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The Love Letter: An Interview With Fitz Cahall

April 21st, 2011
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For 10 years, a dream lingered, but the clutter of modern living pressed it into submission. Still clinging to the pull of wild places and adventure, Fitz and Becca Cahall revived their youthful vision of summits and faint trails by abandoning work and the city for the wilderness. The Love Letter follows a pair of climbers in search of new and classic routes along the difficult to reach stretches of the Sierra spine, focusing not just on the summits themselves, but the process of attaining them. In the clutter of the modern world, can wilderness still restore the human spirit? We would like to think so.

We caught up with Fitz Cahall, one of the masterminds behind The Love Letter, and asked him some questions…

It sounds like The Love Letter was a dream in the making for a long time. What first sparked your inspiration for this project?

I was 22 living in a van that I didn’t own in Yosemite. We were scrambling to find a camp spot and this woman came up and said she had room in her campsite for another car. She was a scientist doing a project in the national parks. She was pretty old — 32. So ancient, I know. Oddly during that time, I’d keep running into her in the Sierra at various parks and campgrounds. She told me about this three week climbing trip she and her husband had done in Sierra and I thought that’s pretty cool. I thought about that trip a bunch then, but I never had the focus required to do a trip like that. I told Becca about it a while back and it was just always something that stayed in the front of my thoughts.

Later I found that Muir had done a similar trip. David Brower, the father of modern conservation, did an 8-week continuous climbing trip in 1934 and followed a similar course. He ticked off 54 peaks in that time. These men began their careers as climbers and writers and evolved into powerful voices. It’s not to say that I think I’m John Muir or David Brower, but they are certainly heroes of mine, and if I can some do a fraction of what they did for the American West, I will be content.

Read more…

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