Ep. 20 - The Throughline: Finding Narrative in All Things with Christian Beckwith

Mar 20, 2024

It’s a tale old as time: Narrative is the vehicle that connects us to something greater. And for Christian Beckwith, he’s built a career on that foundation.

You probably know of Christian, or have interacted with his work. He’s spent more than thirty years immersed in the world of alpinism, and in that time he was the editor of The American Alpine Journal, co-founded Alpinist — which Reinhold Messner once called “the greatest climbing magazine in the world” — and recently started a “hardcore history” podcast about the 10th Mountain Division called Ninety-Pound Rucksack.

If you haven’t heard of it, you might be living under a rock… but since this is a climbing podcast, that may very well be true. In any case, it’s great and I encourage you to give it a listen.

In this episode, we don’t talk much about the podcast, instead, we hone in on:

  • How to complicate seemingly simple projects by going deep

  • Clues to find the narrative in anything you do

  • What can happen when you follow your curiosity


05:18 - From New England to the Tetons

14:45 - Building community through climbing

22:38 - Narrative as a tool for connection and change

27:25 - Exploring the awe 

34:20 - Diving into the contribution of climbers on the 10th Mountain Division

42:28 - How history is written

47:56 - Climbing Riva Ridge to understand history

Resources and links:

To listen to Ninety-Pound Rucksack, head to your favorite podcast platform or learn more about it at christianbeckwith.com. If you love what Christian is doing and want to support longform narrative projects like this, I highly encourage you to become a patron at patreon.com/NinetyPoundRucksack


Episode cover photo provided by Christian.

Intro music by Hannah Noelle Enomoto (thanks, sis!).



That's it for Season 1! If you enjoyed the conversations and want to help us do many more for Season 2, consider supporting us on Patreon.  (And for less than the price of a bougie beer per month).

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© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Ice Ice Beta. All rights reserved.