I first heard about Steve House in 1995 – when I was living at my family’s cabin on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. I was 20 years old, working as a park rangers assistant and besides work – there wasn’t much to do that summer, but chop wood, go for mind-numbing afternoon runs, and fish murky waters for salmon. Unfortunately for me, the mountains were hours away. But one thing I looked forward to was my monthly subscription to Climbing Magazine. I cherished each magazine like a prized possession, and poured over each story again and again, dreaming of the far off ranges that captured my imagination.
It was during this time that I read about Steve House’s climb of Denali’s Father and Sons Wall – completed in a light and fast alpine style that was coming more and more into vogue in the U.S. Soon after, I started hearing more about Steve’s adventures in Alaska and beyond – and as the years passed, I watched him transform into one of the most accomplished, and visionary alpinists of our time.
Steve’s life and alpine climbing career were documented thoroughly in his excellent book, Beyond The Mountain. But in the last few years, House has become equally known for his work with Uphill Athlete. And that’s how I got to connect with Steve last month, when we sat down to chat for an hour about his new book, Training For The Uphill Athlete, which he co-authored with Scott Johnston and Kilian Jornet.
But before we got into the guts of the book, I wanted to take some time to talk about about Steve’s early years as a budding alpinist in Slovenia – and how those experiences helped shape his career as an alpinist – and eventually his work with Uphill Athlete.