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Cory Richards

@natgeo Photographer / Athlete / Speaker / Mental Health Advocate / Explorer

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In the same vein of yesterday’s post of Slit Fishermen, here’s another man on a different type of sticks. Pictured here, the demonstration of half dance, half brute…and all mind game. An ice climber in Alberta Canada’s Ghost River area. If you haven’t already seen, I’m giving away a free print for the best caption on yesterday’s post. Looking forward to all your witty, thoughtful and/or serious responses.

Sri Lanka

Caption Contest | FREE PRINT . I've been doing a lot of talking lately. Now it's your turn. . Best Caption for this image wins a free artist proof archival print! . Comment below by End of Day Friday. Winner will be announced Monday . Pictured here: Stilt Fishers in Sri Lanka shot in partnership with


As far as I can tell, the value of climbing mountains is only found in how we carry the lessons we learn up high into the life we lead on flat ground. Pictured here: Looking for lessons with @matocoexpeditions (no Os) in the Lhotse couloir with the sun coming up on Everest behind.

On the plane to start a new assignment for yesterday, I was listening to some podcasts to fill the waiting during travel time, which got me thinking… I admittedly oscillate between “woo-woo” and nihilism. Social media can amplify this, especially Instagram. I feel and see community as much as I experience FOMO and isolation. There’s as much support between the scrolls as there is fear of failure. I’m going to err on the side of Woo-woo today and open up a conversation - I know a lot of you are following along more for my stories on than my photojournalism or awareness - regardless I put in the same energy, effort and exploration whether climbing or telling a story (mine or others). And the process of each of these journeys bring me tremendous joy as well as suffering. Different sides to the same coin. I was reminded by that podcast, by going for a goal, it brings out aspects of you that wouldn’t come out otherwise, so when you reach your next “mountain top”, and mountain tops are endless, who’s with you are the people who are supposed to be with you based on what you have become. So, when you are going for a goal, it’s not about achieving, it's about who you are becoming on the way of bringing that goal to fruition. I’d like to hear your thoughts - what are some journeys you’ve been on that have made you feel the greatest highs and the lowest lows? Does social media inspire you to keep achieving? Or does it just fill the gaps in-between the day? Do you find you have FOMO, how do you deal with it? Does it effect your goals?

Franz Josef Land

Past couple posts have been a little serious. So, here's just a beautiful vista from Franz Josef Land to cool us off before the weekend. Happy Friday everyone! Pictured here: A view from the shore while on for . Shot for @natgeo magazine's "Frans Josef Land: The Meaning of North"

Franz Josef Land

In 2014, I had the honor to travel on the behalf of to Franz Josef Land (FJL), an Russian archipelago inhabited only by military personnel. Similarly to last post, I witnessed first-hand the changing, melting landscape of pristine land. Since this , scientific studies have concluded that “ice mass loss from 2011-2015 has doubled compared to any previous time spans”. Glacier retreat has been widespread and has led to the creation of at least one new island. Ice wastage, which means the removal of snow or ice from a glacier, was historically relatively small, but accelerating ice loss is the new normal for FJL. We don’t need to travel to the arctic to experience our changing environment. There are shifts occurring here in my home of the United States, which some of you have spoken about in yesterday’s post’s comment section. To me, this isn’t a political debate, so let’s continue the conversation about our experiences and how to personally shift to make better choices - better choices for ourselves and our present *and future* global community. Pictured here: Walruses approach our expedition boat from a haul out on Hooker Island. During summer, when sea ice diminishes, walruses congregate on shorelines, where food is scarce and youngsters can get trampled. Shot for National Geographic Magazine’s “Franz Josef Land: The Meaning of North”

Franz Josef Land

Yesterday's post created some passionate conversation, both in my direct messages and in the comments field. The issue of can be polarizing. As a human race, we form our belief systems around what we are taught was well as what we experience first hand. Every person has their own unique experience in life, which means we all have our own individual, and equally real, experience of the world. I'm curious: What is your unique experience of climate change? What have you or haven't you seen first hand? What makes you believe what you believe? I'm interested about all experiences. No wrong answer here. Pictured here: A lone shot for while on in

University of Colorado Boulder

On August 1st, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (@climatecrisis) met in my home town of Boulder, CO. This year, Colorado adopted an economy-wide carbon pollution law that will cut emissions 90 percent by 2050. The House Select Committee discussed how to use “Colorado’s Roadmap for Clean Energy” as an action plan. I had the honor and pleasure to photograph some of the bipartisan committee members and local change makers upon the wrap of the event. Pictured here: *Image 1: Joe Neguse: Congressman, Colorado’s 2nd District *Image 2:Kathy Castor (@usrepkathycastor): Chair, House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis; Congresswoman, Florida’s 14th District *Image 3: Garrett Graves (@instagravesla): Congressman, Louisiana’s 6th District *Image 4: Sean Casten (@repseancasten): Congressman, Illinois’s 6th District

Mt Everest

The culmination of training, travel and mental preparation comes to a head as we attempt to summit during a tight weather window. After scaling near-vertical walls and enduring a sleepless night at thirty below zero temps, we were faced with a difficult decision- turn back or risk our lives to reach the top of the world. @estebantopomena @erichroepke @ladzinski

Boulder, Colorado

That one time I was shooting @jeremiahfraites and @francesca_laz and @spaghettifraites joined the party. Super lucky to have these people in my life. Big heart emoji

Yesterday's post brought up some good questions about failure. I'm curious, what do you all consider to be failure? Pictured here: @cedarwright trying hard.


A commitment to climbing mountains means a commitment to failure. Something I am reflecting upon with today being National Mountain Climbing Day. For example, on our quest to summit the highest peak in , the expedition team and I were pushed to our limits, brought down to nothing. As a team we collectively made the decision to turn back after a 40+ day attempt. It may seem like a failure by traditional standards, but the best lessons are sometimes learned when your acute discernment is put to the test. Seen here, @renan_ozturk on expedition and for .

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