Climbing writer Luke Mehall has published his second book, The Great American Dirtbags, a collection of 20 short stories. The book is a follow up to Climbing Out of Bed, and the main focus is mountain town culture and the dirtbag climbing existence.
Mehall describes himself as a “born again dirtbag” and The Great American Dirtbags portrays his journeys from being a lost teenager immersed in drugs to his most recent adventures on the trails, walls and roads of the American West. As usual, his love for freedom, women, and climbing are weaved into the prose. Following in the prose of the beatniks, the athletic counterculture of the dirtbags are carrying the torch with the belief that a simple, rewarding life, close to nature, is still possible in this modern world.
Longtime Editor of the Mountain Gazette, John Fayhee, called the book, “a reminder of blissful times past and a bellowing yell to the denizens of the beast we call civilization — “Get out! Get out of your rut! Get out into the outback while you still can and while it’s still there!” The Great American Dirtbags serves as both a primer and a ruminative tribute to a lifestyle we all need now more than ever.”
Climbing legend and Senior Contributing Editor to Rock and Ice, John Long, described Mehall as, “one of the few adventure writers out who handle the tricky first person voice as if it were made for him.”
Mehall is the publisher of The Climbing Zine, and author of Climbing Out of Bed. He has been published in Rock and Ice, Climbing, and the Mountain Gazette. Mehall has been a guest on the Enormocast podcast, contributed to the Dirtbag Diaries podcast, and often contributes to Patagonia’s blog, The Cleanest Line.
This spring and summer Mehall will be traveling across the United States and Canada on a book tour supporting The Great American Dirtbags. The tour kicks off on Tuesday, April 29th at Maria’s Bookshop in Durango, Colorado at 6:30 p.m., followed by the first ever “Climber’s Beer Night” at Carver Brewing Company immediately following. There will be a haiku contest, a ticketed giveaway and beer specials. His second event will be in Salt Lake City, Utah at the Black Diamond store on Thursday, May 15th with Stacy Bare.