Community invited to campus author presentation

Community invited to campus author presentation

Mar 23, 2018

Western alumnus Luke Mehall '04 will give a presentation celebrating the release of the second edition of his book "American Climber" at Leslie J. Savage Library on Thursday, April 5 at 6 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

“American Climber” is a memoir loaded with epic climbing stories and adventures—much of which take place during Mehall’s time at Western and in the Gunnison Valley. It contains two underlying themes: a compelling narrative of the author’s tumultuous journey to climbing, which ultimately saved his life, and a detailed look at the American dirtbag climbing culture. This new version includes a complete full color photo spread.

“Luke Mehall emerged as a writer just in time to chronicle the dwindling light of the soul-climber: one who climbs for the aesthetics, who adventures for the freedom not the recognition, whose hi-tech gear is merely a tool rather than a totem,” said Chris Kalous, host of the Enormocast podcast. “Luke and his cohorts embody the dream of the American West with all its promise of freedom and risk and reward. To dive into a Mehall book is to be brought along on a ride that we all wish we had the courage to board, but most of us trade that courage for comfort."

Mehall’s work has been featured in several publications: Alpinist, Climbing, Rock and Ice, Mountain Gazette, Utah Adventure Journal, Crested Butte Magazine, The Durango Telegraph, Crested Butte News, Crested Butte Weekly, Gunnison Country Magazine and The Gunnison Country Times. He is a 2004 graduate of Western Colorado University and is also the publisher of The Climbing Zine and founder of Benighted Publications. He lives in Durango.

His film, “Last Thoughts on the Dirtbag,” can be seen for free online at:

More information about “American Climber” can be found at Copies of the book will be available locally at The Bookworm, The Firebrand and Townie Books.

Contact: Luke Mehall