calm and assessing the situation is pretty important in those situations, though."
What’s the purpose of life?
"To find balance between ego and empathy, to be happy and love."
What’s your day job?
"I get paid to help new software and computer processors become more capable, secure and easier to use. If you have a smart phone, car, camera, watch, etc., you’re using my company’s processor architecture. I’d like to think engineers apply science and research to automate out the mundane, repetitive tasks in our lives to allow more time for higher order mental models to execute or just go spend more time with the people that make us happy. But with exponentially increasing system complexity, often we do it wrong and just frustrate our parents and grandparents…"
Worst advice you’ve ever been given.
"Just say no."
Best advice you’ve ever been given.
"You are going to be your best and, often, only cheerleader but don’t take yourself too seriously. And get a full night’s sleep."
Describe your perfect day.
"Wake up naturally to the sunrise on the Ahwahnee ledge half way up the Leaning Tower in Yosemite. Hand grind and press 20g of coffee. Finish the final pitches by the afternoon and down climb to The Valley just in time to go soak in the Merced with friends or family and go get pizza and beer."
Where are you right now? If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be?
"I’m at the airport in Buenos Aires. I can’t wait to see my niece and nephew and family in California. When I get there though, I’ll probably be thinking about the fresh snow in the local mountains."
"First ascents in Antarctica with a pair of skis and infinite daylight."
Upcoming trips in 2018?
"Maybe Panama. Maybe Alaska Range or Himalayas in Spring. Definitely ski touring Tahoe out of the back of my new van, rock climbing Joshua Tree, Owens Valley, Colorado, probably climbing the Wind Rivers and Bugaboos this summer. Always climbing stuff at Burning Man. Cambridge, UK and Miami for work + fun."
Favorite Vindur Hao Item: Favorite Existing Item: heather grey hat. Wishlist: full zip après-ski fleece or hoodie.