Tim Foulkes yarns a tale speaking on Luke Mehall’s fifth dirtbag climbing book called The Desert.
The Desert is Luke Mehall’s fifth and final offering in his series of dirtbag climbing books. The book begins with Mehall’s first trip to The Desert, a visit to Indian Creek in 1999, and chronicles nearly two decades of experiences.
Over time, the author grows from thinking that the red-rock desert of the Colorado Plateau is just another stop along the way to finding himself more and more at home there.
Ultimately, the author’s passion for first ascents with his best friends fuels his desire to get to know the area in an intimate way. At the same time that this transformation occurs, the Bears Ears National Monument is created by the Obama administration and then ultimately dismantled by the Trump administration. While the final decision by the courts is awaited, Mehall contemplates the importance of public lands for the soul of America. He also pulls no punches with his thoughts on Trump’s decision.
The Desert is a definitive, independently published account of a dirtbag climber searching for love, passion, fresh air, and, an escape from the electronic hyper-connectedness of the modern world.
“I don’t know if Luke Mehall is aging gracefully, but his prose in The Desert has gained a spirit and command pushed on by a desperation that someone, anyone will understand how important the desert is to the consciousness and conscience of the American West. Mehall’s generation may be the last to find the desert as we remember: open, wild, and free, and while the stories in The Desert are deep, soulful, and often inspirational, the subtle keening for a future lost may be what draws the reader the most.”
—Chris Kalous, The Enormocast
“Luke Mehall takes climbing literature to a whole new level. His writing is not only illuminating but incredibly timeless. His words crackle with excitement and disperse thin slices of happiness like few authors can do.”
—Kathy Karlo, For the Love of Climbing
Luke Mehall lives in Durango, Colorado. He is the publisher of The Climbing Zine, an independent print publication and website, and he is the author of American Climber, Graduating From College Me, The Great American Dirtbags, and Climbing Out of Bed. He has been published in the Alpinist, Rock and Ice, and Patagonia’s blog, The Cleanest Line. He has also appeared on the Enormocast and Dirtbag Diaries podcasts.