Beckwith, who started Alpinist in 2002, had floated the idea of a multisport outdoor magazine on the Alpinist/Surfer's Journal/Ski Journal model back in 2004. But the money wasn't there for a print book. Now, more than a year after Alpinist went belly-up (and then was resuscitated by Height of Land Publications), Beckwith is trying to launch his magazine vision on the Internet.
I asked him to describe the new site, and he sent the following blurb/media-kit copy, which I'm reprinting verbatim below:
"Alpinist was born in Jackson, Wyoming, and raised in the mountains of our backyard. The people who worked at our magazine, however, were far more than just climbers. We skied the backcountry for six months a year. We ran the footpaths of the Wind Rivers, mountain biked the Pinnacles of Togwotee Pass and paddled the Snake long before the tourists arrived for summer. We lived in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem because of its wild beauty, its lack of people, its daily opportunity to experience nature on nature’s terms. When we traveled, we sought out the wilds wherever we went, be it surfing in Mexico or hiking in South Africa’s Cederberg or flying the thermals above Switzerland’s Grand Combin. Wherever we went, our love of the wilds extended far beyond the mountains. Problematically, we could find no authentic expression of what we loved in the day’s mainstream publications.
"In 2004, we set out to create a new magazine, one that explored a broad range of adventures with the respect they deserved using the values we had brought to Alpinist. We originally partnered with Patagonia on the idea, then worked to launch it on our own, but the tide was already turning against print, and we were unable to secure the $5 million necessary to launch a title from scratch.
"Since Alpinist’s collapse, I’ve been developing a way to transfer that original idea online. Over the course of more than a dozen road trips across the US, and international journeys to Mexico, Europe, Japan, and Africa, I met with adventure athletes, web developers and entrepreneurs from numerous walks of life and industries. I forged relationships with opinion leaders in climbing, skiing, paddling, surfing, hiking and biking, and built agreements with strategic allies across the outdoor industry. In December I traveled to India, where I secured a website design and development company to execute the site. The result is OuterLocal.com
"Adventure is the medium through which we understand our lives. Exploring new lands, new waters, encountering nature in ever-deepening ways, we gain n appreciation of ourselves as individuals and as participants in the world. The feel of Scottish granite beneath our crampons, the narrowing of our sightlines as we commit to a steep couloir, the focus as we drop in on a reef break during a late-afternoon session: OuterLocal will celebrate the artisans of the wild in a website as respectful, irreverent and profound as the manner in which we pursue our dreams.
On January 8, noted big-mountain skier and filmmaker Kina Pickett shot our first film. We’ve recently finished design of the home page and user interface and are now working on the interior pages. We expect to launch OuterLocal by July 2010."
Should be interesting!