Jake Lah Landing profile

The King of Tents, Outside Business Journal, Winter 2022

Jake Lah, the founder of DAC Poles, may dislike camping—but his genius with aluminum has turned him into the wizard behind many of the world’s best outdoor shelters. Walking into Dongah Aluminum Corporation (DAC) feels like stepping inside the lobby of a grand hotel: The soaring two-story ceiling creates plenty of space around the large-scale…

Leatherman Innovators

Innovators: Tim Leatherman, Uncommon Path, summer 2020

The multi-tool as we know it didn’t exist before Tim Leatherman invented foldable pliers—and that was just the beginning. Like microbreweries and chocolate shops, the Leatherman factory in Portland, Oregon, offers public tours. Visitors come to watch silver ribbons of steel cut into intricate shapes by a massive press that booms like a giant’s footsteps,…

Vahldiek

A Modest Proposal, 5280, February 2018

The High Lonesome Ranch in western Colorado is big enough to be a national park, but its owners, led by Paul Vahldiek Jr., don’t take their cues from the government. Instead, they’ve developed a unique approach to land management that could revolutionize the conservation movement for both private and public open spaces. The field looks…

Breaking Down the Walls, Marlin

Breaking Down the Walls, Marlin, Aug/Sept 2017

An all-female team takes on the world at the Los Sueños Triple Crown The Pacific Ocean parted obligingly before Geaux Fly on that January afternoon as Amanda Sabin stood at the stern, scanning Costa Rica’s indigo plain for fish that refused to rise. These waters off Los Sueños are famous for their primordial numbers of…

Art Judson

Loving the Monster, 5280, December 2016

Avalanche forecasting pioneer Art Judson doesn’t just study these powerful snow slides–he worships them. Now that’s a beautiful avalanche path,” said Art Judson as he gazed at the wallpaper on his computer, which depicted Hahns Peak split by a broad white stripe. It was 2007, shortly after I’d first met Jud, as his friends and…

Mikaela Fast Lane

Fast Lane to Glory, 5280, February 2015

For Vail skiing prodigy and Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin, success can’t come fast enough. Adulthood, though–that can wait. There’s a section on Vail’s Golden Peak course that even good racers dread. It’s a steep rollover, usually covered with thick ice, that melts into a treacherous dip in the slope. Coach Simon Marsh remembers standing…