This story originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of our print edition.
This bouldering junkie turned mountain fanatic started climbing in college by “scaling buildings and four-foot-tall blocks in Wisconsin.” When he graduated in 2000, he packed up his old red Jetta and drove straight to Bishop. Climbing and photography go hand in hand for Etzel. His ultimate goal is to “live a long and happy life in the mountains while documenting and inspiring people to get off the couch and reach their own lofty goals.” With a master’s degree in biology (he studied birds as indicators of ecological change), Etzel’s dream assignment is to travel the world, documenting shifting climates in alpine communities. “But,” he says, “documenting climbing in Patagonia or Greenland could be pretty cool, too.” At press time, Etzel had just returned from a ski shoot in British Columbia. He’s shot for companies like Backcountry and Patagonia.
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