Devon O’Neil

Devon O’Neil

Devon O’Neil is an Outside correspondent based in Breckenridge, Colorado. His story “Irmageddon” was selected for The Best American Travel Writing 2019

Published

The Final Descent of Dean Cummings

From the outside, things seemed perfect for the former world extreme skiing champion: he had a family, a successful guiding business, and unending adventure out his front door in Valdez, Alaska. But something dark festered beneath the surface.

Devon O’Neil
Feb 22, 2021

RockyMounts Feared the End—Then Everyone Started Buying Bikes

The Colorado-based maker of bike racks and locks is a case study in the uncertainty that small outdoor businesses are navigating right now. With the right combination of luck and creative thinking, their future may not be all gloomy.

Devon O’Neil
Jul 23, 2020

How the Pandemic Is Forcing Ski Towns to Rethink Tourism 

When once crowded mountain communities like Breckenridge, Colorado, saw visitors vanish this spring, locals scrambled to mitigate the economic damage and plot a return, while keeping their towns' character intact

Devon O’Neil
Jun 4, 2020

Skiing in Remembrance of the Army's Legendary Tenth Division

My grandpa served in the Army's tough-as-nails Tenth Mountain Division during World War II. After the war, soldiers from the Tenth pioneered the rambling mountain lifestyle I live today. Every year, I ski to remember him.

Devon O’Neil
Mar 31, 2020

The Shootings that Shook Malibu Creek State Park

When a father of two was shot through his tent in the Southern California park last year, the murder revealed a mysterious trail of previously unpublicized incidents that had happened nearby—and sparked a $90 million lawsuit.

Devon O’Neil
Sep 11, 2019

Colorado's Singletrack Wars

Since 2011, a venomous battle has been waged over the two-wheeled soul of Nederland, Colorado (population 1,500). On the one side: locals who ride the trails every day. On the other: people from down canyon in Boulder (population 107,000) who mostly ride them on weekends.

Devon O’Neil
Apr 23, 2019

Murder on a Mountain Bike

When 60-year-old Tim Watkins disappeared on a stretch of singletrack outside Colorado Springs, no one suspected that the truth of how he died would rip the community apart

Devon O’Neil
Nov 25, 2018

Hurricane Irma Destroyed My Childhood Paradise

Devon O’Neil watched from a distance as Irma—one of the strongest storms to ever hit land—battered the Caribbean island of St. John with 200-mile-per-hour winds. Two months later, he returned to the place where he grew up to help clear the wreckage and process the destruction of his former home.

Devon O’Neil
Mar 15, 2018

To Get to the Summit, Cory Richards Had to Lose It All

When alpinist and photographer Cory Richards dug himself out of an avalanche in 2011, he emerged alive but scarred—an ascendant star in a community that tends to shun the very idea that trauma can have lasting effects. As his profile climbed ever higher, his career and personal life imploded. Six years later, one of the world’s best artist-adventurers comes clean about the panic attacks, PTSD, and alcohol abuse that nearly killed him.

Devon O’Neil
Aug 24, 2017

The Last Days of Ueli Steck

How one of the world’s best mountaineers made a last-second decision that would take his life

Devon O’Neil
May 30, 2017