The average American spends a third of their income on housing. Almost as much as the next two greatest expenses--food and transportation--combined. So, theoretically, if you just stopped paying for housing, you could earn a living working three days a week. Or two thirds of the year. 

Today, we bring you a story about the pursuit of snow, world domination and cheap rent. It's imperfect. It comes with inconveninces. Trade-offs. But, at the end of the day, what would you rather trade in? Convenience? Or time chasing down dry rock or fluffy snow? 

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Direct download: The_Treewok.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00 PM
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Brody Leven applied for a climbing permit for Denali from a rented Subaru parked outside a closed cafe. In a blizzard. In Iceland. Weeks later, he would fly to Alaska to meet up with his team of overly accomplished athletes with the goal of climbing and skiing from Denali's summit. Determined not to be the weak link, he spent his two week layover in Salt Lake City obsessing over his gear. “I packed, unpacked, checked and repacked,” remembers Brody. “I read every online gear checklist I could find, packed my warmest clothes, and measured the length of my prussiks.” Yet, despite all of his careful planning, Brody made one dire miscalculation. 

 

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Direct download: The_Shorts--Denial_on_Denali.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00 PM
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There are two kinds of dreams. An honest dream. “The kind of dream,” writes Luke Mehall “that keeps you up at night, and wakes you up in the morning with a knot in your stomach that can only be untied with blood sweat and tears.” For Luke, climbing El Cap was that kind of dream. And then there’s the other kind of dream. The kind that starts out as a joke, then escalates to the level of the ridiculous. When Luke drove west towards Yosemite National Park, he was determined to realize one of each. 

  

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Direct download: The_Shorts-Dreams_Coming_True.mp3
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We all know the feeling of remoteness. The stillness. The perspective. It's part of what keeps drawing us outside. But what does it feel like to be standing, literally, in the most remote place in a state? In the country? And what might those places reveal about the fate of our country's wild lands? In 2010, Ryan and Rebecca Means embarked upon Project Remote to find out. 

 

 

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Direct download: The_Remotest.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:30 PM
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“With steely determination, I pointed my tips downhill and tried to power through the deep snow, but I was doomed,” remembers Julia Rosen. “I started to do the super slow splits as my skis drifted further and further apart under two piles of snow that felt like wet concrete. My feet stopped, but my body lurched forward and I was thrust into an unwelcome downward dog.” Anyone who’s skied powder remembers this fall. Anyone who, like Julia, learned to ski pow as an adult remembers it more clearly. But Julia did make it through the painful learning process—only to discover that, perhaps, the wisdom she had gained might just serve her in the horizontal world as well. 

 

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Direct download: The_Shorts-Zen_of_Powder_Skiing.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:00 PM
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Plastic bags. They clog drawers, landfills, coastlines and trailheads. Recycling them is confusing and inefficient. But what if there was a way to turn the trash into something of value? Enter Industrial Designer Will Wells. Today, we bring you our annual Year of Big Ideas. We talked to contributors and friends about their goals for the coming year. Here's to going big, traveling to new places and trying something new. And here's to making something that will inspire others, even if it's small.

Happy 2014.

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Direct download: Starting_Small.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:06 PM
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Powerful ideas often demand that we leave the comfort of a safety net. We quit a nine to five. We take out a second mortgage on our house. Along the way, we can expect to be called a crazy one day and brilliant the next. In the late 1990's, Jeff Pensiero had an idea--to build a backcountry ski lodge that catered to snowboarders. It was outlandish--targeting a market that barely existed—and yet perfect.  But, like any dream, it took years of sweat, worry, right people-right time connections, and damn good perseverance to make it all look seamless. From the shores of Lake Tahoe to the world renowned slopes of Baldface Lodge, we bring you one snowboarder’s journey to create his dream. 

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Direct download: If_You_Build_It.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:33 PM
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Significant life tumult propelled Nick Triolo to leave his home and move to Todos Santos, Baja earlier this year. As an ultra-runner, he instinctively explored the area on foot. As he settled into the town and its community, he became aware of a growing resistance to proposed mining in the area. And he knew he wanted to help. But how? It might have been easy for Nick to shrug off the feeling. Instead he thought big-- he would organize a protest run across the 70-mile wide stretch of the Baja Peninsula-- through the heart of where the mining was proposed. And he would run it in a day. Now, could he get anyone to join him? 

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See Nick's photos from the run here and here. This story was adapted from Nick's post on The Jasmine Dialogues

Special thanks to Montana Public Radio KUFM in Missoula and Sherie Newman for volunteering time to help with the recording. 

Direct download: The_Shorts--Fighting_With_Our_Feet.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00 PM
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Is there something out there? It’s a question that lurks in the back of my mind. Probably in yours too.  It’s one of the very reasons why I love the outdoors: the unpredictability. Over the years, I’ve collected experiences. Moments, like bits of data, that, collectively guide my intuition. And yet. We’ve all had that moment where hairs stand up on the back of our neck. Was it heightened perception? Or did the wind just blow in just the right way? And if you convince yourself it was the wind, does some lump of doubt sit in your stomach? Because sometimes you just won’t believe something is out there. Until it’s right there.

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Direct download: Tales_of_Terror_Vol_4.mp3
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"It's the unpredictable elements that throw our lives off course, for better or for worse," writes Niki Yoblonski. We leave a trailhead with some idea of what we're seeking, but on true adventures, what we walk away with is never what we expected. When Niki and her boyfriend, Jason, set out to climb Mt. Darwin one Labor Day weekend, they didn't take home a summit photo, or a bag of shiny coins, but, by a series of slim chances, they took home a treasure perhaps more valuable than anything they could have expected. 

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Direct download: The_Shorts--By_Slim_Chance.mp3
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Walking into someone's apartment, house, van, tent or trailer for the first time can feel sort of like flipping open the first page of their journal. The places we choose to call home and the way we assemble them say a lot about who we are and where our priorities lie. But at some point, our environments can start to construct us as well. In the two months between the end of a semester of college and the beginning of a seasonal job, Ethan Newman loaded all of his belongings into his Saturn sedan "like a champion Tetris player," and drove to Bishop, California. He was thrilled to discover an alternative to pitching a tent every night or getting sand blown in his face while he slept. Until he woke up one morning to realize that the habitat he had constructed had started to change him. 

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Direct download: The_Shorts--Cave_Sweet_Cave.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00 PM
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"We had the discussion around the campfire one night of trying to define 'what is wilderness'," John Stoneman remembers. "We determined that if you get hurt or you have a problem and there's really no way out, you're in the wilderness." Despite the fact that 29,000 people raft down the Colorado River every year, the Grand Canyon is still unquestionably that-- wilderness. But what happens if you do need to get out? When the one place you need to be is a thousand miles away and you are off the grid? In 2010, John put in at Lees Ferry and embarked upon the trip of a lifetime - but not in the way he imagined. Today, we bring you a story about a race against time and the lengths that perfect strangers will go to help others in need. Buckle up. 

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Direct download: Rebirth_of_Belief.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00 PM
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There's a story that you may have heard kicked around in the newspapers and nightly news for the last few months. It's as unsettling as it is tragic. The rate of suicide among active military personnel, reservists, and veterans has increased to nearly 22 suicides a day. 22 every day, even as more resources are being allocated to prevent it--and finding a solution is likely as complicated as understanding why. 

Veterans Stacy Bare and Nick Watson know the struggles that service members face as they readjust to civilian life. Addiction. Depression. An overwhelming feeling of being out of place. But over time, both found a place in the outdoors and the surrounding community to recreate what they missed from the military, and to feel like they had really come home. And they didn’t stop there--they became determined to find a way to make that transition easier for other veterans too. Today, we bring you their stories and the story of how these two veteran's are creating a community for other veterans on the home front.

This episode does contain graphic descriptions of violence and adult language. 

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Direct download: Home_Front.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00 PM
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"Three months ago, I'm not sure I would have considered myself a patriot," writes Hilary Oliver.  "Mentally, I separated my nation―government, states, and people―from my country: the mountains, deserts, plains and oceans that took my breath away.  Maybe I had taken my privileges for granted, but I couldn't tell you the last time my heart swelled with love or pride for my nation." 

Then she drove into Zion National Park. With it's soaring sandstone walls, and man's will imposed upon the landscape to make viewpoints accessible, Hilary found an appreciation for her country and nation.  

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Direct download: The_Shorts--Making_of_a_Patriot.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:30 PM
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We've told stories about people quitting jobs, ditching mortgages and selling worldly possessions to go live life on their own terms. The road is ubiquitous with freedom, and sometimes we hear its call later in life.  But what if you heard the call at 13 years old? If you had lived your entire adult life on the road? If you'd never signed a lease or even paid rent. Would there come a time to settle down? Meet climber and photographer Mikey Schaefer. Passion can lead to the most incredible places, even to the most American of dreams --  Buying a home.  This is our version of the picket fence. 

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Direct download: Mikey_Buys_A_House.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:44 PM
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