Fan mail, feedback, ideas & opinions


Letters to the Editor: In response to “The High Cost of Selling Out” in ASJ #90


Hi Matt. Thank you for not giving up on your dream that day you ran out of water on the Zodiac trail at Yosemite and thank you for writing about it. I’m chilling enjoying a snack and a break from work for a bit at a Whole Foods in Santa Monica, CA.

I’m glad you realized that you don’t have to compromise your life because you’re a father. Your choice to not give up left you relying on a miracle which only reinforces my belief that when your heart has a real desire to realize something, the entire universe works in your favor through people, circumstances and events to get you to realize that dream or desire.

I’m not a father … yet. While I’d like to be someday I feel that there’s no need to rush it or force a life of fatherhood and family simply because it’s a practical and conventional ritual. While life has thrown many obstacles at me I’m content in knowing that so far I have yet to sell out and give in to societal norms.

Your article gave me hope that I too someday can have both my dreams realized and a supportive family at the same time.

Thank you. Cheers.

—Vicente A. Ruiz


Great write Matt! I remember reading John Dill’s “Staying alive” chapter in Yosemite Big Walls over and over. We ran out of water on The Prow, we spent our last day drinking only beer. A month later, I took a 40-footer on the Zodiac and my partner broke his arm catching the fall after I flew past him. We limped to the top, but it was a fight. It’s been 15 years since I was on the Big Stone, but I read this and it lit a fire. Heading up Lunar Eclipse on El Cap in a couple months.


—Josh Pearlman


Dear Matt, I am 76 years old this July. I had just settled down to do some reading after house work the first half of the day. I decided to read your paper that my husband picked up at Gold Country Run Sport in El Dorado. He brought the paper home because he knows how I like to read about adventures. I thumbed the paper until I saw your article and then read it with tears in my eyes as I finished.

Thank you, Matt. I was thinking I shouldn’t be doing a hiking trip with my husband over in the Bernese Oberland area of Switzerland in August because I have been sensing some possible heart problems looming inside of me. Then, I grabbed your words of not turning our back on our dreams. I am now more excited than ever and will think of your story while hiking those beautiful mountains around Murren and Aeschi Switzerland. It is a dream trip for both my husband and I, and he just had two surgeries in May and June. We are going to fulfill our dream. I just had to thank you personally for your  inspirational article.

Also, hope your son loves to climb; what boy doesn’t? We have three and they have all climbed their own dreams. In Christian love,

—Mrs. Joan A. Suess


Great life story and one that could / should inspire your readers to decide to live their own unique dreams out AND tell the results, the fantastic stories that come from that decision in your great mag. Club dust was such a story … 35 years of  ticking to a dream of building homes for kids … well, you know the story as your family is part of it.

Carry on man! Lots of life’s best moments are just ahead!

—Ray Meltvedt


ASJ Photo Contest Delivers Big Smiles: Grand prize winner enjoys epic weekend

Melissa Wonders of Santa Rosa was announced as the grand prize winner of ASJ’s social media photo contest earlier this year.

Wonders finally had the chance to enjoy her prize package which included an overnight stay for two at Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz, two rental bikes of choice from Epicenter Cycling, and a guided MTB ride for two with The Ride Guides.

Wonders enthuses, “ASJ, you gave me the [Santa Cruz] insider experience. I truly felt I was finally seeing what the locals enjoyed. Thanks again for a vacation that fit the adventurer I am.”

Read Melissa’s recap of her stellar Santa Cruz getaway at

And stay tuned for a brand new grand prize ASJ photo contest coming soon …

Submit Your Stories & Photos: Our content is inspired by YOU, our reader!

ASJ is here for YOU – our reader! – and we value your contributions, feedback and support. There are many ways you can get involved:

The New American Dream: submit your story of living on the road

Send us your race reports and event recaps

Take advantage of our FREE online calendar listings for your event

Submit your guide story

Respond to our Editor’s Note

Plus, follow us on social media, and comment on our articles on-line.

Contact us for more information at