Samuel Elias@bookofsamuel

Climber. Skier. Traveler. Fun haver. Human being in process. The North Face, Black Diamond, Scarpa.

So, I went to Spain from April 15th to May 4th with my homie Matt Pincus (@mpincus87). It was the first outside climbing we did after a brutal training period, and we were stoked. Matt especially, because he’d never been to Spain. However, it turned out to be quite a difficult trip. Matt popped something in his knee on like our 2nd climbing day, and also, well, we trained too hard too close to the trip. We were utterly exhausted, and struggling to understand why we were so tired all the time. It felt like we never got over jetlag. But, we made the very most of it. Thankfully Matt’s knee wasn’t too bad, and he could still climb.
Climbers have been hearing about Spain for a while. Kinda like yawns and rolling eyes… But, I love Spain. I really do. I love trying to speak Spanish, and the friends I’ve made there. I love exploring other facets of the life there, both urban and rural – Hikes or via ferratas. Walking through the small towns. Touring up to Andorra. Flamenco in Barcelona, or an all night techno party. Walking the beach and putting my feet in the sea. Museums, bars, cafes, etc. It’s a special place for me, and I’ve been there many more times than any other foreign destination. I guess I should clarify. I’ve mostly gone to Cataluña. I know that I’m missing out on all the other parts of the country. I promise to get to those too. I’m sure it will deepen the love affair.
This little movie was like a self-imposed challenge. I wanted to do something easy and simple, fun and creative. I love making things, but I’m a minimalist and a perfectionist. To try to abide by my tendencies, I wanted to create “a day in the life” style piece shot and edited entirely on my phone. On top of that, to make it a little more fun and interesting, I inserted GIF’s here and there. The music was shot on my phone too, both the Flamenco and the techno, but it was earlier in the trip. The climbing date was May 3, and it was our last climbing day in Spain. Matt and I went to a beautiful little crag called Tres Ponts, and we had a great day.
Check the full vid with the link in bio. Lemme know what ya think. Thanks to @scarpana 🙏🏽💪🏽🤜🏽🤛🏽


Dear Mark,

I’m glad we avoided a total fucking disaster. A long and complicated voyage with an effective stranger on a small sailboat for almost 3 weeks has iffy odds. Especially a boat as cramped, scrappy and minimally outfitted as your Camelot. Glad we always had enough booze. I only wanted to murder you a few times, so that might be some kind of all time record. All those instances were quickly forgotten as soon as the wit and dark humor came out. Man, we have a lifetime of inside jokes now. It all made for a very memorable and special adventure. As you unfurled the jib on our last leg from Dover Island to Sunnybrook, I was at the helm and unexpectedly overcome with emotion. My eyes welled up behind my sunglasses because I knew it was the last time. As soon as the sail was fully out, we were caught by the wind and Camelot started ripping. She keeled over, and I went into the zone. I know you noticed, but we didn’t speak for probably hours. She basically sailed herself with only a loose hand on the wheel. I sat there contemplating the weeks of living in accordance with the sun and moon, the sea and the wind, and of abiding by the rhythm of the natural Earth.
You’re a god damn icon. You embody the aspects of the adventurer I’ve always wanted to be. Lifelong devotion, hardened resolve, appropriate action, deliberate simplicity, careful preparation, exacting safety, unwavering humility. Not without faults and flaws, yet willing to own the hell out of them too. A father, a husband, a journalist, an international mountain guide, a sailor, and a mentor — all at the highest standards. I know the lessons about how to use your phone, use social media, the modernization of our industry, or the spare hands on deck, and especially my irreverent humor were valuable along the journey; but in no reality do they equate to the sailing and life lessons from you. I’m glad the @thenorthface has supported you and your adventures for 22 years, and given opportunity to myself and others to have these indelible experiences. Until the next time, take good care. Genuine appreciation, admiration and respect to you dude.


P.s. #NeverStopExploring


One of my favs from the Boulderfest weekend. It was put up by my friend and an OG climber Nick Sagar a while ago. I did a lot of climbing on little Dover Island over the weekend... till midnight both nights. It’s pretty surprising my soft skin and swollen boat feet were up to the challenge after 2 weeks of nothing but sailing from Maine on Mark Synnott’s (@m_synnott) scrappy boat Camelot. In any case, I was very impressed with the setting, and the quality of the stone. The community was really welcoming and stoked to have Mark and I there. Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers and participants. We had an awesome time with everyone in that special little spot. @thenorthface #NeverStopExploring #ClimbWalls 📸:@mmxmessier


Steadily making our way to the @thenorthface Boulderfest on Dover Island in Nova Scotia. This is day 10 of boat life. It’s been a grand journey. The sea has somehow ebbed and flowed, waved and stirred and jumbled all the time. Was it a day ago we set off? Or, a month? The sea is made of individual water drops, but it’s all water. When you think in this way, then there is no separation. It’s all one. This journey has been made of different days and experiences, but it’s just been our one life flow for the moment and we’ve been forced into presence by the seas - no separation of time. Everything is connected and flowing. One web. Difficult to dissect. Blurry in reflection. Kinda of strange and beautiful. #NeverStopExploring @thenorthface_climb @climbnovascotia


And now for a bit of a break from the regularly scheduled programming. I recently launched on a sailboat from Maine, USA to explore the waters and climbing of Nova Scotia, Canada with @m_synnott on his boat Camelot. It’ll be something different, and that is what I need from time to time. I’m in a lull time. Relaxed time. It comes after intense time and focused time. I spent most of May and June in Rifle, Colorado taking things pretty seriously. I did what I wanted — I sent some routes, and it was awesome. However the awesomeness was only in part due to the accomplishments. I was just really happy I could climb at all, because I injured a shoulder quite badly at the end of February in Hueco Tanks. The weeks after were difficult and filled with uncertainty about what to do. Thankfully the injury wasn’t that drastic, and thanks also to a crew of trusted people (@captainwangles and @esthersmithdpt and @mindsetdr) and incredible places (@momentumclimbing and @grassroots_physical_therapy), I was able to train and do physical therapy out of it. I came out better all around than if I wouldn’t have gotten injured at all. I was forced into considering the ways I approached myself, the ways I spoke/speak to myself, the ways I work with myself. And in addition to those, I also considered how I related outwardly. Through that process, I felt some shifts in my perception about what’s important and what is not. So, I made a quick and evolving list. If you like it, borrow it. If not — alter, add, subtract — or plain make your own. Just remember to try to make it pretty damn simple. At certain times maybe I’m doing good by my list, and other times I’m a failing fraud. Look. I’m not just a human be-ing. I’m a human be-ing-in-process.
Life is fragile
A human’s time and energy are finite
Choose to feel good often
Make things/create stuff
Try to help others feel good
Collaborate well
Never stop learning
Mistakes are normal and unavoidable
Fun and laughing matter
Die/exit/retire/quit/fail well
@thenorthface @thenorthface_canada #NeverStopExploring @ClimbNovaScotia


I was an adult when I started climbing, so I vividly remember a lot of my ‘firsts.’ -- My first time bouldering outside in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. My first outdoor sport lead in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. My first 5.12, 5.13, and 5.14. My first outdoor climbing and camping trip to The New River Gorge in West Virginia. My first trip to Indian Creek, Utah (seen here), and my first crack pitch and first trad lead. My first road trip to Yosemite. My first ice climbing day in Hyalite Canyon, Montana. Finding climbing later in life has always been a double-edged sword for me. It's easy to believe that if I started climbing as a child, I'd be stronger and better, and I'd have accomplished more, and I'd have a bigger reputation and maybe mean more to the community. However, because I started later, I feel like I have zeal for climbing and for the lifestyle that perhaps I wouldn't have if I started earlier in life. In addition to that, I feel I have balance around my climbing and life as an athlete. It's a tricky mental exercise. Any athlete wants to be the very best they can be at their craft, but what does it mean to be the most healthy/balanced/wise/well? What does that look like? The balance is what I'm searching for. @thenorthface #firstpitch


Past weeks. Rifle. Camper life. The Canyon. Ambition. Cold nights. Simplicity. Health. Sport climbing. Projecting. Belief. Rest days. Golf course. A good send. No service. Slow mornings. Books. Meditation. Arts and crafts. The creek. Contentment. Friends. Harry Potter. Deep thoughts. A quick trip to Cali. @thenorthface. Creativity. Secret design work. More Rifle. More projecting. Whippers. First time allergies. Baths in the creek. Feeling progress. Feeling good. Busy mind. High school graduation. Dawning summer. Miller Lite. Excitement. Now, New York for a few days. Balance. Good life. Photo @tarakerzhner on one of the many brilliant @joekinder routes — Bad Girls Club.


@blackdiamond #BDathletesummit. A few days of productive meetings and discussion at the office, and now out climbing at City of Rocks and Castle Rocks. #LiveClimbRepeat-ing with @realwillgadd, @alexhonnold, @dailaojeda, @handsomerobinson, @tobinseagel, @etteloc, @honngy, @annaliinalaitinen, @clairebuhrfeind, @hazel_findlay, @timkemple, @babsizangerl, @nalle_hukkataival, @carlodenali, @noah_j_howell, @marykmcintyre. Top and bottom photos by @honngy.


I made this for myself. It’s not perfect, nor am I. I’ve been grappling with the magnitude of the internet and social media in a severe way these last days. The implications of having a presence there are not to be taken lightly. I know it can seem very much like a toy, but at times it’s actually a deadly weapon. We should all consider carefully with whom we share the burden of our thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, and fears - because they may not be equipped to shoulder the weight. Scroll right for some additional content. Feedback and dialogue welcome.


Today. Matty Hong (@honngy) lowering off after climbing his hardest route - Fight or Flight, 5.15b - and adding his name to a small group of exceptional climbers to have ever achieved the level. Really proud. @thenorthface @blackdiamond @scarpana