Ear to the ground:

“I left my keys in my car last night. Unfortunately when I woke up this morning, it was still there.”
– Local on her failed attempts to  potentially upgrade her junker car

On the rocks

It’s that time of year to go somewhere. Anywhere. You know it when dust settles on the mountains, mud fills shadowed trails, and wind stirs you to action. So fill the gas tank, crank the tunes, and hit the road with something new, like, a copy of local climber and Telegraph regular Luke Mehall’s memoir, American Climber.

With excerpts from his previous two books, Climbing Out of Bed and The Great American Dirtbags, Mehall’s third book polishes the stories you’d hear from the 37-year-old if you’d picked him up hitchhiking on the way to Joshua Tree. Or, more likely, his second home in Indian Creek. A tell-all narrative about the high adventures and near-death experiences in the sport that saved his life, American Climber is nothing less than a heart-on-sleeve testimony of a kid who survived the agony of growing up only to send it joyously in the playground of life.

Whether the call of the road is clawing at your soul, Mehall’s lyrical voice invites the curious, cavalier and poetic to join him on a journey from America’s heartland to the top of El Capitan. Characters include, but are not limited to, the vistas that won his soul, the sandstone cracks that pieced him together, the friends and lovers who belayed along the way, and of course Kerouac. Always Kerouac.

Mehall’s story draws in those who fled suburbia, those who wonder what it’s like to drop everything for the sake of passion, and those who wander restlessly about these desert horizons and craggy peaks of the blessed Southwest. An immediate roadtrip classic, American Climber serves as the perfect companion to your next grand adventure.

With a zoomed-in view of the dirtbag climbing culture, American Climber delivers solidarity to overachievers, awkward in-betweeners and anyone who just loves a good story. Laced with hip-hop and inspired ease, beauty and bravery, Mehall above all introduces you to the freedom of open-book living. And if you can’t go somewhere, get excited that this book can be savored from the comfort of your back porch. Desert sunsets included.

Hear more and shake the calloused hands of this romantic landlubber at Maria’s at 6:30 p.m., Mon., April 11, followed by beers at Carvers to celebrate climbing, writing and general frivolity of these happy days.

Joy Martin

In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows