By Matthew Van Biene
Posted on July 15, 2016
I’ve been drawn to a life outdoors for the simple reason that I am a human. My health, sanity, and well-being depend on a connection with nature. Over the years, I have been able to refine that connection. I started going to the mountains at a young age to ski and always enjoyed the expanse and freedom it provided. As I grew older, I started to feel the pull of the outdoors even stronger, guiding me away from my suburban upbringing and into the forests and hills. Anxiety and tension is common among youth who are starved for open spaces. I was no exception, and as I began to immerse myself further into the outdoors, I felt those tensions release, my horizons broaden, and my connection to the land deepen. It was during my first extended backpacking trips and climbing outings in college that I picked up a camera to take along. I was inspired by the vistas to behold after a long day of movement. A little over a decade later, I have furthered my crafts of photography and climbing. It has become a conversation that I have with nature. These “talks” have given me moments of joy, fear, struggle, connection, and love that are seared into my consciousness and that I will cherish forever, all taking place under the sun while it makes its gentle arc across the vast sky.