Conrad Anker: The Way I See It

Conrad Anker, a longtime professional climber and mountaineer, calls small-town Montana home and has traveled the globe in search of adventure. But when asked about the value of Close-To-Home recreation, he says “play where you stay, and find adventure where you live.”

By Philip Armour May 5, 2015

The easiest way to find adventure is to camp out overnight.

We live in an area of great natural beauty, so we’re fortunate in that sense.

There’s more open space around here than most Americans have access to, but adventure is pretty easy to find when you sleep outdoors, even in suburbia.

We live in the old part of town to keep schools and grocery shopping close. We commute to wilderness, which isn’t unlike those living in urban settings.

Just today I was trad climbing with a friend in nearby Gallatin Canyon in the Gallatin National Forest. And a few days ago, I was ice climbing at Twin Falls with my 26-year-old son, Max. We were climbing 2.5-billion-year-old metamorphic granite. It predates atmospheric oxygen! It’s the oldest rock regularly climbed on in the U.S. Rock like that gives you a sense of timelessness and your place in the universe.

My family makes an annual pilgrimage to Yellowstone to go winter camping and see wildlife in the Lamar Valley. It gives us as much inspiration and perspective as any of my far-off adventures, and it’s just a two-hour drive away.

Read more about the value of close-to-home recreation and how investments in outdoor infrastructure drives Healthy Communities and Healthy Economies.