Down with Ed
THANK YOU FOR your enlightening profile of Ed Viesturs ("The Immovable Object Meets the Unstoppable Force," December). As a novice mountaineer with a family of my own, I appreciate Viesturs's cautious approach to climbing. By choosing to summit via "safe" routes, he has shown that returning to his loved ones is more important than his reputation among his fellow climbers. Viesturs may not be climbing the most difficult or treacherous routes, but I think he's the most courageous climber on the mountain.
THERE'S ONLY one word appropriate to describe Ed: stud.
Phillip D. Joseph Jr.
I WAS APPALLED by Kate Wheeler's article on the tinku of the remote villages of Bolivia, "The Fist of God" (January). What does this savage and disgusting ritual have to do with outside adventure? Why would Outside feel anyone wants to read about the horrific and agonizing slaughter of animals, the demoralizing gang rape of women, or the perpetuation of senseless violence?
Leap Before You Look
MARK JENKINS'S January installment of The Hard Way, "Spin the Globe and Go," is one of the truest things ever written on adventure travel. Last July, two friends and I bought plane tickets to Nairobi and spent a month bumbling around East Africa. We climbed Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya and spent a few days on safari in the Masai Mara, all with no prep other than vaccinations. We had vehicle breakdowns that cost us days, and met people who went out of their way to get us where we were going. We had blizzards and balmy afternoons, thieves and new friends, mobs and solitude, great food and poison, illness and euphoria, and all the highs and lows of going boldly wherever there is to go next. Jenkins is right: Get a ticket and go. You'll figure the rest out when you get there.
New York, New York
SO AFTER I SCRAPED myself off the floor from laughing, I thought about Jenkins's column, and now I have to ask, What the heck are you doing? People revere me because I'm willing to go without a shower. My polyglot knowledge of "thank you" astounds them. I like my friends to think traveling's hard. I like them to think I'm some amazing explorer guy who's willing to hang it all out there. And what do you do? Expose it for what it is—easy and fun. Thanks a lot, you big jerks!
Colorado Springs, Colorado
A Screw Loose
IT WAS FUN TO READ how other athletes beat the drudgery of working out indoors. ("Winning the Cold War," Bodywork, December). But I'd like to clarify one thing about my running in the snow with screws in my shoes. The screws are sheet-metal screws, inserted into the shoe from the outside. The heads of the screws, not the points, provide the traction.
Manitou Springs, Colorado
Correspondence may be sent by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or addressed to the Letters Editor, Outside, 400 Market St., Santa Fe, NM 87501. Please include your full name and address.